Pre-Conference

October 1

Monday

2-5:30 p.m.

Racial Equity, Economics, Finance, and Sustainability (REEFS) Roundtable

Monday, October 1 2-5:30 p.m. By Invitation Only. 


6-8 p.m.

North Carolina Regenerative Agriculture Investor Network (RAIN) Soiree

Monday, October 1 6:00-8:00 p.m. Registration Required. 

Day 1

October 2

Tuesday

9:30

Morning Site Visits (Optional)

Downtown Durham Walking Tour: 9:30am-12:30pm, $30 per person

A walking tour of downtown Durham will be held on Tuesday morning, October 2, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the American Tobacco Campus. This tour will include the history of the American Tobacco complex, the evolution of Durham as a tech hub, the history of Black Wall Street, and current issues facing the city as it grows and grapples with issues such as gentrification and increased wealth disparities. Special attention will be paid to innovative financing models used to fund redevelopment projects in the area. The tour will finish at Bull City Burger & Brewery, the world's first certified B-Corp brewpub, where lunch will be served.


12:30

Arrival & Registration


1:00

Welcome


1:30

Keynote Conversation: The Future of Community Finance

SPEAKERS


2:15

Responsible Financial Inclusion in the Age of FinTech

Financial inclusion has long been an objective for community development practitioners in the US and abroad. For decades, significant resources have been allocated to this challenge, yet progress for low-income communities, have been modest. Improvements in the use of technology within traditional financial institutions and the advent of financial technology (fintech) companies have created new options for underserved clients. In this session, participants will gain a deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges faced by organizations working towards a more financially inclusive society.

SPEAKERS


3:30

Break



5:00

Investing in Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Regional Food Systems

This session will feature innovative models to finance regenerative and organic agriculture and local and regional food systems. It will highlight professionally managed investment opportunities that support soil-friendly farming practices while also building wealth in rural communities. The discussion will center on opportunities and gaps that need to be addressed to further expand these models, as well as value chain-based financing models that can support the growth of resilient food systems.

SPEAKERS


6:15

Opening Night Reception


7:30

Dinner in Durham

Attendees can explore Durham's vibrant food scene in small groups.


Day 2

October 3

Wednesday

8:00

Breakfast & Registration


8:45

Opening Remarks


9:00

Keynote Conversation


9:45

Racial Equity Investing in Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Systemic injustices have led to massive wealth disparities among communities of color. This session focuses on strategies that finance and economic development professionals can use to support racial equity in their work. Panelists will discuss strategies to encourage entrepreneurship in communities of color, gaps in the current landscape of financial opportunities available to these communities, and highlight work being done around the country to address these issues.

SPEAKERS


10:45

Break



12:15

Lunch


1:15

Debt and Democracy: Social Crisis and Systemic Risk a Decade after the Mortgage Meltdown

The financial sector is too large, too complex, and too dependent on government support. These attributes shortchange the country by distorting price signals, hindering useful investment, and raising the odds that another systemic melt-down will occur. Other sectors such as the legal, regulatory, and political ones also shortchange society by propping up the financial sector rather than curbing it. A combination of advocacy, whistle-blowing, and clearer ESG goals are critical to transform the financial sector into a contributor, rather than an impediment, to a more robust economy and country.

SPEAKERS



3:15

Break


3:30

Business Models that Prioritize Human Rights Outcomes

This session will focus on the growing number of companies that feature innovative governance forms and ownership structures and hold promise for producing better human rights outcomes. These innovation features - for example, employee-owned enterprises, benefit corporations and certified B Corps, cooperatives, and purpose-driven trusts – which are commonly associated with small- and medium-sized businesses, are starting to be realized in larger enterprises. During this session, we will assess how well these enterprise forms translate into corporate respect human rights, and explore what adjustments need to be made in order to improve their capacity to realize better human rights outcomes.

SPEAKERS


4:45

Keynote Conversation


5:30

Break


6:15

Patio Reception

A pre-dinner reception will be held on the patio at Tobacco Road, overlooking the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.



7:30

Dinner

Dinner will be served in the Boiler Room of the American Tobacco Campus's Power Plant Building. 


9:00

After Party

Day 3

October 4

Thursday

8:00

Breakfast & Registration


8:45

Opening Remarks



10:00

From Relief to Resilience: Toward a Just, Inclusive Recovery from Hurricane Florence


10:45

Break


11:00

Deploying Data for Total Portfolio Activation

Starting from the idea that every investment across every asset class has social and environmental impacts, this session will explore how investors can use data to fully align their portfolios with their values and programmatic goals. Framed around a discussion of materiality, as well as the relative merits of sustainability metrics and impact measurement, the panel aims to determine ways to join diverse groups of stakeholders around common issues of concern, in order to leverage collective power and maximize impact.

SPEAKERS


12:00

Closing Remarks


1:00

Afternoon Site Visits (Optional)

Food Systems Finance Tour: Thursday 10/4 1:00-4:00pm, $40 per person

A bus tour of east Durham will be held on Thursday afternoon, October 4, leaving at 1:00 p.m. from the conference venue. This tour will highlight the work of local food entrepreneurs in the area and the innovative ways in which they've financed their operations. Lunch and transportation are included.