Mendoza School of Business

Conference Focused on Impact Investing to Convene in Rome

Published: June 10, 2014 / Author: Mendoza College

The Mendoza College of Business at the
University of Notre Dame
and Catholic Relief Services,
together with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
, will convene a two-day
symposium regarding Impact Investing to be held just outside The Vatican in
Rome, Italy on June
16-17, 2014
. Impact
Investing—investments made with the intention to achieve a measurable
social and environmental impact alongside a fair financial return—holds great
promise as a tool to serve the projected 1 billion people living in extreme
poverty by 2015 and indeed all of humanity.

This conference will bring together leaders and
experts from a number of areas, and specifically in the field of investing
where both economic and social returns are part of determining the return on
investment. The seminar aims to discuss ways to unlock the power of public
capital, private capital, and to complement philanthropy also as part of fighting
poverty and promoting positive social change.

Business, finance, academic, humanitarian,
and faith-based communities including the Catholic Church will discuss core
concepts of Impact Investing, how to actively promote and utilize Impact Investing
in the future, and how Impact Investing aligns with the mission and social
teachings communicated regularly by Pope Francis and others on behalf of the
Catholic Church.

“Pope Francis has called on the world to
find ways to use wealth to help the poor and each and every one of us,”
said Carolyn Y. Woo, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services. “Impact
Investing is an approach to eradicate poverty by putting
investment capital to work in addressing the growing inequality in
the world today. It is
important we all take a lead role to actively evaluate the use of innovative
financing to serve the poor and that is what this conference is all about.”

Research suggests that the impact investment
market is growing and could accumulate to more than US $650 billion within the
next five years. Today Impact Investing is generally composed of private
capital that complements public resources and charitable donations to foster social
justice while tackling global challenges including sustainable agriculture,
affordable housing, and accessible health care.

These issues were near the top of the agenda at last
year’s G8 summit that culminated in the creation of a task force charged with
exploring the potential of social investments to help tackle social issues.

this year, I shared the sentiments of the Holy Father at the World Economic
Forum in Davos emphasizing, ‘the importance that the various political and economic
sectors have in promoting an inclusive approach which takes into consideration
the dignity of every human person and the common good…a concern that ought to
shape every political and economic decision,
said Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of PCJP. “Our hope is that after this
conference that the tools, ideas, and initiatives will be put in place to help
each of us consider both the social value of the decisions we make at the same
time as economic decisions are taking place, rather than what often seems as
though the social aspect is more of an afterthought.”

Conference attendees are currently expected
to be invited to an audience with Pope Francis during the conference and share
information about how Impact Investing can be used in helping people who are
marginalized, disadvantaged, and living in poverty.

Roger Huang, Martin J.
Gillen Dean of the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame, further
commented, “Historically, financial investment and helping the poor
have been considered two separate functions: You make money through financial
investing, and help the poor by giving away money. ‘Impact Investing’ merges
the two in a very powerful way, so that an investor’s value system and business
knowledge align toward a shared goal of creating wealth while also achieving
social and environmental objectives. This is a transformational approach to
affecting world poverty, and one that fits perfectly with Mendoza’s

Notable individuals presenting at the Impact
Investing Conference include:

His Eminence Peter
K. A. Card. Turkso,
President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo, President and CEO, Catholic Relief Services

Dean Roger Huang, Martin J. Gillen Dean, Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame

Sir Ronald Cohen, Chair of the G8 Social Impact Investment Task Force

Dr. Mirza Jahani, CEO, Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A.

Ernest von
President, Institute for Works of Religion, The Holy See

Sr. Helen J.
Alford, O.P,
The Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Fr. Seamus Finn,
Vice Chair of the Board of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

Dr. Patricia
Chair, Impact Investing Council, Emerging Markets Private Equity Association

Paul Polak, Founder and CEO of Windhorse International and Author of Business Solutions for Poverty

Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development

Terry Mollner, Board Member, Calvert Family of Socially Responsible
Investment Funds

John Kohler, Director, Impact Capital, Santa Clara University

About Catholic Relief Services

Catholic Relief Services
is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in
the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to
people in need in 93 countries, without regard to race, religion or
nationality. For more information
, visit and on social
Facebook, @CatholicRelief, @CRSnews,
Goggle+, Pinterest, and YouTube.

About the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre

Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame is a premier
Catholic business school that fosters academic excellence while promoting the
ideals of individual integrity, effective organizations and the greater good. A
leader in values-based education with the message of Ask More of Business™, the
College offers innovative coursework that integrates real-life case studies, a
faculty renowned for teaching and research, international study opportunities,
and interactions with some of the foremost business thought leaders.


Conference website: 


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