We explore new ways for the private sector to lead
in overcoming some of society’s biggest challenges


We research and explore the essential
values, principles and strategies
of responsible business


We collaborate with senior leaders
and the business community
to drive systemic change

Who We Are

High Meadows Institute is a Boston-based think tank and policy institute focused on the role of business leadership in creating a sustainable society.

Who we are

We are a Boston-based policy institute focused on strengthening the role of business leadership in creating a sustainable society.

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Our work

We conduct research, lead programs and develop frameworks to increase private sector contribution in addressing the challenges of the 21st century.

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Three key challenges in today’s global economic system underpin our work. Find out more about these challenges and how we are working to address them.

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Financial Times Moral Money Forum

Co-sponsored by High Meadows Institute

Navigating the bumpy road to net zero

Hundreds of companies have made net-zero pledges to slash their greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but few have a clear plan for how to get there. Pressure is now growing for businesses to do better: to set interim targets, to align their goals with the scientific guidance and to report transparently on their progress. The final FT Moral Money Forum report explores how what was once seen as a burden is increasingly being framed as a way for boards to manage risk, and a market opportunity for those that have the foresight to act.

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Stakeholders Incorporated:

Can capitalism change if company charters stay the same?

The rise of the public benefit corporation has been a striking phenomenon, but such alternative structures are still exceptions to the rule, and many people in business and investment remain confused about their exact meaning. The third FT Moral Money Forum report cuts through the complexities and illuminates a trend that looks likely to become more important to all of us, whether we are assessing our portfolios or simply buying shoes.

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Measuring What Matters:

The scramble to set standards for sustainable business

The proliferation of ESG metrics and reporting frameworks in recent years has left executives and investors complaining about the difficulty of keeping up with so many apparently clashing standards — or even remembering what the different acronyms stand for. But this year is shaping up to be a pivotal one for efforts to simplify the “alphabet soup” of ESG reporting. The second FT Moral Money Forum report looks at the challenge of setting standards for sustainable business.

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The long-term view in a short-term world

The human and financial pressures of Covid-19 mean that business and investment leaders have rarely been more aware of the potential trade-offs in trying to look beyond the short term. And yet, there has also rarely been more momentum behind efforts to make business and investment more long-term focused. The first FT Moral Money Forum report focuses not just on the case for looking to a further horizon, but on the practical ways in which some long-term leaders are showing it can be done.

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Our Most Recent Projects

Corporate Responsibility Research Project

The Corporate Responsibility Research Project is a three-year program designed to help chart the path forward for corporate responsibility and leadership in 21st century society.

Institutional Investor Industry Engagement Project

The IIIE Project is designed to accelerate sustainability practices by improving communication between institutional investors and the companies and industries they invest in.

Beyond ESG: The Role for Business in Collaborative Governance

Beyond ESG will bring together corporate leaders and partners to explore the role for the private sector in 21st century governance and the challenges facing business.

The Future of Capital Markets Project

Capital markets and the financial sector are central to our global economy.

Our Most Recent Publications

21st Century Business Leadership and the Rise of Corporate Activism
Beyond ESG: The Role of Business in Collaborative Governance
The Future of the "S" in ESG
Investor Stewardship: The Path Forward

Our Most Recent News and Briefings


Beyond ESG – Collaborative Governance the Next Challenge to Business

HMI President & CEO Chris Pinney explores four key roles for the private sector in 21st century governance and the challenges they pose for business.


Some Thoughts on the Future of Responsible Investment

HMI Fellow Steve Lydenberg looks back at the ways that the responsible investment field has defined itself and forward to the steps it must take to contend with the 21st century's greatest challenges.


Credit Markets – The Elephant in the ESG Room

HMI President & CEO Chris Pinney explores why meaningful progress on sustainability issues cannot be achieved without ESG integration across all asset classes.


Moving Beyond Modern Portfolio Theory: A Review

Has modern portfolio theory outgrown its usefulness in the 21st century? Our review of Moving Beyond Modern Portfolio Theory, the new book from Jon Lukomnik and James Hawley.


Publications from Our Fellows

Moving Beyond Modern Portfolio Theory: Investing That Matters

Jon Lukomnik and James P. Hawley offer a bold critique of Modern Portfolio Theory and propose a new imperative to improve finance’s ability to fulfill its twin main purposes: providing adequate returns to individuals and directing capital to where it is needed in the economy.

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21st Century Investing: Redirecting Financial Strategies to Drive Systems Change 

William Burckart and Steve Lydenberg explore how investment has evolved since the 20th century and how institutions and individuals can go beyond conventional and sustainable investing to address complex problems such as income inequality and climate change on a deep, systemic level.

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