Predictions, Warnings and Best Practices From Day 2 at Socap09

Kevin Jones at Socap09, Photo Courtesy of Simon Roberts
Kevin Jones at Socap09, Photo Courtesy of Simon Roberts

A quick search on twitter for #socap09 will reveal just a fraction of the “turkey dinner of ideas,” as one colleague called it, that was Day 2 at Socap09. Below I attempt to distill some of the most hard-hitting, surprising, and indicative sentiments of the day. (Note: quotes may be paraphrased)

On the future of the social capital marketplace:

I predict impact investing will approach a tipping point in 2015… CSR in the US is merely a band-aid. ~Charly Kleissner, KL Felicitas Foundation

We’ll see increased scrutiny and demand for data on impact investors are having and increased collaboration between different types of investors. ~Amit Bouri, Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)

Social capital will not be sufficient to get us to a brighter future. We’ll have to mobilize major sources of funding. We need to mobilize government to change the rules of the game. ~Dan Crisafulli, Skoll Foundation

Today’s investments are complex, opaque and anonymous. We need to get to a place where investments are direct, transparent and personal, based on long-term relationships. ~Don Shaffer, RSF Social Finance

On social impact:

People are looking to intermediaries to bring them credibility about social impact. ~ Shari Berenbach, Calvert Foundation

Donors care more that we care about metrics than they care about metrics themselves, but I think that will change in coming years. ~ Brian Trelsted, Acumen Fund

On driving change:

Disruption has happened; things haven’t gelled yet. How do we use this moment where the commercial powers that be are being challenged at every step? We can be goldfish and act like we don’t remember or we can seize this moment (don’t drink Fiji water!). ~ Adam Werbach, Saatchi and Saatchi S

Human beings identifying with the pain of another human being is the root of real change. ~Kjerstin Erickson, FORGE

Success of Carrotmob is based on telling a great story and utilizing viral nature of video. ~Brent Schulkin, Carrotmob/Virgance

The best way to establish trust is that you are what you say you are and that’s the most important thing. Comes down to service you provide. Consumers are smarter than marketers think they are. ~Ron Gonen, RecycleBank

Hire a storyteller; they’ll be more valuable than a CFO. ~Laren Poole, Invisible Children


Social media is inherently manipulative and it’s designed to be that way – so there is also a big responsibility of social change makers to tell stories as accurately as possible especially if you’re speaking for others. ~ Kjerstin Erickson, FORGE

Regulators are good at shooting the survivors. Just as we want to prove the model we may be in a highly restricted environment. ~Kat Taylor, OneCalifornia Bank

“The major challenge is that while there are opportunities for short-term resource maximization, there will be actors ready to exploit those opportunities, even at the expense of the future…. I think one of the major jobs of this movement is to figure out how to change the rules of the game not just to reduce incentives for this mindset, but in fact, to punish it.” ~Nataniel Whittemore,

Amie runs Cobblestone Solutions, LLC, a consultancy focusing on business development, marketing, communications and strategy for mission driven companies. Previously, Amie served as Director of Business Development for Viv (a Bay Area environmental start-up), Program Manager for Social Venture Technology Group (a boutique consulting firm focused on measuring social and environmental impact), and Associate Consultant at Bain & Co (a global management consulting firm). She is particularly interested in innovations that reduce waste, altering consumer behavior for good, and leveraging the power of business to solve the climate crisis. You can read more from her on her blog, on, and on JustMeans.

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