Left to right: Bishop Lucius Ugorji (RECOWA); Sr. Eneless Chimbali, SBVM (ACWECA); Rev. Séamus Finn, OMI (ICCR, OIP Investment Trust). Photo by Remo Casilli.
About this time last year, a curious envelope from His Eminence, Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson arrived at CCF’s office. Addressed to CCF President Anne Cullen Miller, the envelope contained a humbling invitation to attend the Third Vatican Conference on Impact Investing to take place in July of 2018. The conference convened brilliant minds from around the globe, all seeking innovative ways to enact Pope Francis’ vision of “placing the economy at the service of the peoples.”
Below are 10 quotes from conference attendees and presenters to consider. If you’d like to know more about the content of the conference, you can read the full report here.
“Impact investment at its center is investment in real human values…Integral human development refers to not only economic needs, but also the spiritual and cultural needs of each person and everyone around them.”
— His Eminence, Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson, Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
“There’s a $2–3 trillion gap in financing the Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations. We have to do something differently to get these resources to change lives with dignity and in a sustainable manner. The Holy Father said in 2014 at the World Economic Forum, ‘I ask you to ensure that wealth is there to serve people, not to rule people.’ We need to ensure that those of us who have benefited from wealth are not here to rule people and tell them what to do, but rather to serve them.”
— Sean Callahan, Catholic Relief Services
“Impact investors are driven to tackle the world’s most gnarly social challenges. Social impact bonds are investment opportunities that help the most vulnerable people in our communities achieve integral human development.”
— Tracy Palandjian, Social Finance US
“The Church is a leader in development with a particular ability to influence in a way that few other organizations can, across different socioeconomic classes around the world.”
— Sean Jones, Bureau for Food Security, United States Agency For International Development
“Today, more than half of the world’s population lacks access to essential health services. Almost a hundred million people are pushed into extreme poverty every year because of the costs of paying for care out of their own pockets.”
— Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization
“There are 290 million youth between the ages of 15 and 24 who are not participating in employment, training, or education. That is larger than the population of Indonesia. It is almost equal to the population of the United States. And it’s going to grow.”
— Jeri Eckhart Queenan, The Bridgespan Group
“Approximately 68 million people are displaced internally or externally today, which is higher than World War II. So, this is a serious, serious crisis.”
— Randall Kempner, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs
“If you are displaced today, you will be displaced for 26 years. So, this is not a temporary situation. …You are potentially spending decades away from your home.
— Dr. Christine Mahoney, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, University of Virginia
“Climate change is not only the greatest challenge of our generation, it is possibly the greatest challenge humanity will ever face. The changes that are happening to our planet are threatening nearly every aspect of our global community. They pose an existential threat to the 9 million species inhabiting this planet, including all of us.
— Amit Bouri, Global Impact Investing Network
“Thank you for bringing us all together from different parts of the world, Almighty God, to fulfill your promise of making humanity and the world a better place for each and every individual, no matter where they come from.”
— Lilian M. Omoke, Digital Data Divide
Read Anne Cullen Miller’s interview with The Catholic Spirit about her experience at the conference here.