Last July 13, 2022, the Asian Institute of Management’s Stephen Zuellig Graduate School of Development Management, held an online event to discuss Impact First Investing. This event is the first of three talks under the school’s Concentration Series. The Concentration Series highlights the different tracks students can take under the Master in Development Management (MDM) program to help develop their skills to become better leaders who can scale social impact.
To start, Professor Richard Cruz gave the audience a quick rundown of Impact First Investing. According to Professor Cruz, Impact First Investing strays from the traditional idea that monetary gain is the only factor when it comes to investments. Rather, institutions are now more conscious of the environmental and social impact of their decisions. They are integrating into their governance that investments made should have a positive social and environmental impact.
To give the audience an idea of the real-world application of Impact First Investing, Professor Cruz then called on the current MDM students to present their project “PROGRESI” (Partners in Realizing Opportunities to Gain and Reach Equality and Sustainable Impact). This firm is currently being developed in the Impact Leadership Lab and was started because of the group’s common desire to build intentional partnerships for the advancement of people, planet, and shared prosperity. Their mission is to mobilize resources and connect impact investors with purposeful enterprises, existing and start up, to achieve financial viability. It is through this that the group hopes to co-create and collaborate towards a sustainable future.
PROGRESI has two main funds, PROGRESI para sa BAYAN (for the community) and PROGRESI para sa KALIKASAN (for the environment). According to the group, PROGRESI para sa BAYAN’s goal is to achieve patient driven health care. While the other, PROGRESI para sa KALIKASAN’s goal is to achieve sustainable agroforestry and a circular economy.
After the presentation, the students, alongside Professor Cruz, took questions from the audience. Many participants in PROGRESI and asked questions about the various projects under the firm. The high event turnout and positive response from the audience poses an opportunity for more events such as this in the future.