Media Coverage

Research, books and insights for making change happen

As the world struggles with issues ranging from inequality to climate change, there is a great thirst for innovative ideas on how businesses, governments and individual citizens can help solve our common problems. Explore my commentary on and analysis of these matters in such leading publications as the Harvard Business Review, Administrative Science Quarterly, The Quarterly Journal of Economic and the Strategic Management Journal.

  • Organizational responses to COVID-19 and climate change: A conversation with Rebecca Henderson

    Rebecca Henderson, the John and Natty McArthur University Professor at Harvard University, shared her perspectives on how large organizations are changing in response to the coronavirus pandemic and climate change in this episode of “Environmental Insights: Discussions on Policy and Practice from the Harvard Environmental Economics Program,” a podcast produced by the Harvard Environmental Economics Program.

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  • The Unlikely Environmentalists

    Rebecca shares how the private sector can combat climate change in this Foreign Affairs spotlight on the issue.

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  • Coronavirus fight could prove fatal for another global challenge: Addressing climate change

    As governments and businesses face down the coronavirus crisis, the question will be where this war leaves the challenge the world was facing before the coronavirus—and will face again after: climate change. In this piece in Fortune on COVID and climate, Rebecca shares why she’s hopeful that the future will not look like business as usual.

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  • New committee to advise Bacow on sustainability goals

    Rebecca joins Harvard’s Presidential Committee on Sustainability to advise President Larry Bacow on the university’s sustainability vision, goals, strategy, and partnerships. This Harvard Gazette article shares the details. 

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  • Reimagining Capitalism (with Rebecca Henderson)

    Felix Oberholzer-Gee welcomes Harvard Business School professor Rebecca Henderson to this episode of HBS’s After Hours podcast, where she argues that capitalism needs to be reimagined in light of the urgency associated with climate change.

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  • Now That We Know We Can Change, Harvard Economist Says, We’d Better

    This Forbes piece highlights Rebecca’s “Environmental Insights” podcast with Robert Stavins, where she makes the argument that companies that do not prepare for climate change will regret it. 

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  • Taking the Plunge

    Rebecca shares the prologue to her book “Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire” in this piece for Harvard Magazine.

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  • 14 Inspiring New Environmental Books to Read During the Pandemic

    This list from EcoWatch of 14 great new environmental books coming out April 2020 includes books for eco-interested kids, dedicated activists and everyone in between.

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  • ESG in the coronavirus chaos; ‘world on fire’; where’s the BRT?

    In this Financial Times piece, Rebecca indicates why she believes the topic of her book is more urgent and salient than ever in light of COVID-19: “This seems to me absolutely the moment to be reimagining capitalism. Maybe not this week but in the weeks and months ahead.”

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  • Why Capitalists Need to Save Democracy

    An HBR Ideacast conversation with Harvard Business School professor Rebecca Henderson on how companies and governments need to work together to fix what they’ve broken.

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  • The Business Case for Saving Democracy

    Free markets need free politics to thrive. Rebecca Henderson explains why in this HBS Big Idea piece.

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  • How Corporate Purpose Is Often Misunderstood

    There are 2 types of purpose, according to a Harvard professor — but only one of them boosts company productivity. Here’s the question every manager should be asking to focus on the right kind of purpose, according to Rebecca.

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  • Companies must include environmental and social performance measures

    George Serafeim discusses the merits of his and Rebecca’s popular HBS course “Reimagining Capitalism” and calls on corporations to include ESG metrics in their definitions of performance. 

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  • ESG Notebook: 6 Practical Approaches To Increasing Corporate Sustainability

    Forbes contributor Nigel Wilson describes 6 ways companies can increase corporate sustainability – and see a return on investment in the process.

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  • Sustainability is an Innovation Problem

    Effectively acting on climate change requires the reinvention of almost everything — from our energy systems to the way we transport people and things. This won’t be easy or cheap, but as Professor Rebecca Henderson explains in this HBS Digital Initiative edition on climate disruption, there is still a strong business case to be made.

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  • Should a Pension Fund Try to Change the World?

    In this HBS Cold Call episode, Harvard Business School professors Rebecca Henderson and George Serafeim discuss the efforts of Hiro Mizuno, CIO of GPIF, the Japanese Government Pension Investment Fund, one of the largest pools of capital in the world, to integrate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues into every aspect of GPIF’s portfolio.

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  • Reimagining Capitalism

    In this interview with The Harbus, Rebecca discusses firms’ role in society and why maximizing shareholder value shouldn’t be the end all be all of capitalism. 

