Suzanne Rosman

Suzanne Rosman

The Impact Days experience of a new PYMer

“I hope the sun is shining on your face in peace as you read this letter, and you can drink a glass of clean water if you are thirsty.”

This was the opening line of my letter to my daughter, penned during the closing session of the 2024 PYM Impact Days “Ancient Wisdom For Future Transformation”. It marked the beginning of a story in which I expressed my hope that she would witness the fruits of our collective efforts in building a fairer and healthier world. 

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That afternoon, this letter brought all conversations and presentations of the PYM Impact Days full circle. After two days of inspiration and insights, I am filled with optimism about the changes we can collectively bring about.

Here are my 6 key takeaways from the 2024 PYM Impact Days:

  1. “Connection: I feel it without having to say it, a sensation unfamiliar to me in a conference setting”

    I overheard a guest saying this after the Impact Cafe setting gave all attendees the opportunity to have multiple conversations on controversial topics. So many conversations highlighted the awkwardness and difficulty of starting an impact discussion in boardrooms, in conversations with investment advisors, or at kitchen tables. When connecting with other guests at our Impact Cafe tables, I could hear a willingness of directors to include impact in company business models and a willingness of private investors and professionals to adjust their risk appetite to include impact.

  2. Find your Kuleana

    The world of impact investment is not compartmentalised. While many people live in a siloed world, impact investors have the opportunity to transform industries because they think beyond individual investments. It begins with identifying how you want to contribute to society and how you can safeguard a community good, your so-called ‘kuleana’.

    For Lisa Kleissner, a Hawaii-born impact investor, this came when she restructured the accelerator program for Kanaka Maoli entrepreneurs. By listening to all stakeholders, adopting more creative funding structures (grants, equity, and debt) and altering the power dynamics between investors and entrepreneurs, more capital flowed into underserved areas of the food value chain in Hawaii. This, in turn, created strong and culturally rooted companies that were able to contribute to a locally producing food system and increased trust between the demand and supply sides of capital.

  3. Integrate (family) values into your investment strategies

    Impact investing, though more complex than traditional investing, offers a unique opportunity to delve into what matters most to you as an investor or a family. 

    Julia Balandina shared a practical story about a family she assisted. They restructured their investment strategy to include positive impact investments, a specific desire of the next generation. Starting from a consensus on family values and core beliefs, these values and beliefs were translated into guiding principles for wealth management, such as defining success. From there, the family decided on themes and buckets for allocation without losing sight of the original wealthholder’s primary focus on financial performance.
    In his presentation, John Fullerton added that to achieve success in impact investing, we need to overturn our risk/return perspective, as it can only be a constraint.
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4. “Go cautiously, fail whenever you need to, but have courage”

An insight from Lisa Kleissner and John Fullerton as they shared their experiences as impact investors and pioneers in this field. They emphasised that embarking on an impact investing journey is a personal decision. “Have courage and strive to understand the systems. You will not be able to build the perfect impact investment map or map a perfect solution.

5. Systemic investing tackles the symptoms, problems and causes

Through a systemic approach, investors can not only address or invest in individual issues but also contribute to solutions for root cause problems, thereby enhancing a combination of effects.

Astrid Leyssens provided practical examples of how investing, philanthropy, and advocacy for policy changes can collectively transform a system. It begins with rethinking and unlearning what we know. Transitioning from our current extractive worldview towards a regenerative one where wealth is seen as land, something to share, rather than ownership, something to accumulate.

6. We already know how to live in and with nature

The opening fire ceremonies at the Impact Days gave us a moment to stop, think, feel and listen to Uncle Angaangaq. He shared how his community in Greenland is connected to the land around them and that, in the end, all humans on the planet are connected to that same land. He mentioned, “We all belong to each other in a human, plant and animal world. We need to find ways to unlock all the knowledge already in us by opening up our hearts and views.

As a proud newcomer to the PYM Impact Days, I eagerly anticipate the 2025 edition. I can’t wait to pen another letter to my daughter detailing the new actions I’ve taken to secure the world she needs.

Over Suzanne Rosman

Having joined PYM in May 2024 as Director, Suzanne is responsible for leading and strengthening the PYM Foundation as it grows in the Benelux and beyond. 

Coming from fund manager Privium Fund Management she has built up significant experience in impact measuring and monitoring and growing impact investment funds. Prior to that, she was based in Colombia, working at several (impact-related) startups such as Rockstar (tech startup accelerator), La Bonne Cuisine (natural food company) and Torre (AI recruitment platform). Before moving across the ocean Suzanne was part of a Dutch governmental agency in London working to support the international expansion of companies from the UK to the Netherlands. Her first job was in the port of Rotterdam, working at Vopak.

She is a passionate connector, very small ticket impact investor, recent runner, mother to two children, proud supporter of husband Edward, promoter of female entrepreneurs and an eternal optimist.
Contact her at suzanne@pym.nu

About PYM

PYM is an independent foundation that connects and guides wealth owners to invest their capital consciously for a better world. We are a peer-to-peer community of families, philanthropists, individual investors, family offices, and foundations.
We believe in the power of money as a force for good. That is why we promote listed and non-listed impact investing. You can invest successfully in businesses, directly or through funds, that have a purpose beyond profit.

We focus on investors in the Benelux, but we welcome everyone who shares our goals to join us.

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