The Shareholder Commons applies a PRE-COMPETITIVE systems approach to corporate purpose and social responsibility.

While today’s ESG (“environmental, social and governance”) initiatives focus on improving individual companies,  we believe that in a free market system, investors and companies must work collectively to establish universally applicable minimum standards in order preserve essential social and environmental systems.

Our Strategy

Public advocacy

The Shareholder Commons will advocate for an economic system where companies are expected to forgo profits made from the exploitation of vulnerable communities and depleting common resources, and instead focus on profits from innovative value creation.

Leveling the playing field

The Shareholders Commons seeks to catalyze a movement of universal owners to identify and implement minimum acceptable standards of corporate conduct that all businesses must meet before pursuing profit.


The Shareholder Commons will develop and advocate for public policies that accommodate the needs of universal owners.


Speaking on behalf of the universal owner in the courts, The Shareholder Commons will use litigation to further systems change and stop rewarding irresponsible companies with high margins and cheap capital.

opportunities for engagement


Investors are trapped in a system where success is measured by alpha, but the race to outperform and lower fees is threatening the systems all companies and beneficiaries rely on. Read here to find a better path.


As long as private capital chases relative return with no regard for systemic effects, direct policies to rein in business exploitation of common resources will be locked in a struggle against regulatory capture evolving technologies and tactics. Read here to learn about policies that reset the way private capital operates, in order to harmonize public and private goals.


While businesses are frequently demonized in discussions about social and environmental issues, corporate attempts to manage impacts are often hampered by shareholder pressure to prioritize financial interests. To learn how you can be part of a movement where shareholders encourage authentic corporate commitment to stakeholders, read here.


Unfortunately, the law and perceptions of the law can lead to corporate and investor behaviors that undercut attempts to address systemic issues through improved business conduct. Members of the legal community with an interest in helping to change this dynamic should read here.


The laws that govern corporate executives and institutional investors who control much of our economy encourage or even require them to prioritize profit over preservation of critical social and environmental systems.  We are working to change those policies.


We will work with investors to create pre-competitive guardrails that allow companies to compete sustainably on a level playing field, where irresponsible business practices are not an option. We have constructed a provisional set of guardrails that are meant to be illustrative of the type of safeguards investors are likely to seek.


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