INSPIRED IMPACT™ gives voice to social entrepreneurs and leaders of purpose-driven organizations who are making an impact in their communities, industries, and around the world.
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
I’m Akasha Absher, Chief Consulting Officer for Syntrinsic Investment Council. I run our consulting group, think about the strategic direction for the consulting team, and also create strategic partnerships with our clients. In addition, I manage several client relationships and I’m the principal part of our firm called Syntrinsic Social Capital. Syntrinsic Social Capital works with clients to think about innovative ways to use our capital for good, particularly around impact investing.
Syntrinsic is an investment firm created to help nonprofits improve their impact. It was founded by CEO Ben Valore-Caplan, who, because of his background in philanthropy, really recognized that there was a need to marry both finance and investments together to help nonprofits be more sustainable. We at Syntrinsic believe we have a moral duty to take an active part in building a sustainable and regenerative society that creates opportunities for more and more people. We believe we can do that by helping nonprofits marry their business strategy with their investment strategy to further their mission.
WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR? WHY DOES THE WORLD NEED YOU?
Syntrinsic was formed out of a convergence of the words “synergy” and “intrinsic” and, as such, really represents our commitment to collaborating across multiple frameworks to co-create healthy, sustainable, and vibrant communities. Why is that important? Because communities are the backbones of our society. We believe that there are a lot of ways in which we can impact society, and we think that making sure the nonprofit community is sustainable is one of those ways we can help support change in our society.
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
We provide best in class investment advice to nonprofit organizations and civically engaged private clients. We also are very active and engaged in the community, particularly with regard to our clients, but we are also thinking about policy change and the education universe, and really helping come up with bipartisan solutions to move our economy and our society forward. We also believe that our way of doing business really generates a positive outcome for all of our stakeholders. Our stakeholders include our community, our clients, and our employees.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO MAKE THIS IMPACT?
Our clients inspire me with the work they do every day. Our work allows them to really think about scaling community impact, being more collaborative, and growing assets for the future. I’m also inspired by the network of people here in Denver. I have found Denver to be one of the most collaborative communities. It’s also a community of inclusivity and there are so many people coming together to really figure out ways to create a society where we’re bringing more and more people along and one that is healthy and vibrant.
WHAT’S YOUR VISION, YOUR BIG DREAM, FOR THE ORGANIZATION AND THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
My big dream for Syntrinsic is to help our clients create stewardship platforms that are effective using an investment strategy that works to help them further their missions and their impact in the community. I believe that increased impact, both financially and/or strategically, will have a ripple effect. It provides an opportunity for the underserved and underprivileged members in our community to dream more and achieve more.
WHAT RESOURCES DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THAT DREAM COME TRUE?
Continued innovation and continued conversations. I think the resources are out there, it’s just connecting with them.
WHAT CHALLENGES ARE YOU FACING?
First, I don’t like negative words, so I’m going to say there are “opportunities.” Opportunities for more education around investing and around how to make an impact on top of your investment. I do believe that all investing has impact and we need to really educate society on what that means and what that looks like. And then, I guess if I had to call it a challenge, I would say time, because we literally we don’t have enough of it. In all instances.
WHAT WORDS OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER LEADERS LOOKING TO MAKE AN IMPACT?
Continue to learn more, continue to dream more. There’s a quote from John Quincy Adams that I like. It says, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” I really think that we as leaders should just dream more and learn more.
WHAT’S ONE THING YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT THE IMPORTANT WORK YOU’RE DOING?
That we’re working with nonprofits to invest their resources to create a just and sustainable society.
HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
You’re supporting me right now by telling my story. Others can support us by really understanding what they’re trying to accomplish and recognizing that everything we do has an impact on our society.
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