“The power to act is the power to command resources”

In 1964, Robert F. Kennedy observed that “The power to act is the power to command resources.”

His words have never been more relevant. Today, nearly half of the world’s hundred largest economies are actually public companies, giving them a special role in the creation of a more just and peaceful world.

Recognizing this reality, the RFKennedy Compass program works with institutional investors and other key allocators to discuss new approaches to investing that consider human rights, the environment, and good governance, enlisting the private sector’s influence in the cause of justice.

Events like the collapse of the American mortgage industry and issues like child labor have created greater interest in sustainable investing among shareholders. In the wake of countless cases of corporate negligence that destroyed shareholder value and could have been averted through sustainable investing practices, major shareholders are beginning to realize that creating change is not at odds with creating value. This is the basic premise of RFKennedy Compass: that sustainable investing isn’t just good for the world. It’s also good for business.


Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights holds annual conferences designed to help decision makers at large of public and corporate pension funds, endowments, foundations, sovereign wealth funds, and family offices fulfill their fiduciary duties and meet the challenges of investing today. Each conference gathers about 150 institutional investors and asset managers who collectively oversee more than $7 trillion in collective assets to discuss the evolving role of long-term asset ownership and ways to deliver superior risk-adjusted returns while considering human and labor rights, corporate governance, and the environment as crucial elements of investment management.