We are now all familiar with the Sustainable Investing Project (SIP) taken on a team of finance-savvy and sustainability-minded folks. One of them is Jueji Chen, currently conducting her thesis at JMSB, who has been interning at Sustainable Concordia for the project during the past couple of months.
What has the SIP team been doing these days?
Since this summer, the SIP team has been constantly gathering information to eventually create a solid guide for organizations like SC to invest in sustainable ventures. The semester is ending, and the project has evolved immensely: in January they will be launching their guide and hopefully present their first workshop.
As an expert in finance, Jueji has been editing and reviewing the content put together so far. She explains that she sees herself “in this project as a researcher and this is why they hired [her], because coincidently [her] thesis is the combination of finance and sustainability.”
The team is composed of students and professionals, working in and outside of the finance realm, but all passionate about sustainability. This diversity represents the variety of points of views and experiences in the community and is essential to the project. Everyone has something to bring and something to learn. When it comes to Jueji, for instance, while using her strength in research, she has learned to view finance in another way. She is getting to “combine [her] academic background with more real-life scenarios, hence to make it more practical.” When asked how this approach has worked so far, she said: “I’ve been really enjoying the process, it has improved my sustainable understanding, which facilitates my own research as well as this project.”
What is it like interning as part of SIP?
Having met (most of) the folks involved in the project, and witnessing how fast it is growing, it seemed to me that working as part of SIP was a stimulating opportunity.
Jueji approved and added to that idea, stressing the fact that the environment was inspiring: “The most precious thing I get here is to communicate with people.” She continued, “When I work on my thesis, I am alone, except talking to my supervisor. But here I can communicate with colleagues, I like to exchange ideas with people. It is this spirit of collaboration that I value a lot.”
This collaborative approach simply embodies what SIP is all about: making connections, gathering information, considering different approaches and sharing it all with the community.
Besides, as a community-oriented project, all voices are taken into account and seen as valuable. The goal is to make everyone feel more at ease with finance after all! Interning for SIP, Jueji also directly felt that it inspired participants more willing to get involved: “My colleagues always encourage me to express myself. I’m really motivated by that, I’ve become more confident.” Outside of the team, the launching will continue to embody these ideas as it will aim to “not only make more people know about SIP but also look for their opinions about it” no matter how much they know about finance, Jueji explained.
So, what should we expect from the launching event onwards?
Now that research is kind of settled and a launching event is being planned, we cannot help wondering what will happen next. For Jueji, the project is just starting: “There is no limit we can exert over imagination. I see entrepreneurship in this project, we can tailor and extend it as much as we want.”
By the end of her internship, she wants to go as far as possible in completing and polishing the project: “I would expect that we get to the 4th stage, which is to present [SIP] to professionals and to collect their feedback. Furthermore, we can promote our project among non-profit organizations – which are our target audience and even help them make sustainable investment. If we can fulfill these missions or even achieve the potential of doing so, that’d be awesome.”
I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of all this positivity coming from SIP! Stay tuned for more news within the next few weeks and information about their launching event here.
Photo: Sustainable Concordia and The Dish Project workshop for incoming interns, Fall 2017.