2014 has been an incredibly exciting year for me since I uprooted from Scotland and moved to Asia to join AVPN as the new vice-chair. I arrived in Singapore in mid-January and have been on the move since, travelling to Hong Kong, China, Korea, Japan and India to meet with many of our members and key partners. Along the way, I have also been sharing the story of Inspiring Scotland, the venture philanthropy organisation that I founded and was CEO of for the past 5-years.
Just before I left, Noah Isserman, a Bill and Melinda Gates Scholar at Cambridge University published the results of a 4-year research programme, which sought to understand the “added value” of our work for the 60 or so Social Purpose Organisations in our portfolios. The result was a resounding endorsement, not just of Inspiring Scotland but of our industry. That combination of human, intellectual and financial capital towards social impact, which sits right at the heart of AVPN is quite simply a winning formula.
AVPN’s founding chairman, Doug Miller invited me to join the team after I participated in the inaugural conference last year. In fact, it was hard to say no after attending the event as a speaker and being infected with the vibrancy and dynamism in Asia! I am definitely sure that this year’s conference will be just as exciting, full of knowledge sharing between like-minded social investors, in a room full of people who are enthusiastic to help the social investing eco-system in Asia grow!
AVPN has grown rapidly in just over 2 years, with membership breaking through the 150 level in February. We are delighted to face the challenges such growth presents, meeting the expectations of our expanding member base is our priority and we have increased our team size to achieve this. AVPN has ambitious plans to get closer to members and grow the network further, including the establishment of in-country chapters and we ask that you look out for many new announcements from us in the coming months!
Lastly, I look forward to meeting you at the conference on 14 and 15 May – tickets are running out fast. Learning from last year, when we had to turn away many applications after we reached full capacity, we have been carefully managing ticket allocation to ensure a “right people in the room” event. Please remember to register your tickets if you have yet to do so!
See you soon in sunny Singapore,