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Harvard Innovation Labs


Empowering finance leaders to foster a more sustainable, inclusive, and equitable society. The organization works with existing and emerging leaders, from across the finance industry and around the world, to help them develop and achieve their own environmental, social, and governance goals.

Adam Wasserman

About Finpublica


Harvard Law School


Climate Circle


Website, LinkedIn

Climate Circle Q&A With Founder Adam Wasserman (HLS '97)

  • Finpublica’s goal is to inspire and empower current and emerging finance leaders globally to achieve their own environmental, social and governance goals by cultivating a deeply engaged community, providing expansive and accessible content, and serving as a catalyst for action.

    Given our focus on finance, it is important that we demonstrate that sustainability is not just about one’s values — and that concentrating on sustainability allows companies and investors to reduce risks and increase returns. We aim to provide leaders with the tools they need to help their organizations take steps toward becoming more sustainable in ways that make sense for their investors and other stakeholders.

  • As a founder of a new nonprofit, I’ve had to wear just about every type of hat and learn lots of new skills. As a law firm partner and Head of Enforcement at the New York Stock Exchange, I never had to build a website, develop a social media marketing strategy, create a fundraising campaign, or do any of the 100 other things required to run even a small business. Now every week it seems like I need to learn how to do something I’ve never done before. I tell myself that’s part of the fun.

    And, lucky for me, I’ve had lots of support from our board, members, amazing pro bono counsel (Wilson Sonsini), and many fabulous interns. I’m very grateful that Finpublica was recently accepted into Harvard’s Climate Entrepreneurs Circle, which has extensive experience helping sustainable startups like ours reach their full potential.

  • I spent most of my career as a white-collar and securities litigation attorney. In private practice, I represented the board of Lehman Brothers in all the investigations, litigations, and corporate governance matters arising from the 2008 financial crisis. At the New York Stock Exchange, I helped its market regulation program from the ground up and led its Enforcement team to assure that the exchange’s markets remained safe and fair.

    In 2017, I joined the Aspen Institute’s Finance Leaders Fellowship, which focuses on how leaders can leverage the finance industry to better support our society. I turned my attention to environmental, social, and governance issues and was fortunate to meet many inspiring executives who are looking for ways to do well while doing good. These fellows inspired me to found Finpublica as a platform to empower current and future leaders to follow their own sustainable finance goals and magnify their impact.

  • There have been many, but probably the best has been how much I’ve been inspired by and learned from Generation Z as part of this journey. I’ve been fortunate to have the support of more than a dozen university interns in building Finpublica. Their knowledge of sustainability and passion for creating a more sustainable world is incredible. And, even though I might have 25 more years’ experience, I’ve learned at least as much from them as they’ve learned from me.

  • The best part of the journey so far has been the opportunity to meet so many amazing leaders from around the world focused on sustainable finance in a myriad of different ways. Finpublica has members from more than 20 different countries, who have taught me about the state of sustainability in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and beyond. And given that our members come from just about every part of the finance sector (banks, broker dealers, asset managers, asset owners, insurers, greentechs, and more), everyone brings their own perspective and breadth of knowledge to the table.

    It’s also extremely interesting to learn about the many cool projects people are focused on — like enabling farmers to report their carbon emissions on the blockchain, building a VC firm investing in diverse fintech founders, and creating an index of purpose-driven cryptocurrencies. Talking to our members, I learn something new each day!

  • When I began trying to learn about sustainable finance, it wasn’t easy — information about environmental, social, and governance issues is spread all over the place. Once you find what you were looking for, you’re often expected to read 50 pages about the differences between the International Sustainable Standards Board and the Global Reporting Initiative, or on the meaning of the dozen different colors of clean (or not so clean) hydrogen.

    What we’ve done through Finpublica’s website is bring together and summarize as much open-source “ESG” information as possible. Our website’s goal is to let anyone quickly get up to speed on those sustainability topics they’re most interested in a matter of minutes.