On Thursday, April 16th CSIL and MIIS welcomed Robert Rubinstein, founder of Triple Bottom Line Investing, from Amsterdam to speak on the topic of impact investment. Robert presented an engaging talk on the sector as well as gave advice to the audience on how we can improve and move the sector forward. He argued that getting people into the impact investment sector “isn’t about proof, it’s about belief” meaning that companies, foundations, and or individuals who are looking to invest respond better to being shown what their own self-interest is. “If you don’t align the self- interest, you’re not going to get anywhere (with investors)…as well as seeing (them being able to see) the money flows.” He also commented on the argument that a lot of investors use: “sustainable investing is risky” – when in reality, especially in economic crises, impact investing can be more secure than the risks that big banks and corporations take, especially when the payouts can be as much as $250 billion.
Robert finally ended with “SRI was not a niche market but a big party and we (impact investors) just arrived early.” The financial herd is forming and interest in impact investment in the financial sector is growing. But, he cautioned, we need to move away from “the world according to Bloomberg, to (Indiana Jones style) grabbing the machete, and going out into the jungle, getting out of your ghetto, and actually seeing something that you don’t already know.” “Impact investing is investing with a story…investing with a soul.”