ESG and Its Discontents: An Artemis 50 Dinner Discussion

Date: June 2023
Location: Montreal, QC


  • Mr. Simon A. Fish, Chair, BMO Climate Institute
  • Dr. Laurence B. Mussio, Co-Founder and Chair, Long Run Institute; Senior Research Fellow, Global Risk Institute

Keynote Guests

  • The Right Honourable Stephen J. Harper, 22nd Prime Minister of Canada and Chair of the International Democrat Union
  • Mr. Emmanuel Faber, Chair of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB)
  • Professor Mr. Geoffrey Jones, the Isidor Straus Professor of Business History, Harvard Business School, and Governor of the Long Run Institute


The Artemis 50 mandate is broadly conceived to create opportunities for wide-ranging, interdisciplinary discussions about the climate/energy transition and critical issues related to environmental, social and governance concerns (ESG). The events are aimed at senior decision makers, and the Montreal event focused on ESG and its Discontents.

The discussion about ESG has become something of a Rorschach Test about the proper sphere of public policy and corporate action and the nature and consequences of economic activity. Add geopolitical and economic volatility and ESG transforms into a battleground for domestic politics, social transformations, inequality, climate change mitigation and adaptation and long-run national prosperity. Moreover, not all letters are equal: “E” can be a flashpoint for some, while “S” generates hot-buttons and “G” ends up almost relegated to lower case in public perception (though retains an ability to surprise). All this from ESG’s humble beginnings as a way to better track and align companies to communities.

The discussion about ESG (and its discontents), has, of course, a much larger context: the past|future of capitalism itself. Climate devastation, resource exhaustion, attacks on human rights and privacy and social and economic inequalities have challenged the way the world does business.

The invitation-only dinner provided an opportunity for senior scholars and business leaders to bring divergent expertise and perspectives to bear on the best way(s) to build a prosperous and equitable future for communities and nations.

The LRI would like to express its deep appreciation to the BMO Climate Institute, an important centre of expertise bridging policy, science, and finance to help shape the market for climate solutions, for its partnership in this event.

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