Mission Forward! MIE's 2018 National Conference


Thank you for your interest in the MIE conference. Tickets for regular registration have sold out! Speakers that are MIE members can still register here. If you are a speaker or a sponsor and have trouble registering, please contact Phuong Pham
MIE's 2018 National Conference, "Mission Forward!", is the pre-eminent impact investing conference for foundations and their partners. Produced every other year, the conference is one of the most anticipated events for impact investors in philanthropy, offering an action-focused, collaborative, and personal space to renew and build partnerships, experience on-the-ground impact investments, share investment opportunities, meet leading voices in the field, and shape the future of the impact investing movement. Click here for more details.


Please fill out this form to join the wait list. True to MIE's roots as a peer-driven, collaborative experience led by and for foundations, the Conference is primarily designed for staff from foundations and all MIE members. Please click for details on primary audiences. If you have questions or trouble with this form, please contact Phuong Pham!



What We'll Cover

The 2018 conference will focus on bold innovations in the field and the unique leadership role of philanthropy in the impact investing marketplace. Issues of racial equity, diversity, and inclusion will be critical topics woven throughout the conference. We’ll cover topics including:

Going Big

What does it look like to grow foundation impact investing programs in ambitious, still-unimagined, and courageous ways, no matter what your resources are? We’ll explore how foundations are pushing the boundaries of scale, including investing from the endowment and 100% for mission.

Driving Innovation

How are foundations demonstrating leadership in this space, putting catalytic ideas into practice? Sessions will feature new investment products, platforms, and tools, and developing philanthropy’s vision for the future of our global financial markets.

Building Partnerships

How can we rapidly mobilize, collaborate, and partner—both within and beyond philanthropy—based on a common vision and an inclusive, community-led approach? We’ll highlight unique and effective partnership models, such as place-based collaborative investing, sector-focused impact investment funds, Pay for Success initiatives, and other cross-sector opportunities to coordinate capital to make exponential impact.

Championing Equity & Impact

How do we relentlessly raise the bar for equity and impact, and what stands in our way? And how can philanthropy play an intentional leadership role in ensuring that equity and impact are at the heart of the impact investing movement? We’ll examine the ways in which philanthropy sets high standards for the field and keeps the ‘impact’ in impact investing.   




  • Julia Stasch, President, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation


Thank you to our sponsors for making this event possible! If you are interested in sponsoring this pre-eminent event for foundations and their partners, please contact Monique Aiken at [email protected].






Danville Regional Foundation
PATH Foundation
Richmond Memorial Health Foundation
Robins Foundation


Arabella Advisors
Cambridge Associates
Gary Community Investments
Institute for Sustainable Investing at Morgan Stanley
RBC Global Asset Management


Brown Advisory
Community Capital Management


Adler & Colvin
Bader Philanthropies
The Patricia Kind Family Foundation
LOCUS Impact Investing
U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management
Walden Boston Trust


  • Cliff Barber, Archdiocese of Chicago
  • Bruce Boyd, Arabella Advisors
  • Allison Clark, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Linda Darragh, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University
  • Christina Hachikian, Booth Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago
  • Calvin Holmes, Chicago Community Loan Fund
  • Grace Hou, Woods Fund Chicago
  • Rudolfo Medina, Second Federal/Self Help Credit Union
  • Joel Moore, Merrill Lynch 
  • Irene Pritzker, IDP Foundation
  • Matt Reilein, O'Brien Staley Partners
  • Kurt Summers, City of Chicago
  • Will Towns, Benefit Chicago
  • Tom Trinley, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation
  • Kristin Carlson Vogen, Chicago Community Trust
  • Eric Weinheimer, Forefront
  • Jessica Droste Yagan, Impact Engine/Yagan Family Foundation



