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Impact Investing Studio

Date: Apr 23, 2024


Location: Virtual

Impact Investing Studio Register

April 23 @ 8:30 am 11:00 am UTC-8

What is the Impact Investing Studio?

Forward Global Studios are highly interactive, expert-led programmes designed for members looking to go deeper on a particular practice or skill. They invite you to bring forward a challenge you are working on and to workshop the challenge with the expert, using tried and tested frameworks designed to help you overcome barriers and move forward. 

The Impact Investing Studio aims to leave participants with a better understanding of how they can use their treasure, beyond grantmaking, to support their impact aspiration. Rather than focusing exclusively on the theory of impact investing, it helps participants take highly practical steps to align investments across their portfolio with their vision and values, working with wealth advisors and other partners.

The Studio consists of four sections: the first few are led by experts within Forward Global and introduce some key questions and help participants understand how to get started. These sections will be highly interactive and will allow time for participants to clarify where they are at, and note where they will seek further information or take next steps. The final section will give participants a chance to share back with peers, and receive feedback and advice. 

  • Session One: 
  • In our opening session, we will take the time to get to know fellow participants and explore our own motivation, goals and roles in impact investing. We will align on the definition of impact investing, and debate it’s role in moving us towards a more just and sustainable world.
  • For the second half of the session, we will be joined by Forward Global member Ruth Shaber, who will share an example of a “full impact” portfolio aligned with the principle of gender equity, and will share her story of how she built the portfolio over time.
  • Session Two:
  • In our second session, we explore some of the highly practical questions that any funder will face when getting started with impact investing, including how to take stock of the capital you can influence, and how to have conversations with family and wealth advisors about your impact investing goals. We will be joined by Forward Global board member Lauren Booker Allen for this conversation.
  • We will also explore what it means to centre equity and justice in impact investing, and the relevance of participatory processes and movements including climate justice and the New Economy.
  • Session Three: 
  • In session 3 we discuss approaches to investing for systemic impact, including how to choose and support social enterprise, and how to think about stakeholder activism and divestment.
  • We are then joined by Forward Global member Meredith Lorenz Heimburger for another practical session on how to get started with impact investing, including how to set intentions, getting make your first investments, and think about learning and impact assessment.
  • Session Four: 
  • In our final session, we create the space for participants to share what you are still grappling with, and where you need advice and support. We will support one another with feedback and connections, ensuring that everyone can leave with clear and practical next steps.

When is the program and when should I register?

Register as soon as possible! The studio will be held on Tuesdays, April 23, 30, May 7, & 14 beginning at 8:30am PDT for 2.5 hours. If you have any questions, please contact Sam Underwood, Global Director of Programmes at

Who is eligible to join a Studio?

Studio participation is limited to Forward Global members who have completed an Essentials programme, or who completed the Cohort before 2018. This is required in order that participants have the foundational concepts and language required to go deeper. If you would like to join a Studio but haven’t completed these programmes, please reach out to your Relationship Manager for advice.

Participants must be able to commit to at least three out of the four sessions in order to register. Participants who need to miss a session will receive materials and recordings to help them catch up.

Is this Studio for me?

If you:

have a good sense of your values and the change you would like to see in the world, and are looking to clarify how you could use your investments to support your impact aspiration, and have a preference for practical advice and interaction over a deep dive into the theory, then this program could be a great fit for you.

It is not required that participants have a comprehensive philanthropic strategy, any experience in making impact investments, or deep understanding of financial jargon. The Studio will be more practical than technical and will explain any new jargon that is introduced.

For the most advanced members leading their own impact investing practice and looking to go deeper on questions around conducting due diligence on companies, impact measurement or setting up blended finance models, your Relationship Manager may be able to refer you to courses run by peer organizations in the field.

Who will lead this Studio?

The Studio will be led by experts from across the Forward Global community and will be facilitated by Sam Underwood, Global Director of Programmes.

This kind of program appeals to me – what similar programs would you recommend?

For other Studio formats, see the Systems Studio with Nadia Roumani.

For a peer group going deeper on the systemic opportunities to support social justice, consider joining the New Economy Action Lab