This free, online event was held on March 25, 2015, and was convened by the Ash Center's Government Innovators Network and the Conservation Innovation Forum of Harvard Forest. Please visit the event page to access the slide presentation associated with this webinar.

This webinar, held on June 25, 2015, featured a conversation with Bill Ginn and Charlotte Kaiser of The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Bill and Charlotte have led in the design and implementation of NatureVest, TNC’s impact investment unit (

NatureVest creates and transacts investable deals that deliver conservation results and financial returns for investors. Most of these deals happen alongside philanthropic and/or public capital, to deliver conservation outcomes while also generating financial returns. The Nature Conservancy launched its impact capital strategy in 2010 with support from the Robertson Foundation that continues today, and built a global deal pipeline with subsequent support from the Jeremy and Hannelore Grantham Environmental Trust.

William Ginn, Executive Vice President, Global Conservation Initiatives, The Nature Conservancy

Bill holds a BA from the College of the Atlantic. As TNC’s Executive Vice President of Global Conservation Initiatives, Bill is responsible for building a global program to advance its impact investing work and major conservation deals around the globe. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy in 1999, Bill developed one of the first major US companies in the organic recycling area, which was later sold to a Fortune 500 solid waste company. He currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board of BPI Energy Holdings, Inc., and sits on the Boards of Nordson Corp. and The Davey Tree Expert Company.

Charlotte Kaiser, Deputy Managing Director, NatureVest, The Nature Conservancy

Charlotte leads product development for NatureVest. She managed the launch and sale of the $25M Conservation Note, the first investment-grade retail debt product offered to conservation impact investors, which sold out in less than twelve months. Previously she worked at Citibank in community development investing, providing debt and equity financing for green buildings, affordable housing, and energy efficiency initiatives. She has also worked for the New York City Parks Department building civic engagement and stewardship of the city’s parks and natural areas, and in Indonesian Borneo on a community-based forest management enterprise in a national park buffer zone. Charlotte holds a BA from Harvard University in Environmental Science & Public Policy, a master's in Environmental Science from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. She currently serves on the board of ioby, “in our back yards,” an innovative crowdsourcing resource platform for civic groups improving American cities.

James Levitt (moderator)

This Conservation Innovation Forum was moderated by James N. Levitt. Jim Levitt, who focuses on historic and present-day innovation in the field of land conservation, is Director of the Program on Conservation Innovation at the Harvard Forest, Harvard University ( and a Fellow in the Department of Planning and Urban Form at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (