Business as Mission Conference attracts high profile leaders

Investor in social good Gloria Nelund will be a keynote speaker at the Business as Mission Conference.

During an interview with Forbes magazine, Gloria Nelund said, “The whole firm is really dedicated to creating and sponsoring funds that will prove to investors that they don’t have to give up investment returns to do good.”

Nelund, who is Chair and CEO for TriLinc Global Impact Fund, and formerly Head of the U.S. Private Wealth Management Division at Deutsche Bank, will address the Business as Mission (BAM) Conference March 14 at the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel.

She will be joined by Troy Alstead, former Chief Operating Officer at Starbucks, and other speakers.

The Forbes article continued:

TriLinc is a private investment fund that lends money to small businesses, including businesses in the developing world. To do business effectively in frontier and emerging markets, the firm partners with local experts.

Nelund explains, “We created a partner model where we went out and found the best private debt fund managers in the world in the countries where we wanted to invest and we developed a partnership with them where they would originate loans for us. We actually co-underwrite and co-structure all of the loans.”

The organizer of the third annual BAM event – YWAM Vancouver – describes why they are involved:

Business As Mission is more than a conference. It’s a movement, a cultural shift, a generational impact.

It’s redefining The Great Commission by merging missional initiatives with business opportunities, affirming the marketplace as the mission field.

Business As Mission will bring together entrepreneurs, investors, business professionals, students and passionate individuals from all over the world, connected by a common cause to create, invest and build businesses with kingdom impact.

These are the key speakers at the conference:

  • Former Starbucks senior executive Troy Alstead.

    Troy Alstead: Founder, President and CEO of Ocean5 and Table47. After 24 years at Starbucks, he retired in 2016 as the Chief Operating Officer. Troy is now focused on building a new business that is having impact – on people, on the community and on the oceans and seas.

  • David Boyd: Former Chancellor for The University of the Nations, David is the VP Government Relations at Newdea Inc. As the social sector’s enterprise cloud computing company, Newdea does business in over 130 countries leading the shift to results-based program management.
  • Sara Robertson: In partnership with her husband David, Sara owns and runs The Dirty Apron Cooking School & Delicatessen, Vancouver’s most celebrated and state-of-the-art culinary playground. Her passion for excellent customer service and academic background in communications – combined with David’s culinary training – have proven to be the right blend of ingredients to successfully lead a team of staff that over the past 10 years has grown from six to 40 employees.

Global Workplace Forum

The BAM conference is part of a worldwide movement, the scope of which was confirmed by the Global Workplace Forum held in the Philippines last June. Sponsored by the Lausanne Movement, a follow-up article described something of the size and impact of the event:

This gathering was the first of its kind in Lausanne’s history, where the majority of the participants, 65 percent of the near 900 participants from 110 countries were Christians whose primary place of work is outside of churches or ministry organizations.

They represented a landscape of the global workforce, from manual laborers to CEOs, entrepreneurs and investors, blue-collar, white-collar, ‘pink-collar,’ as well as ‘no-collar’ workers, those who work as homemakers or caregivers in the often unseen workplace called home. Included were 200 virtual participants interacting with the program and each other online. . . .

Ninety thousand hours. This refers to the average amount of time a person spends in work in his or her lifetime. As this translates to roughly a third of a person’s lifetime, the Christian’s presence at work presents itself as the most natural and, at the same time, most overlooked opportunity to evangelize the world.

‘In order to fulfill the Great Commission, every believer needs to be a minister and every workplace a place of ministry,’ said Bishop Efraim Tendero of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), welcoming participants of the forum to Manila.

‘The Great Commission can never be fulfilled by pastors and missionaries alone,’ said Michael Oh, Global Executive Director/CEO of the Lausanne Movement. Yet ‘the falsehood of a “sacred-secular divide” has permeated the church’s thinking and action’ (The Cape Town Commitment).

The Global Workplace Forum stands on the shoulders of the Commitment as it declares, ‘We name this secular-sacred divide as a major obstacle to the mobilization of all God’s people in the mission of God, and we call upon Christians worldwide to reject its unbiblical assumptions and resist its damaging effects.’

Go here for the full article. Regent College student Gustavo Santos described his experience at the Global Workplace Forum here.

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