This week is set to be an exciting one for CBERN, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), York University, Schulich School of Business, and for those involved or interested in the concepts of business ethics, sustainability, and responsible investing. With CBERN gearing up as host the PRI Academic Network’s Fifth Annual Conference on Responsible Investment from October 1-3, there is a sense of enthusiasm and a level of anticipation ahead of this three day summit, with big names and big ideas eagerly awaited by participants. This year’s event is made possible by the gracious sponsorships endowed upon CBERN by the Schulich School of Business, York University, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Corporate Knights, Forum Pour L’Investissement Responsable, Carleton Centre for Community Innovation, Sustainalytics, and Bâtirente.
The theme of this year’s PRI Academic Network Conference is focused on the evolution of responsible investment, and how to navigate the complexities of this rather new, but rapidly expanding financial sector. Keynote speakers will discuss the value of shareholder engagement, the role of business ethics in finance, and on creating incentives in the long-term which align the interests of asset owners and managers.
The agenda for this year’s gathering is extensive, and it includes discussions on the following subjects:
- Investment strategies
- Shareholder engagement and collective action
- Public policy and regulation
- Organizations and organizational change
- Market structures and systematic change
During the three-day conference, a number of workshops will be hosted by industry experts, dealing with all aspects and concerns that are relevant to the theme of responsible investment. The purpose of the workshops will be to introduce and discuss topics of relevance within the scope of responsible investment by giving the floor to academics, executives, students, analysts, and policy-makers who are actively involved in the development and study of socially responsible investing initiatives. Predominant amongst the topics of discussion during these workshops will be a focus on intensifying responsible investment studies at post-secondary institutions, tackling research needs and resources for PRI signatories, and addressing the viability of socially responsible investing as a broad response to global decay vis-à-vis environmental, social, and corporate governance.
Aside from the workshops, the program schedule features a student symposium on Day One of the conference, which will be the focus of the first day’s activities. In each hour of parallel sessions during the symposium, groups of presenters will discuss relevant case studies within the field of socially responsible investing, splitting each hour into three separate case study foci – governance, investment strategies and performance, and reporting. Amongst the items on the agenda for the student symposium are talks on climate change, the status of corporate governance disclosures, the performance of SRI funds and bonds, the relationship between SRI in theory and practice, and understanding long-term versus short-term investment strategies.
Follow the discussions and highlights from the #PRICBERN Conference on the conference Storify page.
Amongst the array of notable guest speakers and lecturers this year, here is a run-down of some prominent names who will partake in the Fifth Annual PRI-CBERN Academic Network Conference:
- Elroy Dimson – Leverhulme Emeritus Professor, London Business School
- Ola Mestad – Professor, Department of Petroleum and Energy Law, University of Oslo
- Sébastien Pouget – Professor of Finance, University of Toulouse
- Jane Ambachtsheer – Partner & Global Head of Responsible Investment, Mercer
- Brigid Barnett – Manager of Responsible Investing, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
- Gordon Clark – Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography, Centre for the Environment, Oxford University
- Wes Cragg – Director and Principal Investigator, Canadian Business Ethics Research Network (CBERN)
- Tessa Hebb – Director, Carleton Centre for Community Innovation (3ci)
- Rob Lake – Director of Responsible Investment, Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
- Giselle Leung – Manager of Investors’ Council, Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)
- Serge LeVerte-Chiasson – Senior Partner and Chief Operating Officer, Sarona Asset Management
- Charles Sampford – Director, The Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law, Griffith University
- Alison Schneider – Manager of Responsible Investment, Alberta Investment Management Corp.
- Daniel Simard – General Coordinator, Bâtirente
- Roger Urwin – Global Head of Investment Consulting, Watson Wyatt LLP
- David Wood – Director of Research and Field-Building in Responsible Investment, The Initiative for Responsible Investment at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations