IVN’s 2013 Annual Conference

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in News |  

Annual Conf_big“From Investment to Social Impact: Generating Sustainable Social Change through Social Investments” was once again the theme at IVN’s 2013 Annual Conference.

With a fantastic turnout of over 200 business people and entrepreneurs, IVN held its Annual Conference on November 18th, 2013, at Tel Aviv University’s Beit Hatfutsot, the Museum of the Jewish People. The day was filled with fascinating speakers, a scintillating Speed Venture Networking session and networking opportunities. IVN was honored to have as master of ceremonies, Professor Gad Ariav, Senior Professor at the Leon Recanati Graduate School of Business Administration, Tel Aviv University.

The morning began with a light breakfast, after which 100 of the guests took part in a professionally emceed Speed Venture Networking session, one-on-one meetings with IVN’s social ventures, providing the opportunity to gain insight into the challenges of Israel’s social business sector.

This was followed by several exceptional and distinguished speakers (in order of appearance):

~Mr. Eric Benhamou, IVN Chairman
Eric opened the second portion of the day by looking back on IVN’s monumental year, with a focus on the launch and activation of IVN’s Tandem Fund, the first social venture fund in Israel applying business standards to achieve social change.

~Keynote Speaker: Dr. Pamela Hartigan, Director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University Business School
IVN was honored and fortunate to have Dr. Hartigan as its keynote speaker. Also founding partner of Volans Ventures, focused on building innovative scalable solutions to challenges affecting our future, Dr. Hartigan spent eight years as the first managing director of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. She has held varied leadership positions in multilateral health organizations and educational institutions as well as in entrepreneurial non-profits. She is currently a Trustee or on the Board of Advisors of a number of social enterprises.

Dr. Hartigan speech was on the topic of Impact Investing: The Reality and the Hype. She spoke at great length about the new emerging approaches of Impact Investing – combining the desire to tackle social challenges and in parallel seeing a return on investment. Using micro-financing as an example of a lengthy evolution, Dr Hartigan expressed her belief in this approach, saying how Impact Investment will take time to grow and evolve but that we are in an “exciting time” and will continue to learn, test and refine.

~Ms. Jennifer Gorovitz, Chief Executive Officer San Francisco Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund

Jennifer has the distinction of being the first woman CEO among the 20 largest Federations in North America and was included in The Jewish Daily’s “Forward 50” 2010 list of the top 50 men and women who have made a significant impact on the Jewish story in a Jewish way. She was also recently selected as one of the Bay Area’s most influential women by S.F. Business Times.

Jennifer spoke about Investing in the Jewish People: Social Ventures as the Next Frontier of Jewish Philanthropy. Jennifer referred to how less than 20% of the over 250,000 Jews in the San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties areas were part of organized Jewish community life and the challenges this presents for the Federation. She discussed the Federations innovative activities in enhancing its engagement and how the emerging sector of social ventures plays a significant role, using the IVN-JCFSF Impact Grant Initiative Leadership Development Program as an example. Launched in January 2013, the program is aimed at attracting a new generation of Jewish philanthropic leaders with a deep understanding of Israel’s social issues and trends.

Jennifer’s speech was followed by 4 short talks by social entrepreneurs and the innovative social change models:

Ms. Mariuma Ben-Yosef , Founder and CEO of the Shanti House Association

Mr. Said Abu Shakra, Founding director of the Umm el-Fahem Art Gallery

Mr. Ofir Avigad, Entrepreneur of Cooperatives and Co-founder of the Bar Kayma

Mr. Yossi Meiri, Co-founder of Headstart

After the enlightening and thought provoking speeches, the audience was invited to partake in a light lunch, provided by IVN portfolio ventures: Sumsum, Kol Ha’Isha’s Community Kitchen and Gvanim B’Café.

To see pictures from the event, click here.

To read more about IVN’s portfolio ventures, click here.

We have since received wonderful feedback, along with a deep sense of enthusiasm and commitment regarding the new world of social business and social investment in Israel.