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Florian Morales: Reimagining How UNICEF Brings New Fundings for Children

Florian Morales: Reimagining How UNICEF Brings New Fundings for Children


Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs. 

Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Florian Morales, the Senior Impact Analyst of UNICEF. Let’s learn what’s happening at UNICEF and how Florian is making a positive impact in the world.

Spiffy: Thanks for joining me, Florian! Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through UNICEF?

Florian: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! I am part of UNICEF’s Innovative Finance Hub whose aim is to reimagine how UNICEF brings new fundings for children. More specifically, I am working on the development of the so-called Child-Lens Investing Framework. Its goal is to provide guidance to private investors on how to factor in the well-being of children when making investment decisions. This involves investing in products and services that directly or indirectly benefit children, such as nutrition, health, climate change or inclusive infrastructure. It also means ensuring that children's interests are considered in a company's internal practices, like preventing child labor, offering decent work for young workers, parents and caregivers or implementing family-friendly policies.

Spiffy: What motivates you to do it?

Florian: Today, one billion children (almost half of the world’s children, and 70 percent of children in low- and middle-income countries) are still without access to basic services like education, health, safe housing, good nutrition, clean water, and proper sanitation. I strongly believe that our work can make a difference in the lives of children and adolescents worldwide, particularly those most vulnerable and living in remote areas. Due to these enduring challenges that I cannot ignore, when the opportunity to work at UNICEF presented itself, I did not hesitate.

Spiffy: What is the impact of your work?

Florian: Children are incredibly important for our future. They are tomorrow’s workforce, tomorrow’s citizens and decision makers, tomorrow’s artists and innovators, and the drivers of economic growth. Private investors are well-positioned to make children’s lives better. However, to date, they do not know how to proceed and have coherent and effective approaches. Our job is to give them the tools to make a positive and sustainable impact on children.

Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make on your audience/community?

Florian: We recently shared this framework (available here: https://www.unicef.org/innovation/innovative-finance/child-lens-investing) and its associated tools on the UNICEF website. We also participated in several events like Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) or SOCAP conferences, with impact investing crowds. The interest we received so far has been incredible, even more than we have expected. We have met interested investors, non-profit organizations, government agencies, standard setters, social entrepreneurs and others. Our next goal is to form partnerships and develop what we call the "Child-Lens Investing Field" to build the ecosystem that will help us bring more money to help children worldwide.

Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?

Florian: As many other interviewees have highlighted, we need the support of children to make progress. During our recent event, one of our Youth Ambassadors, Kripa Kannan, who is only eighteen, urged investors to focus more on children, especially in regions and countries where investments are lacking. It was an incredibly powerful moment. Children will be actively involved in our work and will play a key role in shaping this field. We need all of you to join us in influencing investors to change the world!

Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Florian—it’s been an honor!

Florian Morales has almost 10 years of experience in the impact and sustainability sector, with a particular emphasis on impact and ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) investing. He joined UNICEF's Office of Innovation and its Innovative Finance Hub approximately 1.5 years ago. In this role, he is dedicated to identifying innovative solutions to attract new and additional private capital for children.(First published on the Ladderworks website on November 24, 2023.)

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.

© 2023 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Daniela Vega. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.