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Laura Callanan is connecting impact investing to the creative economy.
To accomplish this, she founded Upstart Co-Lab. Upstart Co-Lab’s goal is to show impact investors that the arts can be a powerful economic driver in communities.
Laura brings a powerful background to Upstart Co-Lab. Before launching Upstart Co-Lab, Laura was senior deputy chair of the National Endowment for the Arts; consultant with McKinsey & Company’s Social Sector Office; and associate director of the Rockefeller Foundation where she managed the endowment and co-led impact investing, closing two investments in the creative economy.
She has also been a visiting fellow at the San Francisco Fed, a scholar in residence at UC-Berkeley/Haas School of Business and a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio fellow. Laura chairs the GlobalGiving Foundation, advises Shift Capital, and is a member of the British Council Creative Industries International Council.
Listen in to Eve and Laura to learn how creativity is connected to impact, and how together they can build better cities.
Insights and Inspirations
- Incremental change is insufficient. Be open and bold!
- Artists are by nature peculiarly suited to community development since art is built on tradition, whether it embraces it or not.
- Creative endeavors can bring every bit as much to the economy as any other enterprise.
- Strategy and focus are key to accomplishing Upstart Co-Lab’s big goals. Make the case. Build the coalition. Bring investible products to market.
- Laura is intrigued by the hunger for immersive experiences. Is this a reflection of the isolated lives we live?
Information and Links
Photo of Laura Callanan by Helga Sigvaldadottir. Image of Graffiti Cafe, Melbourne by Eve Picker.