This page sets out our own work and thoughts on SDG funding and blended finance for those interested in our perspective on building a better future.

Table of Contents

Series: Blended Finance is Like Music

Late 2022, the Route 17 founders published a series of six articles together with impact finance specialist Simon Gupta. In the articles we explain why we need more blended finance and, using the analogy of music and symphonies, why blended finance requires different kinds of ‘musicians’ – each making their own unique contribution.

In each article we discuss how different stakeholder groups – governments, asset owners, foundations, development banks, ESG professionals, and asset managers – can contribute to a larger and more effective blended finance architecture.


We’d like to call more musicians on stage. Starting with Governments, who have a lot of power to further develop blended finance. Here are three ways they can use it.

Asset Owners

Governments should take the lead in blended finance. Does that mean asset owners can sit back and relax? No.


Many foundations have been active in the impact investing scene for years. One might say “surely they have figured out how to play their blended finance part?” Well, yes and no.

Development Banks

For development banks to play their blended finance roles effectively, we have four main ideas.

ESG Professionals

If there’s one group that cares about environmental, social and governance challenges, it must be you: ESG Professionals.

Asset Managers

Asset managers, in many ways, are like the conductor of the blended finance orchestra and there is one crucial thing that you decide: how the music will be played.

Podcast​: Transforming sustainable finance into financing sustainability.

In March 2023 our Co-founding Partner Harald Walkate did a podcast with Julian Kölbel, Assistant Professor in Sustainable Finance at the University of St. Gallen. In the podcast Harald discusses how blended finance works and how it transforms the idea of “sustainable finance” into “financing sustainability”.

Listen on Spotify or find the podcast with Harald Walkate on the University of St. Gallen website.

Article: The times are they a-changin’?

In April 2023 our Co-founding Partner Robert van Zwieten, together with co-authors Prof. Bernardo Bortolotti and Giacomo Los, published their academic research into Sovereign Wealth Funds’ sustainable investments, titled The times are they a-changin’? Tracking sovereign wealth funds’ sustainable investing, in the Journal of International Business Policy.

Shorter non-academic versions of the article appeared in the 2023 Annual Report of the Transition Investment Lab at New York University Abu Dhabi and in the 2023 Annual Review of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds (IFSWF).

New series: The Table

Earlier in 2023 we started a new blog post series, on illuminem and LinkedIn, called “The Table”. In blended finance discussions it is often said that “more parties should come to the table”. This raises many pertinent questions: does this table exist? And if so, where is that table, and who sits at it, for how long and what is discussed, and so on. In this series we take this theme forward and delve into different facets of blended finance, each time with a different guest co-author who brings relevant expertise.

Blended Finance. Naturally.

For this first article in the series, our guest is Adhiti Gupta who is a sustainable finance expert with a focus on natural capital, climate action, and gender equality.

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