Dec 14 2023 @ 8:30 - 11:00

Impact Activism: from NGO to the UN to big financial corporations



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Impact Hub Ticino
Via Ciseri 3
6900 Lugano

Parking available at
Autosilo Balestra
or Autosilo san Giuseppe


Carlotta Zarattini

076 348 62 90

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We are happy to invite you to join our next Impact for Breakfast in an open conversation with James Gifford, Head of Sustainable and Impact Advisory for Credit Suisse.

"The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it." - Robert Swan, Arctic explorer

James Gifford is one of the most prominent experts in sustainable and impact investing. His journey started in Australia over 20 years ago, where he was working for The Wilderness Society, an NGO working to protect Australia’s natural capital.

On realizing that the company responsible for the worst clearing of old-growth forests in the country was one-third owned by pension funds, he pivoted his career to focus on how to connect the behavior of capital with the aspirations of its owners, many of whom are ordinary people investing via their pension and savings funds. 

This led to a ten year career initiating and leading the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment working with the world’s institutional investors to shift capital in a sustainable direction. James then moved to Harvard to set up a course on impact investing for inheritors from wealthy families. And then to UBS and Credit Suisse advising clients on sustainable and impact investing. 

We are very honored to host James at Impact Hub Ticino and learn more about his journey as an impact activist, from NGO to the UN to big financial corporates. Join us for this interesting conversation, we will touch on topics such as: 

  • What are sustainable investing, ESG and impact investing?

  • How do these create impact (or not?)

  • Do these investments perform financially?

  • Why is there a backlash against ESG, particularly in the US?

  • Why is increasing investment in technology essential if we want to address climate change in a socially just way?

Date & Schedule: Thursday, 14th December

8:30 - 9:00 Coffè and breakfast 
9:00 - 9:10:  Welcome and introduction by Carlotta Zarattini, manager of IFB Lugano chapter and co-founder of Impact Hub Ticino
9:10 - 10:30: Open conversation with James Gifford
10:30 - 11:00: Closing and coffè

Bio: James Gifford is the Head of Sustainable and Impact Advisory and Thought Leadership for Credit Suisse, working with the bank’s clients and advisors to mobilise capital into impact investing. He also teaches a program at Harvard and the University of Zurich on impact investing for the next generation of ultra high net worth family members. He was the founding Executive Director of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment and led the organisation from inception in 2003 until 2013. Other roles included Head of Impact Investing at UBS and Director of Impact at TAU Investment Management. James has published numerous articles and book chapters on responsible investment, and has a PhD from the University of Sydney on the effectiveness of shareholder engagement in improving corporate behaviour.  

Who should join: Anyone interested in the topics, such as  social entrepreneurs, investors, representatives of family offices/trusts, fund managers, foundations, service providers.

Note: The event is limited to 23 people and will be held in English. 

Parking available at

Autosilo Balestra
or Autosilo san Giuseppe