April 8, 2020
Dear RIA Members and Colleagues:
Our lives have changed dramatically in the last few weeks. A month ago, most of us had never heard of ‘physical distancing’ or ‘flattening the curve’ – both of which are now part of our daily vocabulary. Our offices and our children’s schools are now closed, and there are certainly no business conferences taking place.
Against that backdrop, we have made the decision to cancel the annual RIA Conference in its regular format. Attendees will receive refunds in the next 10 business days.
But we are resilient, and I do not believe this health crisis should prevent us from having important dialogues about responsible investment and sustainable finance, particularly considering the vital need for a sustainable economic recovery. The Responsible Investment Association is a community of members. And right now, community is more important than ever.
Therefore, we are building a new conference model to bring our community together – the RIA Virtual Conference. This will be a condensed, digital version of the same great content that we have been delivering for years. We are converting 10 key sessions from the regular conference into live webcasts, which will run twice per day from June 8th to 12th. We will also offer a primer on June 5th for advisors who are new to the field.
But these are no ordinary webcasts. Our team has been working around the clock to develop a new conference model, using leading-edge technology to deliver a truly virtual event experience. Attendees can connect with each other via text and video chats, engage with speakers via online polls and audience Q&A, and hear from thought leaders on key issues and trends in the field of ESG and sustainable finance.
The new website and registration will be online next week. We will also send you an invitation via email next week. I hope you will join us.
Although we are saddened that we cannot proceed with the regular conference, we are excited to deliver this new virtual event experience for our members and colleagues, and I look forward to welcoming the RIA community to the opening session on June 8th at 11:00am EDT / 8:00am PDT.
In the meantime, I wish you wellness and, as Erika Karp recently put it, “a renewed sense of hope and determination” that we will get through this. We are all in this together.
Chief Executive Officer
Responsible Investment Association
March 10, 2020
Dear RIA Members, Sponsors, and Colleagues:
We are watching the COVID-19 aka “coronavirus” situation very closely, particularly with respect to our events including the annual RIA Conference which is scheduled for June 8th and 9th in Toronto.
A lot can happen in 90 days, so we are taking steps to prepare for a number of scenarios. For example, the virus could stabilize in Canada, or it could escalate and decline between now and June, leaving Toronto in a situation that is similar to where it stands today – a place of low risk according to public health authorities. If public health officials deem the risk to be low at the time of our conference, we will plan to continue with the event while taking steps to promote public health such as providing packaged foods, boxed water, and hand sanitizer stations throughout the venue.
But there is also a chance that the virus could escalate to a high-risk situation in early June, leading to a travel advisory or a government-issued warning against large meetings in Toronto. If policy signals, such as these, indicate that it would be unsafe or inadvisable to hold the RIA Conference as planned, then we would cancel the event and issue refunds to attendees. We would also give sponsors the option to receive a refund or carry-over their sponsorships to 2021.
The health and safety of our staff and event attendees is a top priority. We are assessing all of our scheduled events on a case-by-case basis using the most current and reliable and information. For now, the risk remains low so we will continue to plan our conference. We will provide updates as the situation evolves.
We will provide updates as the situation evolves.
Chief Executive Officer,
Responsible Investment Association