A Primer on Social and Financial Innovation

IMD Switzerland

The transition to a sustainable economy requires a corporate and financial sector that supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. To deliver the required business model transformation at speed and scale, a change in mindset is needed, where impact and returns are not positioned at the opposite sides of the spectrum. Between traditional investing and grant focused philanthropy (see Graph I on the Spectrum of Capital), a myriad of opportunities exist for corporates to “do well by doing good.”
The purpose of this course is to present a practical introduction to social innovation, impact investing and sustainable finance for corporates that can guide and inspire the acceleration of business model transformations around sustainability. How to unlock opportunities from innovative financial instruments will play a central role in this program. Impact investment and sustainable finance foster the mobilization of private capital to speed and scale social innovation and embody new ways of thinking about business that positions planet and people on the same level as shareholders.  
Social innovation is the process of applying new market solutions to global social and environmental problems, by creating or improving products, services, business models, and markets. Financing social innovation requires the intentional inclusion of impact in the risk-return decision making process while responding to unmet needs.  Impact investment and Sustainable Finance are strategies that generate financial return while intentionally accounting for the social and environmental impacts of the investments.  
In the course, we will explore innovative and impactful solutions that mobilize private sector capital in new, more efficient, and scalable ways to solve global social, economic, and environmental problems globally. The core premise of this course is that if impact investment and sustainable finance assert themselves as an investment style rather than an asset class they have the potential to fulfil their promise to scale much needed social innovations that contribute to a greener, more just, and more inclusive economy.

Course Date & Time

All meetings are from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Central European Time (CET).

Dates are on Mondays and Wednesdays as follows.

September 1, 8, 15, 20, 22, 27, 29; October 4, 13, 18, 20 with final due on October 31.