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  • Harvard Business Professor Rebecca Henderson discusses new class aimed at reimagining capitalism

    Rebecca joins The Hill’s “Rising” program to discuss her HBS course Reimagining Capitalism and to illustrate how capitalism has gone astray. Capitalism has been an incredible source of prosperity and innovation, but it is no longer being properly controlled and constrained and is thus failing to act as a solution to the considerable problems we face. Reimagining Capitalism aims to give MBA students the tools they need to change all that.

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  • Female protester holding a "planet over profit" sign

    Capitalism in crisis: U.S. billionaires worry about the survival of the system that made them rich

    Capitalism’s future is increasingly in doubt for the first time in decades. Even America’s business elite worry that without some kind of intervention, the very system that made them rich may fail.

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  • Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire

    More than 80 alumni and guests gathered on March 7 in Los Angeles for an HBS faculty-led discussion on business and climate change. Drawing on 10 years of research and her hugely successful MBA course, Professor Rebecca Henderson used her keynote talk, “Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire,” to lay out a practical roadmap for how business can help to turn our world around—and how HBS alumni can help.

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  • HBS Professor Explores the Impact Purpose Can Have on Your Organization

    How does purpose impact an organization’s performance? That’s the question Harvard Business School Professor Rebecca Henderson explored during a recent lecture streamed via Facebook Live.

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  • Financial Times Outstanding Directors Exchange

    Each year the Financial Times recognizes Outstanding Directors who play a key role in their boardrooms. These directors have gone above and beyond the call of duty and have demonstrated judgment and integrity while acting in the interest of their shareholders. As a 2019 recipient of FT’s Outstanding Director’s award, Rebecca will speak at the Outstanding Directors Exchange on November 12th and 13th, 2019 in New York City.

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  • A lesson from ‘Reimagining Capitalism’: No Objective Reality

    Jeff Turner, VP of Sustainability at DSM, shares his thoughts after appearing in Rebecca’s MBA course Reimagining Capitalism to discuss a case study on DSM and “hidden hunger.” Jeff states: “If we think that the responsibility lies solely with governments to address societal challenges – such as hidden hunger, climate change and resource consumption – then the creative power and executional capacity of the private sector will be left untapped.”

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  • Ideas Worth Teaching: Reimagining Capitalism

    The Ideas Worth Teaching Awards seek to honor exceptional teaching that prepares students to respond to issues that are dramatically altering our economies and societies—from inequality, to climate change, to the expansion of automation and AI. With Reimagining Capitalism, 2018 award winner Rebecca Henderson has created a space where students can challenge received economic wisdom and map out concrete strategies to transform the system over the course of their own careers. 

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  • 6 Women Changing the Way We Think About Innovation

    Innovation may seem like an overused “buzzword,” but research indicates it’s yet to lose its luster. The need for leading companies and economies to constantly reinvent themselves through new products, services and business models is an eternal demand of the marketplace. In this article, Stern Speakers highlights six outstanding women (including Rebecca) who are changing the way we think about building innovative companies, designing new products, improving core social services and reorganizing our entire economic system to maximize its innovative potential. 

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  • Work and Life Podcast with Stew Friedman

    In this episode of the Work and Life Podcast, Stew Friedman and Rebecca talk about the ways in which firms have always been values-driven, even if the value was solely profit. Rebecca notes that companies that are actively trying to “make a difference” beyond their bottom line, companies that do not view a social purpose as distinct from their business aims, end up with a more engaged and productive workforce.

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  • Business Schools Have a Vital Role in Teaching Trust

    The world needs corporate leaders who are committed to values and ethics. To meet this goal, HBS Dean Nitin Nohria recently announced a major overhaul of LCA, the required leadership and ethics class. Rebecca will be the course head for the new class beginning June 2019.

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  • What Would It Take to Get Businesses to Focus Less on Shareholder Value?

    Does it make sense to put employees on company boards? To make all corporations “Benefit Corporations”? In this piece Rebecca asks what it will take to persuade firms to focus on the longer term and the health of the world on which we all rely.

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  • Two HBS Faculty Win Prizes for Their Course in Sustainability

    Rebecca’s MBA course “Reimagining Capitalism” not only enrolls nearly 300 students a year but is also attracting attention beyond Harvard.

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  • Why Big Companies Squander Good Ideas

    The British invented the tank but the Germans exploited the idea. Kodak invented digital photography but went bankrupt nonetheless. Learning to act sustainably is already making many firms rich but many others are still sitting on the sidelines, wondering if it’s just a fad. In this fascinating Financial Times piece the FT’s Undercover Economist draws on Rebecca’s work to explore why firms have such difficulty taking advantage of good ideas – and what can be done in response.

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