  • Rukaiyah Adams, Meyer Memorial Trust
  • Mark Constantine, Richmond Memorial Health Foundation
  • Kimberlee R. Cornett, The Kresge Foundation
  • Christine Looney, Ford Foundation
  • Cynthia Muller, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
  • Rehana Nathoo, Spectrum Impact
  • Kevin Peterson, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
  • Susan Phinney Silver, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • Joohee Rand, Santa Fe Community Foundation
  • Debra Schwartz, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Shuaib A. Siddiqui, Surdna Foundation
  • Richard Woo, The Russell Family Foundation

Schedule, At a Glance

Our agenda is still evolving and subject to change. Check back for updates!
SUNDAY, MAY 13TH, 2018
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm Registration Opens
Monday, May 14th, 2018
7:30 am - 7:00 pm Registration Continues
10:00 am - 12:45 pm Beyond the Walls Short Sessions (Offsite)
- Using Creative Finance to Strengthen Organizational Capacity
- Social Innovation through Technology Solutions
10:00 am - 3:00 pm Beyond the Walls Long Sessions (Offsite)
- Revitalization Strategies That Work
- Combining Strategies for Healthier Communities
- Securing Access to Fair Finance
- Journeys in Conservation and Climate Investing (Including behind the scenes tour of The Field Museum)
10:30 am - 2:30 pm Trustee Forum: A Primer for Members of Foundation Boards of Directors 
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Introduction to Impact Investing: A 101 for Beginners
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm Structured Networking Roundtables
- Finance and Investments Professionals
- Legal Counsel
- Community Foundations
2:45 pm - 3:15 pm Orientation for First Time Attendees
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm Kickoff Plenary: Impact Investing - A Philanthropy Imperative?
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Welcome Reception
7:00 pm Experience Chicago Dine Arounds
Tuesday, May 15th, 2018
7:00 am - 6:00 pm Networking Center
7:00 am - 6:00 pm Registration Continues
7:00 am - 6:00 pm Investment Gallery Opens for Viewing
7:30 am - 8:30 am Networking Breakfast
9:00 am - 10:30 am Concurrent Sessions (topics below)
- Impact measurement and management
- Climate change imperatives
- Investment opportunity forum: food ecosystems
- Understanding unconscious bias
10:30 am - 10:45 am Break
10:45 am - 12:00 pm Concurrent Sessions (topics below)
- Public markets: approaches for impact
- Investing for impact in emerging economies
- Impact venture capital
- Pay for success and other tools for scaling impact
- Rural investing
12:15 pm - 1:45 pm Plenary: Catalytic Capital for Equity and Impact
1:45 pm - 2:15 pm Break
2:15 pm 3:15 pm Concurrent Sessions (topics below)
- Innovative uses of guarantees
- U.S. policy: stepping up and stepping out
- Identifying advisors and managers
- The future of work
- Innovative partnerships to drive equity in communities
3:15 pm - 3:45 pm  Break
3:45 pm - 5:30 pm Mini Plenaries (topics below)
- Tearing down walls 2.0
- PRI 50th anniversary and beyond
- Private capital for public good
5:30 pm - 6:00 pm Refresh and Recharge
6:00 pm 8:00 pm Chicago Skyline Reception Presented by Northern Trust
Wednesday, May 16th, 2018
7:00 am – 3:00 pm Networking Center
7:00 am - 2:00 pm Registration Continues
7:00 am - 2:00 pm Investment Gallery Open for Viewing
8:00 am - 8:45 am Networking Breakfast
9:00 am - 11:30 am Deep Dive Concurrent Sessions (topics below)
- Investment opportunity forum: gender lens
- Learning through MRI Journeys
- How to Make Lemonade: Pivots and Lessons Learned
- Place-Based impact Investing
9:00 am - 10:00 am Concurrent Sessions (topics below)
- Investing in the creative economy
- Impact investing in education
10:15 am - 11:15 am Concurrent Sessions (topics below)
- Advanced methods in impact measurement
- Using your shareholder voice
11:30 am - 11:45 am Break
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm Plenary
2:30 pm - 5:00 pm Post Conference Gatherings
- Community Foundation Gathering
- Women as Impact investors Gathering

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