News story

Global Learning Exchange to be launched on impact investment

A new Global Learning Exchange will allow investors, entrepreneurs and policy makers around the world to share best practice in impact investing.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The government, in partnership with the World Economic Forum, is establishing a Global Learning Exchange on impact investment. Impact investment provides capital to deliver both social and financial results.

This multi-stakeholder exchange – which will be open to investors, entrepreneurs and policy makers from around the world – will focus on sharing best practice on ‘what works’ in impact investing. It will provide a shared platform to debate and create ideas as well as inviting new voices to the field.

Social impact investment has a critical role to play in helping entrepreneurs around the world to identify sustainable solutions to the most challenging social issues. The G8 Social Impact Investment Forum represents an exciting point in the development of the field – bringing together, for the first time, government, industry and civil society leaders to identify ways to catalyse the global market.

The core principles of the exchange are:

  • educational - providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and best practice in impact investing
  • collaborative - engaging civic, business, political, academic and other leaders of society
  • transparent - open and constructive in its findings, and making its work freely available

The Global Learning Exchange will aim to launch in autumn 2013. It will combine both an online forum and a regular series of meetings around the world.

Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship: > No single sector of society has the ability to solve today’s complex, urgent challenges, which is why multi-stakeholder collaboration is needed now more than ever. Social entrepreneurs, investors, and policy makers need to engage in frank dialogue to overcome challenges and advance an action-oriented agenda to identify, nurture, and scale innovative models with the greatest potential to improve poor people’s lives.

The UK is widely recognised as a world leader in social impact investment, and is committed to sharing and learning from innovation around the world. The World Economic Forum, in conjunction with the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, will provide unparalleled platforms at the regional and global level to highlight and advance this global exchange of ideas.

Rosemary Addis, IIPC member and Social Innovation Strategist, Australian government:

The Exchange represents a milestone in coordinating and institutionalizing impact investment. We look forward to the Impact Investing Policy Collaborative’s 200 members from 30 countries participating in this effort and contributing our know-how, tools, research papers, and forthcoming London Principles on excellence in policymaking.

Dr Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, USA:

The establishment of the Global Learning Exchange shows the incredible momentum of the impact investing sector. Six years since the phrase ‘impact investing’ was first coined at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, we have learned that it will take collaboration among political, business, and development leaders to take the sector to the next level. I commend the UK Cabinet Office and the World Economic Forum for their incredible forward thinking leadership on how to accomplish that lofty goal.

Alicia Glen, Managing Director and Head of Urban Investment Group at Goldman Sachs:

The launch of the Global Learning Exchange by the UK Cabinet Office with the World Economic Forum demonstrates the growing importance of social impact investing to a variety of key stakeholders around the globe.

Ted Anderson, Director of the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, Canada:

This forum should allow for social investment to grow more effectively across the globe and to become an even more powerful agent of change. The UK Cabinet Office and World Economic Forum are to be congratulated for providing an arena in which all of the players in the social finance and impact investing space can come together to share ideas and best practices

For more information, please contact the UK Cabinet Office Social Investment Team.

Published 6 June 2013