Impact Days ’21: The Future of Finance

Impact Days have been an incredible and inspiring experience. We’ve looked at ways to support and develop the social economy, including building social resilience, looking at different methods of funding, and breaking down impact assessment.

We took a deep dive into the potential of technology to address the SDGs, and how the finance sector can do its part in combating climate change. 

We also got to take part in the launch of some exciting new projects, including webeem.com, a marketplace for social enterprises, as well as Validate.global, which connects Europe-based social enterprises with markets in Africa. 

But all of this has only been possible, because of the amazing people who have not just supported the Impact Days but have turned it into a forum for thought leadership in building a more sustainable economy.  

First off, we’d like to thank our partners for helping to make this conference possible: Mercer, Erste Bank, the Vienna Business Agency, and of course our team here at The Hybrid Stage. Without your time, energy, and resources, none of this would have been possible. So, thank you!

We would also like to thank all of our speakers and session hosts. All of the individuals who you have seen on this stage the past two days are experts with incredible knowledge and unique experience in their respective fields. To have them all at Impact Days has been a real privilege.

And that’s why this year we also decided to give the hosts the space and freedom to shape the sessions, the topics, and the panels as they saw best; because who knows these subjects better than them? The results have been both insightful and inspiring. So, thank you for your energy and ideas. 

Finally, we would like to thank everyone who has participated, either LIVE at The Hybrid Stage or virtually. We had over 500  participants tuning in from around the globe, proving once again that interest in building a sustainable economy is strong all over the world.  Thank you to all of you for taking the time and making the commitment to be a part of this experience as we shape the future of finance together.

When we speak of the future of finance, it alludes to a vision that we all share: one where business, investment, and sustainability are perpetually intertwined. Where our impact on society, and the environment are our first and last thoughts and not just an afterthought. 

We believe that this future starts now. Right here with us. In fact, it’s already begun! Already, with connections that we have made through our shared vision, we are seeing flagship collaborations and innovative products that are leading the way forward.       

For example, Impact Hub Vienna and Erste Bank partnered up to support social entrepreneurs and their ideas for a sustainable future.

Mercer has joined up with Institutional Money to create the “Money for Change Impact Award”, which recognizes businesses tackling the SDGs.

And there are so many more examples and ideas yet to be realized, that we have heard about and discussed at Impact Days, and which will continue to grow in the time to come—possibly with new partners and new impulses; possibly with ones made here, with the people you met in Vienna.

Because this is truly the key to a sustainable future: Coming together. Getting to know each other, and to understand each other. And finding spaces to share our ideas, our resources, and our experiences. Because the problems our world is facing are growing in both complexity and scale, and we need to find new ways to work together to combat them. 

Let’s take this energy, let’s take our new contacts, let’s take our shared commitment, and let’s turn it into action, turn it into new collaborations. Let’s turn it into the future that we all want to achieve. A future that is inclusive. A future that is just. A future that is sustainable.

Last but not least, together with Mercer we’re looking forward welcoming you at Hofburg!

Florin Avram