Our Week In Davos

Our Week In Davos

January 29, 2018

“THE MOST INTERESTING PEOPLE IN DAVOS AREN’T THE PRESIDENTS OR CELEBRITIES, BUT THE SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS — THOSE USING BUSINESS TOOLS TO ADDRESS SOCIAL PROBLEMS — AND THEIR WORK OFFERS AN INSPIRING WINDOW INTO WHAT CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED.”

This quote is from Nicholas Kristof's New York Times piece and of course, we would have to agree! We were proud to be among the world leaders and business heads at the World Economic Forum last week and we had an incredibly eventful and productive time. Our main goal was to spread the movement of social business but of course also to play a little game of 'Spot the Trump'.

Here are our highlights

Our Social Success Note Partnership with UBS & Rockefeller

The first exciting announcement for us this year at Davos was the release of UBS’s World Economic Forum white paper “5 ways wealth managers can support the UN Sustainable Development Goals: our lessons from 2017” documenting innovative solutions to solving inequality. The paper promotes our alliance along with the Rockefeller Foundation and Impact Water to develop the first social success note supporting clean water and sanitation in East Africa. Read more about our commitments here: https://goo.gl/Ck7a7S

We met with Managing Director Saadia Madsbjerg and the newly appointed President of the Rockefeller foundation Raj Shah, as well as Phyllis Costanza who heads the UBS Optimus Foundation to celebrate the social success note focussed on clean water in East Africa. As the world's largest wealth manager, UBS are in a position to enact real change in closing the inequality gap and we are really happy that they have partnered with us to deliver philanthropic capital spending in a more sustainable way.

YSB Taking The Stage

Our CEO and Co-founder Saskia spoke on the Credit Suisse panel “How to create impact that affects a billion people”. She was joined onstage by Sung-Joo Kim, the CEO of the luxury German brand MCM, the CEO of International Wealth Management for Credit Suisse, Iqbal Khan and venture capitalist Chemi Peres. The aim of the event was to connect today's and tomorrow's investors to explore new impact investing concepts.

The panel was co-initiated by the YIO (Young Investors Organization), a network for the next generation of the investors around the world, aiming to accelerate the growth and development of young individuals so that they can leave their own footprint. It’s great to see a focus on the younger generation and we were particularly inspired by the co-founder of Ruang Guru, Iman Usman, who is bringing digital education to 6 million people in Indonesia. It’s fantastic that impact investing and philanthropic capital given as impact investments are represented on the stage at Davos, and we are grateful to Credit Suisse and especially Viola Werner for organising this event and sharing our vision.

Global Goals Cast

We met with the founders of the Global Goals Cast, a podcast that inspires and empowers listeners to make the world a better place by sharing the stories of individuals, companies, and organisations who are advancing and achieving a more sustainable world. Each episode offers inspirational stories, high-quality data, and numerous ways to take action and personally contribute to the global efforts of making the goals’ achievement possible. As we are an organisation driven by and committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, initiatives like Global Goals Cast are incredibly important to make these goals easier to understand, more relatable and feel more attainable for everyone. We really look forward to hearing more from them.

Standing Up For Social Progress with the B Team

As long-term partners of the B team, one of our favourite sessions “Standing Up for Social Progress”, discussed the role and responsibilities of business leaders to take a stand on social issues of moral and political controversy, and what it takes to truly drive social change within large global organisations. We are always impressed by the amount of stats that Unilever CEO Paul Polman has on the tip of his tongue. That; “12-14% of global GDP is spent on war prevention when only 4-5% is used to implement the Sustainable Development Goals. How can we think we are the world’s smartest species?”. Agreed Paul.

Oxfam’s Poignant Message On Inequality

We were happy that Oxfam’s “Reward Work Not Wealth” report on inequality made such a splash. The report made clear that to end the inequality crisis, we must build an economy for ordinary working people, not just the rich and powerful. A message very close to our hearts as supporters of social entrepreneurs. It was incredibly important for us to be present on the global stage at Davos to speak with global corporates and heads of state, to convince them that we should be investing and prioritizing entrepreneurs and small-scale food producers.

A Mention In Le Monde...

To round off the week, we were featured in Le Monde alongside the French Minister for the Economy, Bruno Le Maire and, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, James Dimon. After Macron reiterated his committed to the Paris agreement and the UN Global Sustainable Development Goals. Saskia was quoted as a “big fan” of Macron, as he “brings a breath of fresh air into Europe". What an inspiring week - thanks for having us WEF 2018.

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