Mission Forward! MIE's 2018 National Conference


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


Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors


Arabella Advisors
Cambridge Associates
Gary Community Investments
Institute for Sustainable Investing at Morgan Stanley
RBC Global Asset Management (U.S.) Inc.


Brown Advisory
Community Capital Management
Inter-American Development Bank
U.S. Trust - Bank of America Private Wealth 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 Trustees Forum (Pre-Registration Required)
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm Introduction to Impact Investing
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 Philanthropic Imperative?
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Welcome Reception
7:00 pm Experience Chicago: Dining with Colleagues
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 - 8:45 am Networking Breakfast
9:00 am - 10:30 am Concurrent Sessions 
- Climate Imperatives: Unlocking Capital for Sustainable Land Use
- Impact Measurement and Management: Today's Tools and Trends
- Investing in Community Health—Alongside Communities
- Investment Opportunity Forum: Food Ecosystems
- Where do you Fit?: Understanding Unconscious Bias
10:30 am - 10:45 am Break
10:45 am - 12:00 pm Concurrent Sessions 
- Adventures in Venture: Lessons from the Field
- Impact Investing in Emerging Economies
- Pay for Success to Scale Impact
- Public Markets: Approaches for Impact
- Rural investing: Understanding 'Impact' and Developing Tailored Strategies
12:15 pm - 2:15 pm Lunch Plenary: The Power of Catalytic Capital—Foundation Leadership in Action
2:15 pm - 2:30 pm Break
2:30 pm 3:30 pm Concurrent Sessions 
- Innovative Partnerships to Promote Equity and Impact in Communities
- Innovative Uses of Guarantees to Catalyze Investments
- Strategies for Identifying Advisors and Managers (Foundation Investors Only)
- The Future of Work: Investing in Tomorrow's Job Market
- U.S. Policy: Stepping Up and Stepping Out
3:30 pm - 4:00 pm  Break
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm Mini Plenaries 
- Celebrating 50 Years of PRIs and What Comes Next
- Private Capital for Public Good?
- Tearing Down Walls 2.0: Thorny Topics for Foundations in Impact Investing
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 – 2:00 pm Networking Center
7:00 am - 2:00 pm Registration Continues
7:00 am - 2:00 pm Investment Gallery Open for Viewing
7:45 am - 8:45 am Networking Breakfast
9:00 am - 11:30 am Deep Dive Concurrent Sessions 
- How to Make Lemonade: Pivots and Lessons Learned
- Investment Opportunity Forum: Gender Lens Investing
- Learning Through Journeys in Mission Related Investing
- Place-Based Impact Investing: Collaborating for Greater Impact
9:00 am - 10:00 am Concurrent Sessions 
- Investing in the Creative Economy
- Investing in Education: Innovative Models and Collaborations
10:15 am - 11:15 am Concurrent Sessions 
- Advanced Methods in Impact Measurement
- Leveraging Shareholder Voice
11:30 am - 11:45 am Break
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm Capstone Lunch Plenary: Mission Forward! Championing Equity and Impact in Practice and in Place
2:30 pm - 5:00 pm Post Conference Gatherings
- Community Foundation Gathering
- Women as Impact investors Gathering

Event Checklist

See below for key information and actions to help conference attendees get the most out of their time at the Mission Investors Exchange National Conference.


Download the Conference App 

Conference attendees can download the App, generously sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA). The App will be the go-to resource for notifications and resources during the conference. As an added incentive, the 2 most engaged users will each receive a prize, generously provided by RPA:  
  • First prize: The most engaged App user will receive a $500 donation to their charity of choice.
  • Second prize: The second-most engaged App users will receive a collection of impact investing books.

Read the Latest from Impact Alpha

Impact Alpha, MIE's media partner for the Conference will be keeping us and the larger field abreast of our leadership conversations next week.  See the latest stories on foundations, MIE, and the conference below:
To ensure you as conference attendees are in the loop, Impact Alpha is generously offering a discount of $1 for 30 days to their online platform. You have until June 30 to sign up. The trial begins from the day you use the code. Conference attendees should check their email for details!

Check Out the Final Program Book

See a sneak preview of our designed book of sessions. Click here to view the book.

Where to Register

Registration opens on Sunday, May 13 in the Grand Ballroom Foyer on the 2nd Floor of the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel. 
  • Sunday, May 13, 3:00PM – 7:00PM
  • Monday, May 14, 7:30AM – 7:00PM
  • Tuesday, May 15, 7:00AM – 6:00PM
  • Wednesday, May 16, 7:00AM – 2:00PM

Follow and Post on Social Media

Follow @missioninvest and #MIElive on Twitter. When live tweeting during the conference, make sure to include #MIElive so that your tweets can be included in the conference app's SocialWall. Link your App profile with social media accounts to live tweet straight from the App's Event Feed. 

Attend the Receptions 

  • Welcome Reception: Monday, May 14, 5-7pm in MIE Networking Center
  • Chicago Skyline Reception, presented by Northern Trust: Tuesday, May 15, 6-8pm in Looking Glass and Raised Rooftop Bar on the 3rd Floor
On Monday, enjoy light hors–d’oeuvres and drinks at an informal welcome reception. On Tuesday, join your colleagues on the roof of the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel overlooking the beautiful Chicago River and skyline for a not-to-be-missed evening that begins with a short program featuring local youth performers and artists.

Visit the MIE Networking Center

Take advantage of this “unconference” space in between sessions to connect with colleagues. Visit the ‘Lawyer Is In’ area to discuss your organization's impact investing legal questions with an attorney in the MIE network. Look for a sign up sheet in the Center. See the App for detailed hours.

Meet Your Mentoring Group

(Now closed to new participants). All attendees were welcome to sign up for a mentoring group by May 1. By now, most of you who signed up have been assigned to a group. We recommend you meet during the May 14 Reception. If you have any questions, please email Maggie Cutts.

Join Us at Networking Breakfasts

Early risers, start the day off right with breakfast with colleagues. Open Networking Breakfast starts at 7:30 am on Tuesday, May 15 and 7:45 am on Wednesday, May 16. See the conference App for details.

Take Part in Structured Networking Roundtables

Three informal roundtables — taking place on Monday, May 14 — will convene to address issues particular to these groups: Attorneys & Legal Counsel; Finance & Investments Professionals; and Community Foundations. You don't hav to be an attorney or finance staff to join these sessions as roundtables are open to all types of professionals. See the App for details on hours and locations.

View the Investment Gallery

Don't miss this digital gallery of deals made by foundations and other impact investors. The gallery gives you a snapshot of some of the most innovative and high-impact projects in the MIE community.


Stop by Registration or look for an MIE team member with a green name badge lanyard. The Mission Investors Exchange team is available to make sure that you have the best conference experience. If you need help, don't hesitate to find one of us or email [email protected].

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