By invitation from the community, we partner with a local nonprofit or community organization to conduct an economic survey and needs assessment. We believe in community resiliency and self-awareness, thus we seek to understand the challenges faced by community members in their own words. Inspired by insights from our local partner(s), we analyze the needs raised from the survey in order to identify key stakeholders and experts willing to brainstorm alongside community representatives.
We tap into the expertise of each group to generate innovative solutions that accelerate a community’s transformation and create concrete action plans that get partnership commitments. We apply and combine elements from the disciplines of systems transformation and organizational development into a unique experiential learning curricula. Our methodology incorporates the UN Sustainable Development Goals Framework.
We believe diversity, equity and inclusion are critical in all aspects of the investment process — which is why we work to ensure maximum diversity in every Impact Experience. Participants include impact investors, philanthropists, nonprofit leaders, corporate executives, local community leaders, students, government officials, artists, and entrepreneurs.
Since our inception in 2015 we have implemented Impact Experience convenings in 12 communities throughout the Continental US and Mexico; involving over 400 participants, and resulting in more than $30M invested into improving marginalized communities and the quality of life for constituents therein.
Our Goal Is To Expand That Impact To $1B In Investments In 100 Communities Over The Span Of 10
Investing in a Just Transition for Coal Miners: Impact Experience brought together more than 90 leading impact investors, entrepreneurs, universities, and innovators to develop a regional economic transition strategy alongside local leaders in Williamson, connecting them to global networks of talent and capital.
Williamson, WV was fighting for its survival in the wake of the coal crisis. In the past four years, the county had lost more than 2,000 jobs, roughly 25% of its workforce. The community was also battling some of the highest rates of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and opioid addiction in the country.
In partnership with Stanford SPARQ, a renowned social psychology research center, Impact Experience brought together 17 leaders in impact investing, technology, and entrepreneurship to explore issues of implicit bias in impact investing.
Women and minority entrepreneurs receive disproportionately less investment capital, making it difficult for those structurally disadvantaged by society to build businesses and affect change in their communities.
As part of an ongoing effort, Impact Experience has engaged with a number of local partners in Houston to drive a diverse, inclusive and equitable rebuilding process. Having already engaged 50 participants immediately after the Hurricane, we are building on insights across a number of key areas including: social, economic, health, psychological and environmental challenges.
We will continue to build on each of the commitments from entrepreneurs, investors, thought leaders and the community itself to inform insights for marginalized communities and those trying to support them.
Yerba Buena Center of Arts, Culture Bank
The Challenge: Impact Experience has partnered with the Yerba Buena Center of the Arts on the Culture Bank Initiative (www.culturebank.org) to develop business models to redefine the relationship between artist entrepreneurs and investors so that it is non extractive and fully values the artists' contribution. This project further focuses on the artist entrepreneurs’ relevance in the face of major challenges, specifically mental health.
Impact Experience has partnered with the Sapelo Foundation to focus on Impact Investing and working with marginalized communities to build inclusive business models and strategies to address some of the most pressing problems of racial equity, the opioid epidemic and economic development.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Impact Experience has partnered with Miriam Rivera (https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/stanford-gsb-experience/news-history/miriam-rivera-elected-stanford-trustee-receives-2008-porras) to address key needs facing the Island in the rebuilding process including restoring key services, economic development and the role of impact investors in getting community input into the rebuilding process.