2021 Bertram Scholars

The CFGR is Canada’s only charitable foundation focused solely on supporting and disseminating governance research from a Canadian perspective. Each year, through the Bertram Doctoral Scholarships, the CFGR supports corporate governance research undertaken by Canada’s most promising doctoral students.

Sean Campbell, University of Waterloo

Sean is the Principal of Scaled Purpose, a consultancy which develops strategies and supports the implementation of new programs for nonprofits, charities, co-operatives, and social enterprises. Sean is leading the development of Union: Sustainable Development Co-operative, a new organization that is working to buy residential and commercial properties in Waterloo Region for permanent affordability through community ownership. Sean teaches social entrepreneurship at Wilfrid Laurier University. Sean holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University, a Master of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo. Sean is currently a PhD Candidate in Sustainability Management at the University of Waterloo, and is enrolled in the Canadian Securities Institute's Canadian Securities Course.

Research summary
Sean is researching the governance and financial strategies of social purpose organizations (inclusive of charities, not-for-profits, co-operatives, and for-profit social enterprises) engaged in direct public offerings of shares and/or debt instruments. He is interested in the governance strategies and organizational structures that maximize both the ability of community organizations to raise capital and to meet their social and/or environmental objectives. Direct public offerings are a new and evolving area of practice for social purpose organizations, and the theoretical, governance, and legal frameworks have yet to catch-up. Sean is working to improve these frameworks while developing applied tools for practitioners.
Read Sean Campbell's research essay

Ling Chen, McGill University

Ling Chen is a DCL candidate and a Canada Graduate Scholarship (SSHRC) recipient at McGill University, where he is studying legal institutions and education to deal with climate change. Ling has great interest in applying legal theories to the critical assessment of policy and governance challenges. He is currently a member of the Hague Academy's Online Centre for Studies and Research on Epidemics and International Law. He previously worked for the Centre for International Governance Innovation, researching and writing about market-based approaches and accountability mechanisms in international environmental and trade regimes. Ling holds an LL.M. from the University of Toronto. Before coming to Canada, he obtained law degrees at Beihang University in Beijing and the Certificate of Legal Professional Qualification from the Ministry of Justice of China.

Research summary
My research creates a four-layered analytical framework to make a compelling case for corporate engagement in clubs for climate governance. Bringing together theories from law, political science, economics, and management, I first explain the rationales for involving corporations in climate clubs. Next, I propose a typology of governance functions performed by clubs on which corporations can exert positive influence. As the third and fourth layers, I study the legal foundations of these clubs as well as the key legal issues concerning their operation in multi-jurisdictional legal frameworks. My interdisciplinary analysis and research design, including three qualitative case studies, will provide Canadian corporations and boards with theoretical and methodological tools to make organizational changes to engage in governance activities, such as emissions disclosure, dialogue and networking, and green technology research and development.
Read Ling Chen's research essay

Alexis Langenfeld, Université Laval

Alexis Langenfeld is a research student in the cotutelle doctoral program administered jointly by Université Laval and Université de Perpignan Via Domitia. He is the recipient of a PhD grant from the FRQSC, and a member of CÉDÉ and the Institut EDS. His thesis topic explores connections between corporate groups and CSR issues. Overall, his research and publications focus on corporate accountability framed by law, and its impacts on governance. Among other publications, Alexis Langenfeld is co-author of the work Forum non conveniens : Une impasse pour la responsabilité sociale des entreprises?

Research summary
Alexis Langenfeld's research focuses on corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues specific to groups of companies. He favours an interdisciplinary approach whereby he studies governance and accountability among the various entities making up a corporate group as they relate to contemporary social and environmental challenges. He is interested in, notably, governance of corporate groups, duty of care on the part of parent companies, and reconfigurations of the duties and accountability of administrators as informed by CSR.
Read Alexis Langenfeld's research essay

Alison Taylor, University of Toronto

Alison is an economics PhD student at the University of Toronto with a major in finance and a minor in econometrics. She completed an MSc in Economics from the University of Warwick in 2016 and a BComm in Management Economics and Finance from the University of Guelph in 2013. She has previously worked in economic consulting, as a market analyst at the National Energy Board and in various research assistant roles.

Research summary
Alison is interested in understanding and quantifying risks from climate change in the economy and financial system. Climate change risks can include the direct economic effects from changes in weather patterns, but also indirect effects as these shocks propagate through the network. Climate change risks are gaining attention from central banks, investors and company management and Alison aims to provide quantitative estimates of this risk to inform the discussion.
Read Alison Taylor's research essay

Read about our other Bertram scholars