Tag Archives: Washington DC

Sustainability — the missing the component!

I recently attended a Sovereign Wealth Conference hosted by KL Gates (law firm) and co-sponsored by The Fletcher School (Tufts University) in Washington, D.C. on October 10th, 2013.  The gathering was rather highly attended given an 8am start time and heavy rain that morning.  The main topic was actually the global infrastructure demand needs and the competition for capital.

Basically, the gathering attendees were the usual mix of capital providers, service providers and academia.  In addition, there were also several government related agencies/strategic bodies in attendance.

Global infrastructure projects want to attract sovereign capital investment.  A missing component to the discussion was the topic of “sustainability” as defined both in economic returns as well as impact returns.  There was one presentation that discussed the need for sustainable private equity investment, (SPE Capital Management), however, sustainability and impact was not woven into the fabric of the overall discussion that day. The focus was mainly infrastructure capital needs on a stand-alone basis.

According to sources published by THE WORLD BANK, global infrastructure capital demand needs total $60-70 Trillion with “T” of capital required for global projects.  As a result, the question becomes “Who can possibly fund this amount of capital?”  In 2012 global GDP was only $71 Trillion.  Therefore, allocation of capital and the sources and uses of capital is critical.              http://databank.worldbank.org/data/download/GDP.pdf.

In many developing nations, the need for basic infrastructure comes with high risks.  Risks take the form of time and return.  Generally, these infrastructure projects require as much as 30 to 40 years to build out and to repay investors, e.g., toll roads, bridges, tunnels, hospitals.

Therefore, “How do capital managers and capital providers satisfy this capital requirement?”

GCH Partners has analyzed this economic deficiency, and has answered it with the keyword “sustainability” as defined as “impact investment opportunities.”   Substantial investment capital is attracted by market based returns — while positively contributing to the community, the region, the nation, and the economy at large is the added benefit.

However, it is important here to take into consideration that there is a way of integrating the for-profit skill-sets while keeping the integrity and the mission of the not-for-profit business model in tact.  Sustainability offers a solution.

While keeping social consciousness in mind, we share the opportunity for institutional capital to participate in bettering the world and creating market based investment returns — a win-win situation for all parties.

In conclusion, idea generation, creativity, social consciousness and an ability to invest in projects that will make the world a better place and again, generate market based returns.  This is a solution and an answer to the overall economic GDP growth concerns and the health of the world.

 
Gregory Mark Hill
Washington, D.C.
October 10, 2013

The ASHOKA Future Forum in Washington, D.C., May 30-31, 2013 — inspires thoughts about “Karma”

I have been invited to come to ASHOKA by a business colleague, a THOUGHT LEADER who is an adviser to the FORTUNE  100.  But now he is looking at working with more nimble, prestigious, and developing organizations around the world, where I believe his “impact” to the CEO, Chancellor or Entrepreneur will be more profound and perhaps his thoughts will get implemented at a faster rate when compared to large multinationals.

The ASHOKA Future Forum is a conference in Washington, DC —  and appears it is another aspect of the world of IMPACT and also where a RECOGNITION of those who created positive impact for society around the world can share more ideas together.   Founded by Bill Drayton more at  (http://www.ashokafutureforum.com).

What is important to notice about ASHOKA and conferences on IMPACT in general these days — with events such as the Green Festival at the Javits Center to Impact Investing conferences held at JPMorgan and Bank of America — is that there is a groundswell of conversations taking place.  

Those conversations taking place today spearheaded from places like New York City, Washington DC, and London where I have been staying this past week are about what the LEADERS in the areas of wealth management, corporate and industrial America, Europe, and government bodies globally are advocating currently — which is how to attract investment capital from larger pools and resources and where to deploy them.   Large pools, sizes enough to be influential, can be done more easily when there are market based returns offered in addition to creating a positive contribution to society.

In researching Ashoka I learned that it is referred to as Samraat Chakravartin Ashoka – the “Emperor of Emperors Ashoka.” His name “aśoka” means “painless, without sorrow.”   Ashoka is also a rare tree that blooms beautifully in the far reaches of the world.

These conferences are where it all starts, however, with a dialogue, a conversation, i.e., when you start TALKING TO OTHERS and sharing ideas and solutions to problems — THINGS HAPPEN.  

This means connecting and talking at the office, at school, at dinner, on your vacations and holidays.   That is where those ideas can get shared openly, and where the fun ideas, and possibly the great ones start to snowball into something more!  This snowball can be a magnetic FORCE during those conversations which inspire activity that speeds us and our listeners into ACTION!  

NOW, this reminds me of the the SANSKRIT word KARMA, another word bantered about quite a bit these days — but most folks have little idea about this words true meaning is and often I heard his word used to say such things as “I have good PARKING KARMA” — meaning I can always find a place to park my car!

The root word of “Karma” comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “ACTION” — but most importantly it means, to be  ACCOUNTABLE and RESPONSIBLE for your ACTIONS.

I am hoping that this conference will not just be about conversations, but about dialogues of change, where actions are inspired to create solutions that will attract capital and talented resources that will turn into investment returns for investors as well as emotional returns for the world.

More later.

Gregory Mark Hill, London

May 27, 2013