2020 has been an unusual year—this is probably the understatement of the century. The global community is facing its greatest challenge in decades from an economic, social and health standpoint. Millions have died from COVID-19, and many argue that we will face many waves of the epidemic—others argue that the economic and social consequences of the pandemic and our reactions to it could be equally or even more harmful.
Governments have spent trillions supporting economies/businesses/individuals in the immediate advent of the pandemic, but there is widespread recognition that this period of economic contraction will lead to some long term damage—with many thousands of decent businesses collapsing under the weight of such a dramatic decline in revenues—and many millions to become unemployed. Governments are seeking to address that challenge, but the private sector has an enormous role to play.
Impact funds will be a big part of this and many funds targeting the generation of jobs in this transitional environment will be highly impactful. Many set out directly to do this and are raising private and public capital to make a difference. Quite a few of the UN SDGs (1: No Poverty, 3: Good Health and Well-Being, 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, and 10: Reduced Inequalities) will be directly addressed by such funds.
As this is the last session of this tumultuous year, we will organise a special session to look ahead and prepare our economies for the new post-COVID-19 environment. Many commentators and elected leaders insist we will build back better and address some of the longstanding challenges to our societies. What does this mean and how specifically do they suggest we do this? What will be the investment opportunities to generate the highest impact and returns? All these themes and others will be discussed in this extra-length session, opened by a senior figure from the political realm.