Fall for 2017-2018
This course examines the role of the public and nonprofit sectors in supporting corporate and investor activities that are intended to have social and environmental in additional to financial benefits. These activities -- often referred to as “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR) and “impact investing” -- have been described as having significant potential to create social benefits in addition to being in the financial best interests of the corporation or investor. At the same time, some critics of these activities have said that they are less about producing social benefits and more about marketing private sector activities that are primarily designed to produce corporate financial gains. The course explores what is meant by these two terms, what steps the public and nonprofit sectors have taken to support the wide range of activities that these terms encompass, and what have been the results of this work both in the United States and in other countries. The course also addresses emerging trends that are likely to affect the public and nonprofit role in CSR and impact investing in the future. Although the course includes a discussion of financial terms used in the CSR and impact investing fields, no previous finance or investing experience is required. In addition to lectures, in-class discussions, and case studies, the course features interactive discussions with leading practitioners currently working on these issues in the public sector, at nonprofit organizations, and at for-profit firms.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None

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Fall '17: Firschein J (file download)
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