“Impact belongs to the future. The old economy is dead, the new economy is not based not on size or authority, but rather on innovation.” These were the words of Shimon Peres, the 9th President of Israel, at the first Impact Investing Conference In Israel which took place in Tel Aviv on March 16th.
The conference brought together investors, fund managers, philanthropists and business leaders from the world over, in order to advance the impact investing arena. Impact investing is a quickly growing global movement of investors who are interested in combining a positive social impact, together with financial profit, in their investment choices.
Shimon Peres opened the event, and spoke about the differences between the “old” economy and the “new” economy. “The new economy doesn’t need instructions, governments or weapons, rather it is based on good will and good products. This should be the force that drives us as Jews. Because Judaism is based on morality, and I believe we cannot create technology without a moral code.”
The event included Israel’s most senior investors in the hi-tech and other arenas, such as Chemi Peres, Gigi Levy, Eden Shochat and others. The event was an opportunity for start-ups with relevant solutions for the impact vision to present their technologies to investors and industry.
Oded Distel, head of the Investment Promotion Center and Israel NewTech at the Israeli Ministry of Economy, presented at the event, and said: “We at Israel NewTech have been dealing with water and alternative energy for years, and of course impact investing is a natural fit for cleantech. I know that many investors have in mind the potential for good inherent in the technologies they advance. I’m glad to see this event take place, which helps to bring these good intentions into a more organized structure.”
One of the investors at the event was Dr. Harold Wiener, founding partner at Terra Venture Partners. “As investors we have the responsibility and ability to create a real change in the world in which we live. Every time we open our wallet, whether to make a donation or to invest in a new venture, we should think if beyond the personal bottom line, we can also bring added value. Where Terra is concerned, impact investments are the most natural thing, and actually, I don’t know how to invest otherwise. There’s no doubt in my mind that making money doesn’t conflict with doing good – the opposite is true,” concluded Dr. Wiener.
The event was organized by Impact Investing Israel, an organization led by Ronny Faivelovitz, and it took place in the framework of an annual event by the Jewish National Fund (JNF), the largest Jewish philanthropic body in the world.
Speakers at the event include: Sir Ronald Cohen, Eden Shochat, Chemi Peres, Eytan Stibbe, Barak Goldstein, Avi Naor, Yadin Kaufmann, Allan Barkat, Nir Gordon, Gig Levy, Dr. Rafi Gidron, Danny Almagor and representatives from international organizations.