1.1. Background of the Mainstreaming Impact Investing Initiative
This report is the sequel to “From the Margins to the Mainstream: Assessment of the Impact Investment Sector and Opportunities to Engage Mainstream Investors”, which set out to provide a realistic assessment of the impact investing approach.1 Informed by over 150 mainstream investors, business executives, philanthropic leaders and policy-makers, that report provides an overview of impact investing activity, identifies factors constraining the acceleration of capital into impact investments and recommends a set of actions that stakeholders can take to move impact investing from the margins to the mainstream.
In the year since the publishing of “From the Margins to the Mainstream”, the impact investing field has continued to develop. Throughout the past three years, the World Economic Forum has convened mainstream and impact investors through interactive workshops and analytical games hosted at the Annual Meeting in Davos in 2012,2 2013,3 and 2014.4 The Forum’s Mainstreaming Impact Investing initiative has also strived to democratize the best practices and lessons learned from active practitioners through its report series “Ideas to Practice, Pilots to Strategy”.5 ,6
This report explores a refreshed perspective on the long-term viability of impact investing and presents the “Impact Investing Roadmap” – a framework that investors can use to clarify their vision for impact investing, define stages of impact investing activities and identify tactical steps to develop an investment strategy. Those tactical steps include designing an impact investing model, managing issues of organizational change and if desired, engaging with the robust and supportive impact investing ecosystem.