Michael B. Horn
Authority on the Future of Education and Blended Learning Expert; Co-founder, Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation
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In recent years, boards and investors have started realizing that a strategic approach to managing environmental, social and governance issues (ESG) can significantly boost a company’s bottom line, reputation and ability to compete. They are also realizing that customers, employees and supply chains are closely watching how organizations perform in these areas and holding them accountable.
Helping leaders move beyond simply meeting regulatory requirements to extracting real value – while positively impacting society – is Harvard Business School professor, business advisor and multi-award-winning investment strategist George Serafeim. His pioneering work on tracking and building the data around ESG issues in the last decade led to his becoming one of the world’s foremost authorities, and he continues to advance the field.
Named “one of the most influential people in ESG investing” by Barron’s, Serafeim works closely with boards, executives and managers on ESG initiatives, providing performance measurements, conducting future scenario analyses, and keeping decision makers apprised of what lies ahead in the regulatory space so they can strategically plan forward.
In addition to teaching courses in the Harvard MBA, executive education and doctoral programs, Serafeim co-teaches the megahit class “Reimagining Capitalism: Business and Big Problems” with Professor Rebecca Henderson. This increasingly popular class received the Ideas Worth Teaching Award from the Aspen Institute and is ranked the #1 course at Harvard Business School according to student surveys.
Outside of Harvard, Serafeim is co-founder of KKS Advisors, a consulting firm that works closely with business leaders on sustainable growth strategies. His new book, “Purpose and Profit: How Business Can Lift Up The World” (HarperCollins Leadership, August 2022), will offer leaders a roadmap to executing ESG strategy based on his years of pioneering research and practice.
Described by The Financial Times as “a turning point for companies and investment managers in integrating ESG issues into business and investment strategies,” Serafeim’s research is grounded in more than 30 studies that went deep inside organizations to understand their ecosystems – how they set targets, their metrics, culture, how they practice transparency and how leaders enable their teams to make progress toward sustainability. His recent research on the Impact-Weighted Accounts Project lays out methodologies and models for measuring costs and benefits associated with a firm’s actions and provides tools for analyzing both performance and impact. Positive impact offers organizations a competitive advantage in the “race to the top” and a tangible way for them to communicate transparency to interested investors, supply chains, employees and customers.
As boards, executives and managers are increasingly being tasked with addressing ESG issues, Serafeim’s ability to help leaders strategically and proactively plan forward offers firms a unique opportunity to reap significant returns while serving society.
Most boards and executives are surprised to learn that environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives offer them a powerful opportunity to strategically build value. When operating a business – especially a big corporation – it’s hard to know what kind of impact the manufacturing and distribution of products is having on supply chains, society and the planet. During the last 10 years, research around ESG issues has been offering leaders in every industry metrics for determining how well they are performing in terms of impact, and how they can extract the most value from their activities. In this presentation, Harvard Business School Professor George Serafeim explains how organizations can proactively build ESG programs that generate value while reducing harm to the resources they rely on for long-term growth, creating a win-win for the environment and their bottom lines. He also highlights what’s ahead in the regulatory space so they can strategically plan forward and explains why implementing ESG successfully translates to job security.
There is broad scientific consensus that to avert the most catastrophic consequences from climate change, we need to reach net zero emissions across many regions by the middle of the 21st century. Should this goal not be reached, the uptick in natural disasters will render many organizations’ long-term growth plans irrelevant. According to George Serafeim – Harvard Business School Professor – the good news is that while a transition to net zero creates some risks, it also presents opportunities for organizations and their investors. In this presentation, Professor Serafeim provides a holistic overview of climate-related risks and opportunities, under different scenarios, with an emphasis on measuring, valuing and designing data analytics, investment processes, products and contracts through the lens of climate change.
Understanding two of the world’s biggest problems – environmental degradation and inequality — is a first step toward solving them, and when it comes to implementing solutions, private sector firms have a critical role to play. In this presentation, Professor George Serafeim reviews the origins of capitalism, its emergence over the course of the last 300 years and its different forms over history and across the world. He then explores the different meanings of shareholder value in our current system and points to examples of leaders and firms that have reimagined their roles and goals through the lens of ESG initiatives. He also highlights the broader implications of such actions on economies. Participants come away with a greater understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of capitalism and better equipped to incorporate sustainability and environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into their business strategy and operations.
Investors looking for companies with strong prospects for long-term growth must now judge them based on their environmental, social and governance (ESG) data. A clear understanding of a firm’s impact on supply chains, employees and the planet offers investors a window into a company’s potential resilience and longevity. Based on years of research focused on measuring, driving and communicating corporate performance, Harvard Business School Professor George Serafeim – one of the world’s foremost authorities on ESG investment strategies – offers decision makers tools for determining which companies are moving in the right direction and worth funding.
Employees have a powerful role when it comes to influencing how their company treats people and the environment. It is not enough for organizations to achieve revenue goals. They must protect valuable resources, people and the planet. A company can still profit while operating with purpose and employees can act as stewards with their own actions – and by holding their organizations accountable. The good news is that firms have an incentive to “do good” because strategically implementing environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives creates value. In addition, investors, boards and regulators are increasingly measuring the value of a company based on ESG performance. In this presentation, Harvard Business School Professor George Serafeim, one of the world’s foremost authorities on ESG investing, outlines ways purpose-driven employees can play a vital role in helping their company boost ESG performance in the ongoing “race to the top” so they can profit while serving society.
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