Transformative Finance

Transformative Finance at EVPA

At EVPA we believe that the complexity, unpredictability and interconnected nature of societal challenges facing the world today such as the climate crisis, the pandemic or inequality require us to adapt our existing investment processes, capacities and leadership.

To tackle these challenges, some investing for impact pioneers have successfully integrated cross-sector collaboration and system change principles in their strategies. There is a need though for increased knowledge, capacities and a wider application of these practices.

EVPA’s goal is to mobilise additional resources directed towards systemic (financing) solutions and help investors for impact make truly transformative change. We therefore raise awareness, give visibility to pioneers and best practices, build capacity, enable effective peer learning as well as provide the space for co-creation and innovation.

In 2021 we launched the Colab Award and in 2022 we will develop a Transformative Finance Lab.

Transformative Finance Lab

We have embarked on a journey to design a “Transformative Finance Lab” (TFL) to co-create new financing solutions for systems change.

Why do we need new finance solutions?

While societal problems are complex and interconnected, financing and support solutions to address them are often developed and applied in an isolated and disconnected manner. By providing a space for organisations from different backgrounds to come together, we hope to gain a common understanding of the challenges at hand, and to come up with better financing solutions to tackle them.

What is a “lab”?

A lab is a facilitated space for a diverse group of actors – from engaged grant-makers, (corporate) impact investors, government (development) agencies to impact intermediaries and impact delivery organisations – to develop a joint understanding of a specific problem, and to then co-create solutions that help transform the system in a more sustainable and inclusive way.

The lab will be using carefully designed and experimental methods of exploration. The TLF methodology will be applicable to any sustainable development field with “wicked” financing challenges.

To give our design phase more focus and enable more tangible discussions we will be using the education sector as our first focus area.

How can I contribute to this process?

The collaborative design phase is taking place between November 2021 and June 2022, and will aim to answer key questions such as:

  • Which challenges would a TFL method be most suitable for?
  • What we can learn from existing Lab mechanisms?
  • Who would need to be involved in such a TFL and more?
  • Which practical elements do we need to consider (e.g., duration, offline / online)?

From February to April, we conducted an open series of interviews with leading lab managers and innovation experts from around the world to discuss existing lab approaches.

Based on this interview series, together with Artha Network, the organiser of the Impact for Breakfast platform, we invited investors, impact finance professionals, innovation experts and futurists on 30 March to learn more about transformative finance labs, possible outcomes and design options. Watch the recording.

This session will feed into the upcoming Lab Design Workshop on 3 May.

EVPA TFL design phase 2022 01

CoLab Award

The EVPA CoLab Award acknowledges transformative finance practitioners in the EVPA community. It gives visibility to remarkable collaboration and system change practices that transform how solutions to deeply rooted problems are funded and supported.

The CoLab Award 2021 was celebrated at a dedicated Award Ceremony at the EVPA Annual Conference 2021. Have a look at the awardees 2021 and watch this video clip.

The guidance document which explains EVPA’s framing of the role of investing for impact in system change, outlines common use case and system practice can be accessed here, the template can be found here.

The awardees were invited to the CoLab deep dive session, several case clinics as well as other peer learning opportunities.

If you are interested in sharing your own experience or if you would like to find out more about the Colab Award community at EVPA please contact us (see below)

Contact us

Are you interested in learning more about our Transformative Finance initiative? Would you like to share your own transformative finance experience and engage with a rapidly emerging community? Do you have experience in lab processes, ideas or thematic suggestions for the upcoming Transformative Finance Lab? Or would you like to partner with us?

Please contact Anja König, Lead - Transformative Finance / EVPA, at akoenig(at)

Contact for more info

Anja Koenig , Lead, System Change / Investing for Development / DACH Region, EVPA

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