Several weeks ago, the U.S. National Advisory Board to the Social Impact Investment Task Force met at the White House to discuss its newly issued report, “Private Capital, Public Good: How Smart Federal Policy Can Galvanize Impact Investing–and Why It’s Urgent.”
Jean Case, cofounder of the Case Foundation, has stepped forward as a mouthpiece for the rapidly growing impact investment market with pieces in the Huffington Post and Forbes. (Separately, I covered Prudential’s $1 billion impact investment commitment here.)
Omidyar Network is among the growing list of institutions that are actively investing for impact and was among the early entrants into the burgeoning space for investments that seek positive social impact and financial returns.
The White House roundtable on impact investing has catalyzed commitments of more than $1.5 billion in new investments, which in turn is creating a buzz among social entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on these investment flows to launch, grow and scale their social enterprises.
On Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 5:00 PM Eastern, Case and Omidyar Network’s Paula Goldman, Senior Director, Knowledge and Advocacy, will join me here for a live discussion about the new energy driving impact investing and the opportunities for regulation to foster it. Tune in right here to watch the interview live.
More about the Case Foundation:
Established by Jean and Steve Case in 1997, the Case Foundation invests in people and ideas that can change the world. In efforts to address social challenges, the Case Foundation unites the principles of entrepreneurship, innovation and technology to identify, test, prove and scale ideas and models designed to create exponential impact.
Jean Case is an actively engaged philanthropist who, together with her husband Steve Case, created the Case Foundation in 1997. Jean spent her early days at the Case Foundation doing a deep-dive into philanthropy and seeking the best ways she could make a difference. After having success with some early initiatives (and learning some really valuable lessons!) Jean realized that she and Steve could make the biggest impact by centering the Foundation around many of the same entrepreneurial approaches they cultivated throughout their business careers. As Jean would be quick to tell you, a good investment is a good investment — even if the way you measure a return changes somewhat as you move across sectors.
Prior to co-founding the Case Foundation, Jean was a technology executive in the private sector. As a senior executive at America Online, Inc. (AOL AOL +0.46%), Jean directed the marketing and branding effort that launched the AOL service, directed the communications strategy for taking the company public, and helped establish AOL as a household utility. Before joining the company when it was a small startup, she held strategic marketing positions at GE’s Information Services Division and at The Source, the nation’s first online service. We’re pretty sure these early experiences played a role in making Jean a big fan of all things digital and the amazing potential of technology to change the world for the better.
In addition to her role as CEO of the Case Foundation, Jean has served in two appointed roles leading strategic public-private efforts, including the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, to which she was appointed as Chair by President George W. Bush, and in her ongoing role as co-chair of the U.S.-Palestinian Partnership. Jean serves on the National Geographic Society’s Board of Trustees, and on the boards of several organizations:
- Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2)
She also serves on the advisory board of the Harvard Business School SocialEnterprise Initiative, and the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) and the Brain Trust Accelerator Fund, and is a member of the steering committee of Partners for a New Beginning. Jean and Steve joined the Giving Pledge, started by Bill & Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010, and publicly reaffirmed their commitment to give away the majority of their wealth to fund worthy causes, and in the same year were named to Barron’s “25 Best Givers” list. In 2011, Jean was named the Washington Business Journal’s Corporate Philanthropist of the Year, and Jean and Steve were honored by NCoC as Citizens of the Year.
When Jean isn’t spending time with her awesome team at the Case Foundation, she is preparing something tasty for the big family she loves, trying some new “out there” fitness routine (or so her kids might say), reading a new book or exploring a new corner of the planet.
More about Omidyar Network:
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change.Omidyar Network has committed more than $709 million to for-profit companies and non-profit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple initiatives, including Consumer Internet & Mobile, Education, Financial Inclusion, Government Transparency, and Property Rights. To learn more, visit www.omidyar.com.
Paula Goldman is an entrepreneur, anthropologist and movement strategist. She leads a team at Omidyar Network that seeks to advance the impact investing industry through a combination of investments, strategic partnerships, and thought leadership. She also acts as an advisor on advocacy efforts across Omidyar Network investment initiatives. Paula has served on a number of industry advisory boards–including PEERS, World Economic Forum Impact Investing Working Group, and the Harvard Business Review’s Insight Center on Scaling Social Impact—and is a strategy advisor to a number of tech start-ups.
Born in Singapore, Paula has lived in eight countries across four continents. Paula came to Omidyar Network with extensive background in frontier markets enterprise, managing businesses ranging from an affordable private school in rural India to a micro-enterprise syndicate in post-war Bosnia. She has led innovations that harness the potential of technology, advocacy and entertainment. As founder and director of Imagining Ourselves, a project of the International Museum of Women, she led the creation of one of the world’s first online museums, alongside a book, traveling exhibits and series of global events with more than a million participants. This work was recognized with the 2007 Social Impact Award from the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology and a 2008 Muse Award from the American Association of Museums.
Paula earned a PhD from Harvard University, where she studied how unorthodox ideas become mainstream. She holds a masters in public affairs from Princeton and a BA with highest honors from UC Berkeley. She has been on faculty at both UC Berkeley and Mills college and contributes as an author to outlets such as the Financial Times, HBR.org, and Huffington Post.