The Boston Carbon Risk Forum at Harvard law School in Cambridge, MA on September 29, 2014 was an outstanding event attended by about 150 local and state government, senior academic, investment industry and NGO leaders. The presentations (available on the website) were among the most informative I have seen on several issues related to aligning endowment investments with creating a healthy, just and sustainable society.
Bob Massie's keynote set the stage for a very engaging day by making the moral, political and financial case for the development of a new economy that is just and sustainable, the importance of government to take serious action climate disruption and how divestment of fossil fuels along with investing using ESG criteria is an important strategy.
The presentation by Joe Curatone of Somerville and the actions by the cities of Boston, Cambridge and Somerville were impressive. The presentations on the financial, health, social and environmental risks of a high carbon economy were especially insightful and helpful. The response of the University of Dayton ($550 million endowment) and Pitzer College ($125 million endowment) that have divested of 200 fossil fuel companies was compelling with several novel ways of thinking about the role of higher education to complement initiatives such as the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment in leading a positive response to the climate crisis.
Several of the the presenters and facilitators at the forum helped make the April 3-4, 2014 Intentionally Designed Endowment conference sponsored by Hampshire College and Second Nature a successful event. Several participants were interested in knowing more about and/or participating in the Intentional Endowments Network.