Welcome to Episode 9 of Good Will Hunters! This week on the show we have Giles Gunesekera. Giles is the CEO of the Global Impact Initiative (GII). The Initiative works with a variety of organisations to create impact investments, seeking both a positive financial return and a positive social or environmental impact. The business creates bespoke investment solutions that map the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Global Impact Initiative is currently in the process of developing 10 different impact investing mandates totalling over $2bn AUD.
Giles has over 20 years’ experience building and development teams, businesses and distribution strategies for global enterprises. In 2017, Giles received an Outstanding Alumnus Award from Oxford University for creating an innovative, sustainable business that generates positive social impact.
In this interview, Giles provides a great “Introduction to Impact Investing" - I was learning new things in the first 5 minutes! We chat about the importance of aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and why so much of the progress on the SDGs is actually made in the corporate sector. We chat about the UN Global Compact, and Giles’ experience attending the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in 2017. Most exciting to me, is our discussion on investing in women and girls - impact investment holds so much promise in this area. GII has developed a world first impact investment focused on both women and girls and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds in the coming years. If you work in the private sector, this interview is sure to make you think bigger about the potential you and your organisation have to catalyse immense social and global change. If you work in the not for profit sector, this interview will have you more eager than ever to partner with your friends in the private sector. Basically anyone who works anywhere will get a lot out of this discussion!
1:56 - Impact investing
3:42 - The foundations of the Global Impact Initiative
9:35 - Aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals
15:03 - The UN Global Compact
17:36 - The worlds first impact investment in women and girls
23:15 - Investing in renewable energy
30:40 - Slum regeneration and rethinking cities
To learn more about the Global Impact Initiative, check out their website at https://globalimpactinitiative.com.au
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