21ST CENTURY INVESTING

Redirecting Financial Strategies to Drive Systems Change

by William Burckart and Steve Lydenberg

Two experienced and visionary authors show 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.

It’s time for a new way to think about investing, one that can contend with the complex challenges we face in the 21st century.

Investment today has evolved from the basic, conventional approach of the 1950s. Investors have since recognized the importance of sustainable investment and have begun considering environmental and social factors. Yet the complexity of the times forces us to recognize and transition to a third stage of investment practice: system-level investing.

In this paradigm-shifting book, William Burckart and Steve Lydenberg show how system-level investors support and enhance the health and stability of the social, financial, and environmental systems on which they depend for long-term returns. They preserve and strengthen these fundamental systems while still generating competitive or otherwise acceptable performance.

This book is for those investors who believe in that transition. They may be institutions, large or small, concerned about the long-term stability of the environment and society. They may be individual investors who want their children and grandchildren to inherit a just and sustainable world. Whoever they may be, Burckart and Lydenberg show them the what, why, and how of system-level investment in this book: what it means to manage system-level risks and rewards, why it is imperative to do so now, and how to integrate this new way of thinking into their current practice.

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About the Authors

William Burckart

William "Bill" Burckart

President and COO

William Burckart, TIIP’s President and COO, has been at the forefront of ESG and impact investing, having worked as an advisor to investment management firms, private foundations, non-profits, government and major financial services industry bodies, helping to integrate impact and investment goals through the development and implementation of ESG and impact investment strategies across a range of regions and sectors. He has contributed to the field through groundbreaking research, including leading a multiyear field building effort focused on the financial services industry in collaboration with the Money Management Institute; managing the production of (and is a contributing author to) the New Frontiers of Philanthropy: A Guide to the New Tools and Actors that Are Reshaping Global Philanthropy and Social Investing (Oxford University Press: 2014), and was involved in the writing of the Status of the Social impact investing Market: A Primer (UK Cabinet Office: 2013) that was distributed to policymakers at the inaugural G8-level forum on impact investing. Mr. Burckart is a visiting scholar of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and is a founder or co-founder of two impact investment advisory firms (Burckart Consulting and Impact Economy LLC).

Steve Lydenberg

Steve Lydenberg

Founder and CEO

Steve Lydenberg, TIIP’s Founder and CEO, also serves as Partner, Strategic Vision of Domini Impact Investments where he provides strategic vision and direction to guide the firm’s policies, procedures, and daily practices. Mr. Lydenberg previously served as the firm’s Chief Investment Officer and was a co-founder of the Domini 400 Social Index, the first index to utilize social and environmental standards. In addition, Mr. Lydenberg has been active in researching the social and environmental performance of corporations since 1975. Mr. Lydenberg was a co-founder of KLD Research & Analytics, Inc. and served as its research director from 1990 to 2001. From 1987 to 1989, he was an associate with Franklin Research and Development Corporation (now known as Trillium Asset Management). For 12 years he worked with the Council on Economic Priorities, ultimately as director of corporate accountability research. Mr. Lydenberg is the Founding Director of the Initiative for Responsible Investment (IRI) at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, which was established to provide institutional support for catalytic activity for responsible investment, broadly construed, with a strong focus on creating a foundation of research activity around the field. He has published widely on responsible investment and corporate social responsibility and is a CFA charter holder.

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