Jay Coen Gilbert to be Opening Keynote Speaker

Impact Pioneer in Discussion with Industry Leaders
Aug 6, 2012 11:00 PM ET
Multimedia with summary

True impact pioneer, Jay Coen Gilbert, Co-Founder of B Lab, is scheduled to present a unique overview of the impact industry in his keynote address, Past & Future: Accelerating the Impact Investing Marketplace at the Investors' Circle Fall 2012 Venture Fair & Forum, Oct 24-25 in NYC.  Jay will look at the last 20 years and impact investing's transformation from an innovative movement to a growing marketplace. Leaders in the field will also be joining him in a discussion of what's to come in this burgeoning field.  

Jay Coen Gilbert: Prior to B Lab, despite having no game, Jay co-founded and sold AND 1, a $250M basketball footwear and apparel company based outside Philadelphia.  Jay led AND 1’s product and marketing and was AND 1’s CEO during its period of most rapid growth and decline. Jay is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, President of the Board of the Philadelphia chapter of KIPP Philadelphia Schools, a growing cluster of high performing public charter schools, and a former Board member of Investors’ Circle and Social Venture Network, leading national networks of social entrepreneurs and early stage social investors. Jay grew up in New York City before heading west to Stanford University, graduating with a degree in East Asian Studies in 1989. Prior to AND 1, Jay worked for McKinsey & Co and several organizations in NYC’s public and non-profit sectors.

B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement to redefine success in business so that all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world. B Lab drives this systemic change through a number of interrelated initiatives: 1) building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between “good companies” and good marketing; 2) passing legislation to accelerate growth of social entrepreneurship and impact investing; 3) driving capital to impact investments through use of GIIRS Ratings & Analytics; and 4) providing free, powerful tools for businesses to measure what matters and benchmark their social and environmental performance.

Certified B Corporations 1) meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance; 2) legally expand their corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests; and 3) build collective voice through the power of the unifying B Corporation brand.  As of August 2012, there are nearly 600 Certified B Corporations from over 60 industries, representing a diverse multi-billion marketplace, and more than 2,500 businesses measuring what matters using B Lab’s B Impact Assessment. Legislation creating a new corporate form with higher standards of corporate purpose, accountability, and transparency -- called the benefit corporation -- has been signed into law in 10 states and is moving forward with broad bi-partisan support in more several more.

B Lab’s GIIRS Ratings & Analytics platform, launched at the Clinton Global Initiative in September 2011, is being used by more than 60 GIIRS Pioneer Funds representing $3 billion in assets invested in 300 of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs across 30 countries from North America and Europe through emerging markets in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.  20 GIIRS Pioneer Investors have declared an investment preference for GIIRS-rated funds and companies in their impact investing portfolios.

The combined resources of government and philanthropy alone are insufficient to solve the many development challenges of the twenty- first century. Over the past decade, there has been growing recognition within the private sector of the need to take a greater and more active role in promoting sustainable develop- ment globally, through generating employment for youth, empowering women and tackling challenges related to energy, water and hunger. Corporations and investors understand the long- term benefits of contributing to development, and as such, initiatives to advance the sustain- ability agenda have gained strength in the recent past and will continue to play an impor- tant role in the future. However, in the quest for innovative ways to engage the private sector to bolster global sustainability further, a new approach has gained significant momentum in recent years.