Harvard Business School is known for guiding the next generation of financial leaders through compelling case studies in management, innovation and global intelligence. Now the curriculum includes impact investing, which incorporates positive environmental, social and governance values into investment decisions.

Vikram Gandhi, a senior lecturer, developed the course “Investing in the 21st Century: Return, Risk and Impact” based on years of experience working at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, as well as founding his own company, Asha Impact.

Reuters spoke with Gandhi, a Harvard Business School graduate himself, about teaching the next generation.

Q: Why do emerging business leaders need to learn about impact investing?

A: There has to be a way to do good at the same time as investing. This is not about creating less wealth or making poor investments. You can you make a difference and also bring in returns. Financial return is critical, but social and societal returns are equally important.

Q: Is it hard to teach?

A: It’s an evolving field. There’s no defined framework on how to bring it in and measure it. How do you compare impact across investment like you compare returns? A lot of our teaching is not about imparting conclusions, but it’s putting out alternatives and case studies and having a debate on that.

Q: You break down one particular exchange-traded fund in a case study, the SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF, otherwise known as SHE, which holds stocks of companies that have gender diversity in their senior leadership. How does that work?

A: The students may have had some exposure to ETFs. In this case, we go into a deep-dive into how ETFs are created – who are the players, how is stock aggregated? Then we also go into constructing the ETF, what is the data required.

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