• Going Sustainable: Towards Quality Growth in China and the World – Address at the 4th World Young Leaders Forum in Beijing

    Beijing, China – September 19–23, 2013

    Over 320 international leaders from 48 countries gathered in Beijing for the 4th World Young Leaders Forum, which was hosted by the BMW Foundation and took place from September, 19-23. The theme of this year’s meeting, “Going Sustainable – Towards Quality Growth in China and the World”, reflected the need to take advantage of China’s growing economic success to make better use of the country’s natural resources, build long-term prosperity and fight negative game changers such as climate change. Hosted by the BMW Foundation, the event gathered participants from all over the world who were looking for answers to China’s challenges and opportunities. There was particular interest in solutions that promote a shift from narrow to inclusive growth – a task faced not only by China but also by the rest of the world. Dr. Maximilian Martin, Founder and Global Managing Director of Impact Economy, the global impact investing and strategy firm, served on the panel that focused on “Assuming Responsibility in Business”. Joining Dr. Martin on the panel were Dr. Maximilian von Zedtwitz, Professor of Strategy and Innovation, Research Center for Global R&D Management, Tongji University, Shanghai and Vanessa Folkesson, Sustainability Innovation Manager, IKEA Group, Stockholm. The session was moderated by Cheryl Low, Executive Director, China-Britain Business Council, Beijing.

  • Planet & People – The Way to Profit?! Workshop at the 2013 Haniel Group Conference

    Duisburg, Germany – September 16-17, 2013

    This year’s Haniel Group Conference in Duisburg, Germany brought together the senior management of the Haniel Group to reflect on the topic of “Planet & People—The Way to Profit!?” and to share insights. Haniel is an international family-owned group of companies, headquartered for more than 255 years in Duisburg, with approximately 56,000 employees. In 2012, the company generated sales of 26.3 billion Euros from activities in more than 30 countries. Operation of the business is spread across five divisions, all of which occupy market-leading positions. Haniel distinguishes between wholly-owned investments (CWS-boco and ELG), majority investments (TAKKT) and Celesio and minority investments (METRO GROUP) 2012 turnover 66.7 billion Euros, not consolidated). Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH, the Holding Company, is responsible for Group-wide strategic and financial leadership as well as human resources development. In a number of plenary sessions and workshops, the Group’s leadership examined the role of sustainability in everyday business and the link between sustainability, innovation and long-term value creation. Companies like Haniel need to figure out ways to stay relevant and profitable in a fast-changing world where new markets and segments rise and others decline, and new business and geostrategic imperatives drive value creation. It is thus key for these companies to both understand how the big picture is changing, and learn how to translate existing capabilities into concrete products, services, and value chains that are future proof. Dr. Maximilian Martin, Founder and Global Managing Director of Impact Economy, the global impact investing and strategy firm, ran a session on “Turning Business Ethics and Sustainability into Comparative Advantages” (rather than seeing them as costs).

  • Junta Joven: Keynote Address at the Latin American Chamber of Commerce in Switzerland

    Zürich, Switzerland – September 2, 2013

    Dr. Maximilian Martin, Founder and Global Managing Director of Impact Economy, the global impact investing and strategy firm, spoke at a recent “Junta Joven” event, which is the young professional chapter of the Latin American Chamber of Commerce in Switzerland (Latcam). Joining Dr. Martin was Tobias Meier, head of Fair Trade of Helvetas. The focus of the evening was the relationship between fair trade, impact investing and how embedded corporate social responsibility can move both forward (the program can be downloaded below). The event built on the pioneering work done by both organizations in the mainstream economy so as to help enable a more sustainable and solution-oriented ecosystem, with a particular focus on Latin America.

  • Serving on Expert Panel at the ECOSOC Ministerial Roundtable Breakfast on “Making a Difference: Impact Investment and the Financing of Innovation”

    Geneva, Switzerland – July 3, 2013

    Dr. Maximilian Martin, Founder and Global Managing Director of Impact Economy, participated in the Ministerial Roundtable Breakfast organized from 2 to 4 July 2013 at the headquarters of the United Nations (UN) in Geneva. This high-level segment of the 2013 substantive session of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) focused on “Science, technology and innovation, and the potential of culture, for promoting sustainable development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals”. Dr. Martin served as an expert during the session “Making a difference: impact investment and the financing of innovation”. He presented key insights from the study on “Making Impact Investible”, thereby contributing an important evidence base to the UN’s deliberations around how to engage further in the space of impact investing.