SOCAP17: A Recap

By Aiko Hayashi, Development Associate

This year’s SOCAP conference was held on Oct. 10-13 at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, and it attracted participants from all over, including Austin, TX, Denver, CO, Detroit, MI, and Tennessee.

Aiko Hayashi, PVF’s Development Associate, participated in Thursday’s sessions to learn more about impact investing and how that is changing philanthropy. The topics varied widely, and participants were hard-pressed to pick just a few to fit in a day that was jam-packed with many interesting discussions led by brilliant industry thought leaders.

In the end, Aiko chose sessions that seemed most relevant to PVF’s work: affordable housing (“Investing in Affordable Housing for Return and Impact Across the Capital Stack”), education (“Powerful Cross-Sector Synergies: Early Childhood Development, Workforce, and Health”), and the formerly incarcerated (“Connecting Talent to Opportunity”), as well as a session on NGOs that are using accelerator models for global development.

These discussions proved to be illuminating, and, in particular, the talk by Jose Osuna of Homeboy Industries on the importance of creating opportunities for formerly incarcerated people left a deep impression. Based in Los Angeles, Homeboy Industries provides training and support to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women so that they can acquire job skills and find employment. Deriving from his own experience of being a formerly incarcerated, his words teemed with passion and carried weight. The managing director of impact investments at the MacArthur Foundation was also part of the panel. The session as a whole was helpful in learning about the issue as well as investment examples.

The session on affordable housing was optimistic as the main message was that affordable housing is beneficial to many, meaning it can be sustainable. It obviously helps people with housing needs, but it is also a low market risk option for investors.

PVF was proud to have our Executive Director James Higa deliver a keynote speech for the Impact Accelerator scholarship entrepreneurs at SOCAP17.

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