Center for Global Affairs
Fundamentals of ESG and Impact Investing: Understanding and Measuring Social and Environmental Impact
Impact investing focuses on generating financial returns while intentionally improving social and environmental conditions. It plays an ever-increasing role in the work of investors, banks, policymakers, foundations, non-profits, and corporations that aim to tackle societal and environmental challenges. An important set of standards for a company¿s behavior are ESG (environmental, social, and governance) criteria. This course will focus on the ideas behind impact investing and ESG, and in particular, the tools and skills needed to understand, evaluate, and measure social and environmental impact. It tackles questions such as: How can we (as policymakers, investors, international organizations, or companies) invest into social and environmental impact? What are emerging platforms and vehicles that facilitate this trend, including B Corporations, social stock exchanges, and social impact bonds? How do (inter-)governmental actors such as USAID, the World Bank, and others collaborate on innovative models? What is the role of related concepts such as micro-finance, Socially Responsible Investing, and alternative resourcing approaches? The course will be based on readings, case studies, interactive guest lectures, and student projects. Impact investors, organizational leaders, and policymakers will be engaged as guest speakers. Learning will be interactive, and students will have the opportunity to connect with relevant individuals.