October 2017 Newsletter

Happy Halloween! In this issue of IEN's newsletter, we feature an article recently published in The Association of Governing Boards (AGB) Trusteeship Magazine, written by Tony Cortese, Georges Dyer, and David Dinerman.

The School Spotlight highlights Warren Wilson College and their Responsible Investment Policy.

Please be sure to register and read more about the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit that is taking place this coming February 4-6, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. We are pleased to announce that Paul Hawken, the Executive Director of Drawdown and author of seven books including four national bestsellers, and Dianne Dillon-Ridgley, environmentalist and human rights activist, will be among the keynote speakers at the Summit.

As always, your contributions to the conversation are welcome and needed. Please be in touch with any questions, news or ideas for the IEN.

Warm regards,

Georges, Tony, Nicole & The IEN Team


Feature Article: The Intentionally Designed Endowment

By: Tony CorteseDavid Dinerman & Georges Dyer, as Published in The Association of Governing Boards (AGB) 'Trusteeship Magazine'

Challenges such as climate change, resource scarcity, human rights, and water shortages are driving public purpose institutions to mobilize private sector capital to have positive health, social, and environmental impacts. Many colleges and universities are now pursuing sustainable investment strategies. This piece highlights the importance and trends of aligning endowment investing with the mission and goals of higher education institutions and considering material ESG factors. It explores some of the challenges and opportunities of doing so, provides some evidence of the benefits and ideas on how to institutionalize such investing, and helps trustees learn about the peer learning opportunities through IEN. Read the full article on AGB's website, here.


School Spotlight: Warren Wilson College

Warren Wilson College’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously in 2015 to divest endowment funds from fossil fuels over the next five years. The Board further adopted a Responsible Investment Policy that includes environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) considerations and management strategies. In addition, no new endowment funds will be invested in fossil fuel companies. To see the full policy, click here, and to read more about sustainability initiatives at Warren Wilson, click here.


Featured Event: 2018 Higher Education Summit

Second Nature and the Intentional Endowments Network are pleased to host the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit. Join your peers from February 4-6, 2018 in Tempe, Arizona for the largest national gathering of higher education presidents, chancellors, trustees, and other senior leaders committed to accelerating climate solutions. Working together with business, state and local leaders, the higher education sector can and will shape the future of America’s global climate leadership. 

We are pleased to announce that Paul Hawken, the Executive Director of Drawdown and author of seven books including four national bestsellers, and Dianne Dillon-Ridgley, environmentalist and human rights activist, will be among the keynote speakers at the Summit. For more information follow this link, and to register, click here.


Updates from the Network 


In the past few months, IEN has hosted the following webinars. Follow the links below for more information and to view recordings of each:

Working Groups

IEN Working Groups meet regularly to advance key strategies in support of the network's goals. Below is a brief update of what current Working Groups have accomplished.

  • Fiduciary Duty & Policy:  This group is now focusing on a briefing paper for trustees summarizing the latest thinking on fiduciary duty and sustainable / ESG investing to be published in early fall. Group members are also contributing to the development of a Roadmap that lays out the key steps investors can take to create intentionally designed endowments, and the Group if also identifying opportunities for educating others on fiduciary duty topics at conferences and within other networks.

  • Student Managed Funds: This working group connects student-managed fund advisors, academics focused on sustainable investing, and students involved in student-managed funds to share best practices and resources to advance sustainable investing curriculum and strategies in each fund. This month, student members of the group that manage the Dwight Hall at Yale SRI Fund, presented on their fund's work on an IEN webinar. The recording can be viewed here. The Group is also currently developing a toolkit on How to Start a Student-Managed Fund, and working to pull information together on different student-managed funds across the country, including information on where they are in the process of establishment and how they are managed. If your school has a student-managed fund, we would greatly appreciate your assistance in entering the fund’s information in the database. Please reach out to Nicole at [email protected] to access the database.

  • Trustee Peer Group: The Trustee Peer Group is currently focused on bringing new members into the group to create more opportunities for peer-to-peer learning among college and university fiduciaries on sustainable investing. In the next few months the group will be focusing on reaching out to more trustees to participate in the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit. If you are interested in participating in this group, please reach out to Tony at [email protected]

Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) 2018 Foundation Leadership Forum 

Join us in Los Angeles, California, January 21 to 23, 2018 for AGB’s 2018 Foundation Leadership Forum. Concurrent sessions on January 23 will examine mission-aligned investing, and a post-conference peer learning workshop that day will take a deeper dive into all aspects of aligning ESG goals to the foundation’s mission while meeting the financial and advancement requirements of each institution. To learn more about this topic please check out this brief blog post on the AGB website, this article in Trusteeship Magazine, and join us at the 2018 Foundation Leadership Forum.

New Initiative from Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)
ICCR is excited to announce the launch of a new initiative, the Investor Alliance for Human Rights (IAHR), established to provide a collective action platform to facilitate investor advocacy on a full spectrum of human rights and labor rights issues.  This new Alliance, the first of its kind, builds on longstanding ICCR member advocacy to amplify the global investor voice on critical human rights challenges and to promote corporate accountability on human rights.


Upcoming Events

To view more upcoming events, click here

Featured Resources

Below are some recent resources from the Intentional Endowments Network and other organizations. To see more reports, articles, videos and other resources by topic, visit the resource page on our website.

Resources from IEN:

Other Resources:

In the News

Below is a sampling of recent news articles we've posted on our Newsfeed, ranging in topics from Sustainable Investing, Climate Risk, Science & Regulation, Sustainability in Higher Education, Divestment, Clean Energy, and more.

IEN in the News:

Other News:


If you have an original piece you would like to submit for an upcoming newsletter, or for more information about the Intentional Endowments Network and how you can support this work, please contact Nicole Harman at [email protected].




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