Rukaiyah Adams, the chief investment officer for Meyer Memorial Trust, has a vision for the future of investing that's radically different from the present.
As the Oregon investor with the most influence on venture capital in the state, she describes herself as "traditional investor" interested in maximizing returns, but she's also someone who wants to look beyond the traditional definition of returns.
That's consistent with her role overseeing the upwards of $750 million she oversees at Meyer Memorial Trust, one of the state's most prominent private foundations, where she's charged with maximizing returns but also thinking about the repercussions of those investments.
"It probably sounds like social justice," she said today in her question-and-answer session today at the Portland Art Gallery, in a conversation with WW editor and publisher Mark Zusman. "Really, I'm just doing me."
Adams also chairs the Oregon Investment Council, which takes the more traditional role of simply maximizing financial returns for the state's investments and its public employee retirement funds.
She sees the need for acknowledging that some companies—for example, Twitter—need time to figure out not just profits but social good for the world.
She'd like to call it "innovation equity or convergence equity."
"You still want to make money, but you want to give those businesses time and money to figure out what the models and to think about utility and outcomes and not just monetizing products," she says. "This is a little crazy. It makes me uncomfortable even to talk about it."