July 11 – 15, 2011
Teachers: Ann Pettifor, Hazel Henderson (by videolink), Tessa Tennant, Nathalie Buschor, Mark Burton, Julie Richardson, James Vaccaro – Triodos Bank
Financial markets, we are told, are the lifeblood of our society and that is why governments have gone to such enormous lengths to prop up failing financial institutions. However, now that the crisis is averted (for the moment), we seem to be returning to business as usual. Is there really no credible alternative to the existing financial system? This course brings together people who believe that we can find ways to make money serve the interests of communities and ecosystems.
Ann Pettifor believes the key question is, how do we exercise control over our monetary system? She will explain Keynes’s insight that the level of interest rates shapes what governments and societies can do, and will demonstrate how it is in everyone’s interest to develop macroeconomic policies which promote employment, equality and sustainability rather than the interests of finance. She argues that by understanding and demystifying fundamental economic and financial processes, we are all in a better position to challenge the status quo.
Hazel Henderson will discuss by videolink the work of the Committee on Transforming Finance, an international network of investors, asset managers, business executives, philanthropists, academics and financial authors who advocate the reform of international capital markets. She points out that these markets are a global commons, and need to be regulated as such in order to re-build the trust which is so fundamental to a properly functioning, ethical marketplace.
Tessa Tennant will join the course for a morning to discuss the issues from the perspective of someone who deals professionally with investment decisions on a daily basis. Drawing on her 20-plus years experience of working in the sustainable finance industry in the UK, USA and Asia, she will take stock of progress made, and discuss the failings and the challenges ahead for socially responsible investment.
The course will feature a panel discussion on the future of financial innovation from a range of perspectives. Panel members will include: Nathalie Buschor who has worked for a number of Swiss banks and now is involved with a think tank established by a large private bank to look at future trends within financial institutions, particularly in relation to sustainability; Mark Burton who is currently doing research for his PhD on a model of banking which operates without charging interest; Julie Richardson, Head of Economics at Schumacher College and co-author of The Triple Bottom Line; and and James Vaccaro from Triodos Bank, an ethical bank which finances organic food and farming businesses, renewable energy enterprises, recycling companies and nature conservation projects.
Ann Pettifor’s work and writing has concentrated on the international financial architecture, the sovereign debts of the poorest countries, and the rise in sovereign, corporate and private debt in OECD economies. She is well known for her leadership of Jubilee 2000, an organisation that placed the debts of the poorest countries on the global political agenda, and brought about both substantial debt cancellation, and radical policy changes at national and international levels. In 2003 she edited The Real World Economic Outlook with a prescient sub-title: The legacy of globalisation: debt and deflation. In 2006 Palgrave published her book: The Coming First World Debt Crisis. In 2008 she co-authored The Green New Deal and in 2010 co-authored an essay with Professor Victoria Chick: The economic consequences of Mr. Osborne. She is co-founder of a new macroeconomic think tank called PRIME (Policy Research in Macroeconomics www.primeeconomics.org), which is a network of economists challenging mainstream economic theory. She was recently featured in The Observer magazine as one of six pioneers in green thinking.
Hazel Henderson is a world renowned futurist, evolutionary economist, a worldwide syndicated columnist, consultant on sustainable development, and author of Beyond Globalization, and seven other books. She sits on several editorial boards, including Futures Research Quarterly, The State of the Future Report, and E/The Environmental Magazine (USA), Resurgence and Futures (UK). She is a Fellow of the World Business Academy and co-edited, with Harlan Cleveland and Inge Kaul, the Report of the Global Commission to Fund the United Nations. She serves on many boards, including Worldwatch Institute (1975-2001), Calvert Social Investment Fund (1982-2005), Cousteau Society and The New Economics Foundation (London, UK). The first version of her Country Futures Indicators (CFI©), an alternative to the Gross National Product (GNP), is a co-venture with Calvert Group, Inc.: the Calvert-Henderson Quality-of-Life Indicators. She is an Honorary Member of the Club of Rome and a Fellow of Britain’s Royal Society for the Arts. She is President of Ethical Markets (http://www.ethicalmarkets.com/) whose mission is to foster the evolution of capitalism beyond current models based on materialism, maximizing self-interest and profit, competition and fear of scarcity.
Tessa Tennant is Executive Chair of The Ice Organisation myice.com, an environmental rewards programme. Tessa co-founded the UK’s first equity investment fund for sustainable development in 1988, the Merlin (now Jupiter) Ecology Fund. She was Chair and co-founder of the UK Social Investment Forum uksif.org and of the Carbon Disclosure Project cdproject.net where she is now a Trustee. In 2001 she co-founded and was first Chair of ASrIA and remains on the Board. She is the SRI adviser to Oxford University’s Endowment Fund. She is also Chair of the Global Cool Foundation globalcool.org In 2003 she received the Sustainability Leadership Award by SAM/SPG of Switzerland and in 2004 was joint winner of the City of Goteborg International Environmental Leadership Prize. She is a Schumacher Fellow.
Nathalie Buschor is a consultant to the financial industry on innovation and leadership development. She has worked for a number of different banks in the areas of business and product development, and has a Masters in personal development, individuation and coaching with the C.G.Jung Institute. Her work combines economic, business and psychological competence and practical experience of over 10 years working in the financial services industry. She is currently serving on a think tank set up by one of the largest private banks in Switzerland to investigate innovation within financial institutions.
Julie Richardson has taught ecological economics and international development at the Universities of London and Sussex and has worked in sustainable development for over 20 years in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. As a senior environmental policy advisor to the UK’s Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit she specialised in international trade and environmental governance. Her work for Jonathon Porritt’s Forum for the Future included advising the business sector on how to incorporate sustainability into performance measurement. More recently her work has focused on healthy systems, which led her to complete the Masters in Holistic Science. Since then she has applied systems thinking and complexity science to different aspects of sustainability – including sustainable design, organizational change and environmental policy. Julie has published widely, including her most recent co-authored book, The Triple Bottom Line: Does It All Add Up? The book highlights a fresh approach to corporate responsibility beyond the triple bottom line.
James Vaccaro, Managing Director Investment Banking, Triodos Renewables plc
James has worked for Triodos since 1998 and is a specialist in environmental and social finance. He heads the Investment Banking team, is Managing Director for Triodos Renewables plc, the UK’s most widely owned renewable energy company, investing equity in a range of renewable energy projects, and manages a portfolio of venture capital investments. Having advised on public share issues including the Ethical Property Company and Cafédirect he has set up a full service corporate finance advisory service for positive impact SMEs in the UK and internationally. He has arranged and managed project finance facilities for renewable energy projects in the UK; set up and managed venture capital funds including green EIS funds; James is active in collaborating with other leading values-led financial institutions throughout the world via the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. He is currently a director of UKSIF as well as a trustee of a community development association in Bristol and has been a non-executive director for a number of environmental and sustainability companies.
All course fees include accommodation, food, field trips and all teaching sessions.
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