The Institute for Multi-Stakeholder Initiative Integrity (MSI Integrity) was incubated at the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School from 2010-2012. We established MSI Integrity after several NGOs and government officials — concerned with understanding whether MSIs were working — expressed the need for an independent organization to focus on measuring the effectiveness of MSIs.

MSI Integrity was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization in late 2012 and launched publicly in 2013. We then held a global consultation in 2013 to seek feedback on our mission, objectives, and methodology. Since then until the release of our 2020 report, Not Fit-For-Purpose, we had worked to build a small, globally recognized NGO that fosters a culture of critical reflection on whether MSIs are effective at protecting and promoting human rights. Rather than conduct this work ourselves, our strategic approach was to partner with organizations from both the Global South and Global North in order to encourage further critical interrogation into MSIs and build capacity and knowledge about evaluating MSIs.

Following the release of Not Fit-For-Purpose, MSI Integrity began exploring a human rights project that has received little attention in the field but is perhaps the most significant and transformative of our time: challenging the corporation itself and reimagining our economic enterprises. In 2020, MSI Integrity embarked on a new focus: learning from the failures of MSIs in global governance and human rights protection to move beyond corporations and envision businesses as centering workers and communities in their ownership and governance. For more information, please see: Beyond Corporations.