Thursday, January 26

8:30 AM-9:15 AM

Register, network, and continental breakfast

South Ballroom Foyer, Ponce de León 4
9:15 AM-10:30 AM

Session I: Can stakeholder capitalism live up to its promise?

What do we really know about stakeholder capitalism and ESG? Key findings from the Kenan Institute Report


Greg Brown

Executive Director
Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise
Sarah Graham Kenan Distinguished Professor of Finance
UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Panel Discussion: When can corporate responsibility bolster the bottom line?

Stakeholder capitalism and ESG investing have recently emerged to the fore of discussions about corporate responsibility. But businesses, to varying degrees, have always been active in supporting their stakeholders – whether they be employees, customers or the broader community. This session explores how the current focus on ESG informs the operations of companies seeking to grow their bottom lines, and will also examine the ways in which companies seeking to be socially responsible evaluate the success of initiatives that may only deliver long-term, hard-to-measure results.


Gerald Cohen

Chief Economist
Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

Bruce Van Saun

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Citizens Financial Group, Inc.

Linda-Eling Lee

Managing Director and Head of ESG and Climate Research

Teena Piccione

Managing Director Telco, Media & Entertainment
Google Cloud
10:30 AM-11:00 AM


11:00 AM-12:15 AM

Session II: ESG Everywhere

Does maximizing shareholder value mean maximizing profits? Understanding the market value of nonpecuniary benefits


Lubos Pastor

Charles P. McQuaid Professor of Finance
University of Chicago Booth School of Business
2022 Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow

Panel Discussion: How should companies navigate the growing ESG controversy?

A growing backlash against ESG has put many companies in a difficult position. Asset managers who control trillions of dollars of investment capital have been at the center of controversy, but others (e.g. Disney) have also felt the effects. This session examines strategies for communicating corporate responsibility initiatives in ways that lower companies’ risks of being embroiled in the ongoing ESG culture war.


Mike Elio

StepStone Group

David Stangis

Partner, Chief Sustainability Officer
Apollo Global Management
12:15 PM-2:00 PM


Tomorrow’s Capitalist

Alan Murray reveals how corporate CEOs – the ultimate pragmatists – realized that they could lose their “operating license” unless they tackled the fundamental issues of our time: climate, diversity and inclusion, and inequality and workforce opportunity. Responding to demands for corporate change from employees and customers, many CEOs have taken the lead in establishing new principles ensuring that – for the first time in more than half a century – it will not be shareholders alone who have a say in how corporations are run.


Alan Murray

Chief Executive Officer
Fortune Media

Our Five Pillars of ESG

Royal Caribbean recently committed to a review of ESG efforts, resulting in a revamped corporate framework that is better linked to its core business strategy. In this session, Jason Liberty describes the pillars of the new ESG approach and how it reflects steady progress to engage communities; foster equity, inclusivity and human rights; and demonstrate the company’s efforts and commitment toward a net-zero emissions goal.


Jason Liberty

President and Chief Executive Officer
Royal Caribbean Group
2:00 PM-4:00 PM


4:00 PM-5:15 PM

Session III: The Social Responsibility of Corporations

The End of ESG

ESG is both extremely important and nothing special. It is extremely important because it is critical to long-term value, and so all business leaders should take it seriously (not just those with “ESG” in their job title). Thus, ESG does not need a specialized term, because that implies it’s niche. Likewise, considering long-term factors when valuing a company isn’t ESG investing; it’s investing.


Alex Edmans

Professor of Finance
London Business School

Cisco's Strategic Compact

Twenty years ago, Cisco signed the UN Global Compact, which encouraged businesses to focus on sustainability and social responsibility and to actively report on their progress. In doing so, Cisco aligned its operations and strategies to the UN’s Ten Principles on Human Rights, Labor, Environment and Anticorruption, and began taking strategic actions to advance societal goals. In this session, Chuck Robbins explains how keeping these goals at the forefront has made Cisco stronger in the long run.


