On November 13th an Enviu delegation travelled to Rome to participate in Right Now!, hosted by The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. This conference was an initiative of Graham CCC in co-creation with Enviu, Vanessa Grellet, Peter Baas en Harry Starren. During the event, an international group of venture philanthropists and impact investors united. Together with The Vatican they formed a coalition to work on leveraging the non-financial and financial assets of the members in realising Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato si,” the social and ecological agenda of The Vatican.
New ways to fight poverty and climate change
As Cardinal Peter Turkson announced during the conference, the vatican is looking for new ways to fight poverty and climate change and sees venture philanthropy and impact investing as instruments with high potential doing so.
For three days, the Enviu team worked with around 60 investors and philanthropists in Casina Pio IV, one of the majestic buildings within the gardens of the vatican. By doing so, the coalition showcased the world a seriously emerged impact investing sector representing billions of dollars, co-created a Vatican Challenge to activate entrepreneurs around the world to take action, took the first steps towards setting up the Right Now! Foundation, an impact investment fund and a learning platform to educate The Vatican network about Venture Philanthropy and Impact Investing.
In 2017 next steps will be taken to officially launch the coalition and kickstart the various projects that emerged from the conference. “The Vatican is a powerhouse, with over a billion followers. Imagine the impact we can have if we succeed taking this to the global level”, Stef van Dongen says in an interview with the Dutch Financial Daily.