Les Hems

24 January 2013 — Net Balance has launched Tomorrow’s Agenda Research Institute with Les Hems at the helm as inaugural director of research and development.

The Institute, a dedicated research and development function, will allow Net Balance to scale up its research capability to an academic and institutional level.

Hems has been the director of research at the Sydney-based Centre for Social Impact since 2009.

The Institute’s focus will be on necessary research for Net Balance’s clients that underscore strategy, programs and on the ground action.  It will also be a vehicle for collaborative and funded research with academic and other research institutions locally and globally.

Through long-term, purpose-driven strategies, the academic research will be used to develop reports that shape policy and practice relating to social and environmental change including engaging government, corporations, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations.

Executive director Terence Jeyaretnam said it also meant the ability to collaborate and work with academic and research institutions was enhanced.

“We have a track record in collaborating on research and thought leadership, including, but not limited to institutions such as CSI, Sydney University, Harvard University, Centre for Appliced Economic Research, Sustainable Investment Research Institute, World Vision International and World Wildlife Fund and we see tremendous opportunities to increase such collaboration with the formation of Tomorrow’s Agenda Research Institute.

While at CSI, Mr Hems oversaw a portfolio of academic and applied research, social impact measurement and knowledge exchange activities.

He has been responsible for CSI’s recent research on impact investing and social finance including assessing the feasibility of implementing social impact bonds in New South Wales and the actions needed to create a capital market for social investment in Australia.