Two powerful impressions will stay with me from the 2012 PRI-CBERN Academic Conference on responsible investment. Firstly, the energy and commitment of the academics and practitioners who came together to present, debate, agree and disagree make this a unique field. Secondly, the alternately stimulating and frustrating diversity of perspectives and interpretations of what ‘responsible investment’ actually is. What is the balance of ‘value’ and ‘values’? Is the purpose of RI to change ‘the system’ fundamentally, or to ameliorate pragmatically from within?