NEW YORK, N.Y. — The second USA event put on by TBLI CONFERENCE is replete with suits: Top ex-investment bankers, asset managers and consultants have combined their corporate powers in an ongoing effort to build a global community of environmental, social and governance (ESG) and impact investors. So when I meet Luke Seidl, who comes from the far different world of nonprofit management, I’m intrigued by what brought him to the conference.
Turns out, Seidl used to live and work in Washington, D.C., home to many foundations and nonprofits. There, he worked for a nonprofit that obtains seed funding for civil society organizations. In his time there, Seidl also worked with international organizations, handling everything from communications to impact measurement and grant evaluation. After a few years, he recognized the need for private sector tactics in the development sector. So he pursued a career change by enrolling in New York University to study private sector international development.
“After trying to get my finger on the pulse of what works and what doesn’t work, after studying success stories and failures and government aid, I was encouraged to enter the impact investing sector,” Seidl says. Shortly thereafter, he joined Boundless Impact Investing, a startup impact investment firm that became fully operational this past January.
As the firm’s product development consultant, Seidl is an integral part of Boundless Impact Investing as it looks to tackle one of the most pressing challenges within the impact investment sector: connecting the dots. Which also happens to be the theme for New York’s second TBLI conference.
“Boundless is building an online learning platform to link up to like-minded impact investors, helping them in their learning progression to develop their impact thesis, to find out their goals and motivations and which funds and which opportunities are going to be more profitable and have the greatest social impact,” Seidl says. On one hand, the platform will serve as a MOOC, or Massive Open Online Course, serving impact investors with a primer and advanced coursework. On the other, it will be a social network in the Facebook tradition, connecting users of common interests.
Seidl’s foray into impact investing seems to be working out, as his participation in TBLI CONFERENCE USA 2014’s panels and conversations demonstrates a deep passion for this new industry. His unique background and dedication will be a solid foundation for the resiliency needed ahead in an industry where “connecting the dots” could be the lynchpin for success.
Featured image source: Emilio Labrador/Flickr under Creative Commons