Chuck Robbins

Chair & Chief Executive Officer
5:15 PM-6:30 PM


Friday, January 27

7:45 AM-8:30 AM

Buffet Breakfast Available

South Ballroom Foyer, Ponce de León 4
8:30 AM-9:45 AM

Session IV: Rightsizing ESG

How companies large and small can contend with the massive challenges of “S”?

How can we get the most out of companies willing to consider their social responsibilities while not overburdening them with unrealistic expectations? There are benefits and costs to ESG, along with implicit limits to what companies can achieve on their own in terms of solving challenging problems facing society. This session explores the promise and the limitations of corporate actions within the ESG framework.

Panel Discussion: What should we reasonably expect from ESG and corporate social responsibility?

How can we get the most out of companies willing to consider their social responsibilities while not overburdening them with unrealistic expectations? There are benefits and costs to ESG, along with implicit limits to what companies can achieve on their own in terms of solving challenging problems facing society. This session explores the promise and the limitations of corporate actions within the ESG framework.


David Robinson

James and Gail Vander Weide Distinguished Professor
Duke University Fuqua School of Business

Katie Codey

Managing Director, Head of Corporate Responsibility Strategy
JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Taylor Gray

Co-Founder & Head of ESG
Motive Inc.

Rodney Sampson

Executive Chairman & CEO
Opportunity Hub (OHUB)
Nonresident Senior Fellow
Brookings Institution
9:45 AM-10:15 AM


10:15 AM-11:30 AM

Session V: Facing Up to Trade-offs

Engage or Divest – How Should Socially Responsible Investors Express Themselves?

If you want dirty firms to clean up their act, should you divest or invest? Frustrations about climate policy delays have incited a movement toward fossil fuel divestment, whereby institutions and investors “starve” dirty firms in an attempt to raise their cost of capital. Alternatively, socially minded investors can seek to bring about change by continuing to invest in such companies, thus allowing them to leverage their “seat at the table” and influence organizations’ strategies, practices and innovation pursuits. Prof. Jacquelyn Pless explores the trade-offs and efficacy of each strategy.


Jacquelyn Pless

Fred Kayne (1960) Career Development Professor of Entrepreneurship and Assistant Professor of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management
MIT Sloan School of Management
2022 Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow

ESG and Corporate Strategy – What must companies know and do?

ESG issues continue to grow in importance, and companies are facing unprecedented internal and external criticism and pressure to address them. Executives are left to wonder, “Should I respond to this issue, and if so, how?” and oftentimes note that addressing ESG issues before the company is being criticized in the news is an underrated strategy and a deliberate choice. Prof. Olga Hawn discusses how corporations should approach external ESG pressures as part of the broader corporate strategy.


Olga Hawn

Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship,
UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
Sustainability Distinguished Fellow and Faculty Director,
Ackerman Center for Excellence in Sustainability
2022 Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow
11:30 AM-11:45 AM


11:45 AM-1:30 PM


What’s the right role for policy in ESG?

What is in the ESG policy pipeline today, and how will it affect the increasing number of organizations facing expectations of ESG measurement and reporting?


The Honorable Rodney E. Hood

National Credit Union Administration

John K. Delaney

Founder and Executive Chairman
Forbright Bank

Announcing the 2023 Kenan Institute Grand Challenge: Engaging a Skilled and Diverse Workforce


Paige Ouimet

Director of Research
Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise
Professor of Finance
UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Dan Broekhuizen

Vice President Leadership Development Center of Excellence
NTT DATA Services
1:30 PM-2:00 PM



Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

Leveraging the Private Sector for the Public Good

Established in 1985 by Frank Hawkins Kenan, the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise is a nonpartisan business policy think tank affiliated with the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. The nonprofit institute and its affiliated centers convene leaders from business, academia and government to better understand how the private sector can work for the public good. The institute leverages best-in-class research to develop market-based solutions to today’s most complex economic challenges. In doing so, the institute aims to support businesses and policies that better the lives of people in North Carolina, across the country and around the world.

A Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise Event