Tuesday, 4 February 2020
Publication date is set (and a rant about Davos!)
As people around the world have welcomed in the new year, heartbreakingly, for many it has been a very challenging and difficult start. Not to pile on more doom and gloom but 2020 also happens to be a critical year for our planet.
Turned out that 2019 was the hottest year on record for the world’s oceans, the second-hottest year for global average temperatures, and wildfires raged from Australia to the Amazon to the U.S. We are truly at the climate change tipping point.
I try really hard not to be cynical, but I always find the gathering of the ‘great and the good’ at the World Economic Forum in Davos at the end of January every year quite nauseating. This year we endured listening to the elite preach about the need to address climate change, the role of the businesses in delivering social good and the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Sure … it’s great that all these billionaires, top CEOS and celebrities seem to have woken up but … where have they been for the last ten years? Great that we have now finally got your attention, but it feels like there’s something disingenuous happening. Afterall, we have had the data, the knowledge, the understanding for some time. What is the imperative to now start acting ‘morally’?!
This sense of frustration brings me back to why I decided to write ‘Financial Feminism’ in the first place. The power to make decisions and influence change still seems to sit in the hands of the few. No where has this been more apparent than in the financial world. Fortunately, we are experiencing a shift with more people, especially women, wanting to take control over where and how their money is invested.
So to some good news … I reported late last year that I submitted the manuscript to Unbound. I am now excited to let you know that we have a publication date set for 4th February 2021. Over the coming months, I will be working with some fantastic editors to ensure that the book is as accessible and clearly written as possible. Given the speed at which the field of sustainable investing is moving, I will also make sure that data, research and commentary is as accurate and up-to-date as possible.
I believe ‘Financial Feminism’ is becoming more and more relevant by the day. At Davos there was a great deal of discussion around the concept of ‘stakeholder capitalism’. It’s an optimistic vision which implies that companies are actors in a connected system of stakeholders, community and the planet. As such, companies are responsible for the negative fallouts that come with not respecting this interconnectedness, such as waste, emissions or income inequality. Ultimately, the end result will likely be a threat to corporate profits.
If we are going to make this happen, I am not convinced that it’s just because the penny has dropped in the mind of the self-gratifying elites sitting in a ski resort in the Swiss Alps. I think it will be because many people are fed up with the status quo and searching out levers of change. Sustainable investing is just one of those levers – but it is an important lever that we can access.
More soon …