Cornerstone Capital Unveils Commitment to Action at 2014 Clinton Global Initiative

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"Sustainable Games: The Business Model Challenge,” promotes global collaboration among students driving sustainable innovation in a call to social entrepreneurship.

Cornerstone Capital Inc. announced today a new commitment to action at the Clinton Global Initiative’s Annual Meeting that will challenge university students around the world to develop a sustainable business of tomorrow. “Sustainable Games: The Business Model Challenge” is a global student competition that will support the launch of new enterprises and drive progress towards environmental, social, and governance (ESG) excellence in the businesses of the future.

Charter sponsors for the competition, set to open in early 2015, include the UN PRME and RobecoSAM of Zurich. PRME will be responsible for the competition's Global University Outreach and coordinate with universities on the application process. RobecoSAM will provide team finalists with valuable guidance in a mentorship capacity to encourage sustainable investment practices and will promote the “Business Model Challenge.”

“The massive global challenges we face around clean energy, infrastructure, education, healthcare and financing future growth, require fresh thinking and creativity. We want to empower the best student minds in the world to help solve them using the tools of capitalism,” said Erika Karp, Founder & CEO of Cornerstone Capital Group. “We are proud to align with the Clinton Global Initiative’s mission of gathering global leaders from business, government and academia, to create and implement effective solutions and build lasting partnerships that create positive social change.”

Michael Baldinger, CEO of RobecoSAM, said: “We fully support The Business Model Challenge and are excited to share our expertise in Sustainability Investing with the most talented students around the world.”

"We look forward to engaging the students in the over 500 business schools worldwide which have signed up to the Principles for Responsible Management Education. The Business Model Challenge promises to be a very meaningful way to engage students on some of the pressing sustainable challenges," added Jonas Haertle, Head, PRME Secretariat, UN Global Compact Office.

Each business model will be based on a selection from Cornerstone's proprietary "Sustainable Domain Bank," containing more than 2,000 domain names which are each an articulation of potential business models, principles and practices. The business models must align with Cornerstone's vision for a more regenerative and inclusive form of capitalism, and reflect a value inherent in the systematic understanding of today's ESG imperatives. By forming teams with individuals from different cultures and countries, the competition will foster diverse thinking, collaboration, enhanced global perspectives and ultimately, the creation of better solutions to today's global issues.

Today, the global economy faces extraordinary challenges. We face daunting obstacles in diplomacy, human rights, infrastructure, education and healthcare, climate science, demographics, business ethics and finance. To make progress on the major issues of our day, we must have multiple parallel processes and initiatives that allow for an ultimate convergence to a better path. We must have systems, companies, colleagues and leaders with the capacity to "Embrace the Grey" and respect the agendas of a broad stakeholder base. We need the means to stimulate, applaud, and reward progress.

Progress, however, can only be made when the capital required to fund such evolutionary endeavors is readily available. At Cornerstone Capital Group, we believe that the critical role of finance and banking must be recognized, restored, and facilitated. This requires a concerted effort to drive greater transparency and collaboration across all functions of the capital markets.

Each team will be comprised of students located in different countries and universities in order to foster diverse globalization, optimal communication, better collaboration, and the creation of shared value and profitability. Teams will communicate and build their business models using video chat, document sharing, and other available tools that allow teams to work together without physically being in the same location. Finalists will meet in person at Cornerstone's exclusive event where they present their business models. Team finalists will be paired with a mentor from Cornerstone's Global Advisory Council or Sponsor Representatives. One finalist spot will be designate by a "Peer Vote," where students from around the world will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite business model.

“Given the global societal imperatives we face, we must ensure that our future leaders embrace a form of capitalism that is innovative, transparent, collaborative, creative, and well governed,” added Karp. “A business model competition based on global sustainability issues will give students – our future leaders – a chance to think creatively, collaborate globally, and collectively shape the businesses of tomorrow.”

For more information, visit the Cornerstone GCI Commitment page: http://www.clintonfoundation.org/clinton-global-initiative/commitments/sustainable-games-business-model-challenge

About Cornerstone Capital Group

Founded in 2013, Cornerstone Capital Inc. is a woman-owned financial services firm based in New York offering investment banking, strategic consulting and investment management capabilities. The mission of the firm is to bring the discipline of sustainable finance to the mainstream of the capital markets. With the systematic analysis of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in the investment process, the Cornerstone Capital Group advises both investors and corporations on how to optimize their financial and business decision-making processes. Cornerstone’s Board of Directors, Global Advisory Council and Staff partner with organizations including the World Economic Forum, the Clinton Global Initiative, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, and the Principles for Responsible Investment to work towards collaboration and transparency in the global capital markets.

About the Clinton Global Initiative

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 2,900 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries.

CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

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Karen Benezra
Cornerstone Capital Group
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Joel Beck
Cornerstone Capital Group
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