Over the years we have invited you into many wonderful events, but our favorite, our signature, is our Convergence. We love these series of days, twice a year, for they are an expression of how we understand how deep change gets done in the world. We extend an open invitation to Convergence which you then shape with your own work, ideas, aspirations. Convergence bridges, it is an intersection of different fields or perspectives, of people who wouldn’t normally be in a room together. And Convergence is intimate, a place where you can stretch, take risks, build friendships and sustained partnerships that get the important work done in the world.
This month we are starting our formal invitation for our Convergence on investing with a gender lensthis fall (see below). Given the momentum around this work, we know it will be an exciting few days.
Convergence is the conference for the field of actors working to make gender analysis essential to good investment decisions. We are very inspired by the number of conferences this past year (and more emerging) with a track or a panel on gender lens investing, and there are a few potential conferences being discussed that would focus on investing in women. We’re excited for all of them…and Convergence is different.
Convergence is about you, the participant. You design the agenda by telling us what you want to talk about. No four person panels, no sponsored cocktail hours. This is our fourteenth gathering in such a model. We started it as a way to invite our network, to make connections visible and to move forward collaborative ideas. And, we’re innovating the model again this year. For past Convergences, you have told us what you wanted to talk about, and we’ve designed accordingly. Now we are going to also ask what you want to WORK ON.
We are at a stage in our collective work on gender lens investing where it is not enough to have conversations about needing a messaging plan. We want to spend time building one together. So this is the conference where we, as a field, will get done the work of the field.
We’ll keep space for rich, intellectual dialogue. We’ll still have wonderfully extended conversations over dinner. You will still leave with that feeling like summer camp is at its end (although the Simsbury Inn’s hospitality definitely trumps bunk beds). And, we’ll spend time in design sessions. Rather than saying we need a better communications strategy for the field, we’ll plan ahead for a way to collectively design a piece of it. Instead of just discovering the investment vehicles that are needed, we’ll work to do open source work to design the elments of those vehicles. Instead of imagining the gender analysis of complex social issues, we’re going to do that analysis.
This is the moment to come together and accelerate the field. I can only imagine what we can get done.
But, if you don’t feel quite ready to dive in with two feet, you should still feel invited. We’ll work to make this a safe, productive place for all. Convergence is a participatory sport – It’s hard to stand on the sidelines and watch. But that’s because we lure you in, we create a hospitable space. We make sure it is a place where your best way of being can play.
For those who feel more new to the field, we’ll hold a pre-session. 12pm to 4pm on the first day will be an optional session both for the folks in investments who don’t feel schooled in conversations about gender and for the folks working in gender/women’s/girls’ issues who don’t feel confident in making a connection to investments.
For us, this summer will be an exercise in design so that we craft the right agenda for both the work that needs to be done and the people who show up to do it. With that in mind, we extend two additional invitations. (1) Please register soon if you plan to attend. The sooner we know who will be collaborating with us this fall, the stronger our agenda and, by extension, our progress will be. (2) If you would like to help us design these few days we have together, we hope you’ll let us know. This is meant as a conference to benefit the collective, and it will take the perspectives of the collective to make it most powerful.
For the third year in a row, Criterion is convening a group of catalytic change-makers: the leaders and advocates of gender lens investing. Join us at our Gender Lens Investing Convergence this fall to engage with others who are working to re-imagine how gender is incorporated into investing. This conference is a part of our ongoing effort to fuel the growth of gender lens investing through ourWomen Effect Investments initiative.
What more could a gender lens on investing make possible?
Gender Lens Investing is changing the way financial markets value women and girls. It is changing how women see their own power of investors. A gender lens reveals more information, making us smarter investors. It’s shifting the rules of financial markets, making them work better for the world’s women and girls. And, we hope you’ll join us to learn about, support and advance this work at Convergence.
This annual conference to convene and advance the gender lens investing field is enabled by sponsorship from the following supporters of this movement:
Please feel free to contact Jennifer John with questions or for additional information:[email protected]
Criterion Institute runs this annual conference as part of its Women Effect Investments initiative. This is an initiative to increase the practice of investing with a gender lens. It is one of multiple initiatives run by Criterion Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to re-shaping market systems. We encourage you fuel the gender lens investing movement by: