and the organizers


The last decade has witnessed a boom in private equity and a rapid growth in the volume of institutional capital (pension plans and sovereign wealth funds in particular) seeking to put money to work in private and public markets. Public pension plans represent trillions of dollars in the retirement funds of government workers, and have increased their allocations to private equity, real estate, infrastructure and other private assets. 


In part because of the climate crisis, institutional investors are taking ESG factors into consideration when they make investment decisions.

Recognizing that a vast transformation in the world economy needs to take place over the next decade, U.S. based institutional investors such as pension funds increased assets under management with ESG integration by 66.4% in 2018 to $11.52 trillion.

Building UP AND BUILDING on Community Knowledge

In order for diverse stakeholders to have a voice in the allocation of institutional capital, community members need opportunities for learning about ESG and impact investment, and for engaging with institutional investors and impact investing professionals. Similarly, in order to be successful, these outside actors need opportunities to gain a robust and authentic understanding of local resources and values from community leaders.

Project Organizers

Responsible Markets and Imogen Rose-Smith

The Ahupua`a Investment Project is an initiative of Responsible Markets, which is a Maui-based venture catalyst firm, working for 23 years to integrate environmental care, social responsibility and good governance (ESG) into investment policies and practice.

RM was founded in 2000 for the purpose of leveraging market imbalances profitably for long-term good and has been guided by this principal objective in all of its projects, which have focused on the areas of intellectual property, clean energy, transportation, hospitality, healthcare, unions and community development finance. 

Specifically, RM served as the Hawaii lead in the development of the Hawaii State Clean Energy Innovation Strategic Plan.  RM also provided expertise to Hawaii’s Office of the Consumer Advocate on how Hawaii’s economy can benefit from new models of corporate governance that incorporate local values and measurable community benefits with a robust framework for catalyzing the groundbreaking inventions necessary to meet the state’s 100% renewable energy targets.

RM’s current priority is working with partners to create investible community infrastructures. Ian Chan Hodges is the principal of Responsible Markets. Shay Chan Hodges is the stakeholder engagement and capacity-building lead.

Responsible Markets has partnered with Imogen Rose-Smith on institutional investor engagement and ESG education. Imogen is a recognized expert on impact and sustainable investing. She is also an author and journalist with over 15-years’ experience covering institutional asset management, including pension plans, foundations, endowment, sovereign wealth funds, venture capital, hedge funds, private equity and impact investing. She is a contributing editor for Impact Alpha and co-hosts the popular “Returns on Investment” podcast.

Imogen was a 2017 – 2019 ESG investment fellow with the University of California, advising the $114 billion office of the chief investment officer on impact and sustainable investing and serving as a member of the venture capital investment team. 

Imogen with Jerome “Junior” Kekiwi at Wailuanui, Maui.

Imogen Rose-Smith on “Return on Investment” podcast

Ahupua`a Investment Project Goals:

  • Develop a blueprint for Maui to become a financial and educational leader for the global advancement of effective impact investing with environmental, social and governance (ESG) integration.
  • Create a framework for guiding significant capital investment into Maui and Hawaii in a manner that creates measurably positive and sustainable impacts as identified by the community.

Theory of Transformation:  We transform Hawaiʻi’s economy from a state of short-term exploitation to a state of generational empowerment by facilitating connections that share knowledge and role model investment best practices.

Theory of Change:  When we facilitate connections to share knowledge and role model investment best practices, we can demonstrate what Hawaii brings to the table, and how Hawaii can take the lead in modelling a different way of doing business.

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