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

In partnership with High Meadows Institute

When should business take a stand?

As business leaders are increasingly speaking up on a range of issues, from human rights to racial justice to environmental sustainability, the rise of the corporation as a political actor is still heavily contested. Companies are facing more pressure to take a stand, from employees, consumers and investors, but defining the social and political responsibilities of business is harder than ever in an increasingly polarized society.

The first Moral Money Forum report of 2022 explores how the powerful voices of business leaders are shaping the social, environmental and geopolitical debates of our time and sets out a timely guide to what constitutes best practice in this emerging field of corporate political responsibility.

Read the Report

To engage or divest

How should investors clean up the world’s dirtiest companies?

Activists have long held that the clearest path to doing better by the environment is divesting from the businesses most responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. But others question whether exclusion really creates enough incentive to change a company’s behavior. Where do investors have the most leverage: in dumping “dirty” assets or in engaging with boards to clean up their act?

The second Moral Money Forum report of 2022 explores the complex financial, sustainability and strategic considerations behind the divest or engage conversation and whether a third approach might reshape the debate.

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Must ESG be bad news for emerging markets?

How to make funding flows fair

Capital can transform emerging markets — if there is investor will to do so. But for many investors, ESG has become about managing risk, rather than doing good, leading them to shun markets in developing countries, where concerns over corruption and political instability can increase their exposure. As these divestments starve emerging markets of much needed capital, how can the industry direct greater funding flows where they are needed most?

The third Moral Money Forum report of 2022 highlights the challenges and opportunities to investing in emerging markets — and the risk in missing out.

Read the Report
Read 2021 Forum Reports

Our Most Recent Projects and Resources

ESG Reporting Standards and Frameworks Tracker

ESG reporting standards and frameworks are a constantly evolving space. Explore the development of ESG frameworks over time and track recent updates in the ESG reporting landscape.

The Future of Capital Markets Project

The Future of Capital Markets Project commissions research and leads initiatives working on the challenge of developing principles and practices to support a sustainable capital market system.

Beyond ESG: The Role for Business in Collaborative Governance

Beyond ESG brings together corporate leaders and partners to explore the role for the private sector in 21st century governance.

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.

Our Most Recent Publications

Sustainability in Capital Markets: ESG Integration and Impact
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

Our Most Recent News and Briefings


From ESG Integration (Sustainable Finance 2.0) to Impact (Sustainable Finance 3.0)

HMI President & CEO Chris Pinney tracks the evolution of sustainable finance and introduces our latest report, Sustainability in Capital Markets: ESG Integration and Impact.


Accountable Sustainability

Steve Lydenberg of The Investment Integration Project explores how the creation of the ISSB paves the way for greater sustainability accountability and new standards for social and environmental data disclosure.


Mobilizing a Just Climate Transition – Emerging Topics for Investors

Our latest briefing notes examines emerging topics for investors as they navigate the evolving climate transition space against a backdrop of cross-sectoral collaboration, justice, and regeneration.


Beyond ESG: Corporate Activism and Moral Leadership

HMI President & CEO Chris Pinney looks at the new ways business leaders are stepping up to moral and political challenges of the 21st century and where they still need to go.


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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