Announcing Tomorrow's Agenda Research Institute

By Terence Jeyaretnam

Net Balance has entered an exciting new chapter in 2013 with the launch of Tomorrow’s Agenda Research Institute and Les Hems appointed as its inaugural Director of research and development. Since 2009, Les has been the Director of Research at the Centre for Social Impact (CSI). He has spent the past 20 years undertaking a range of major initiatives that have served to develop the evidence base for third sector research, policy and practice. 

What does this mean for Net Balance?

Tomorrow’s Agenda Research Institute, a dedicated research and development function with its own brand name, enables Net Balance to scale up our current research capability to an academic and institutional level. 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. The Institute’s work complements the Net Balance Foundation’s existing research. Through long term purpose driven strategies, the academic research conducted will be used to develop reports that will shape policy and practice relating to social and environmental change; engaging government, corporations, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations.

This also means that our ability to collaborate and work with academic and research institutions is 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, CAER, SIRIS, World Vision International and WWF, and we see tremendous opportunities to increase such collaboration with the formation of Tomorrow’s Agenda Research Institute.

Andrew Young, Chief Executive Officer at the Centre for Social Impact, said “We are very grateful for Les’ three years of service and outstanding contribution in this time. Net Balance is a longstanding partner of CSI’s and we look forward to continuing our collaborative work and wish Les all the best in his new role there.”

Whilst at CSI, Les 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.

Les will form part of our Sydney team, but work across the country and internationally.

We welcome Les to the Net Balance team and look forward to applying his knowledge to form what will be a leading research institute.

Terence Jeyaretnam is a Director of Net Balance (, 
one of the world’s leading sustainability advisory firms.
Terence is based in Melbourne.