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Environmental Finance for the Common Good - Perspectives from Industry, Academia and Faith communities

Venue: Birkbeck Clore Management Centre

This lecture aims to understand the investment implications of environmental and social factors across different economies in order to achieve greater common good.

No country can afford to ignore the financial risks of climate change. Therefore, this lecture will focus on various topics in environmental finance but aim to include studies from industrial countries and middle and low-income countries.

This lecture provides a platform for all people working on environmental finance issues to exchange their views and foster dialogue between academics and practitioners.

The voice from “non-industrial countries” is often unheard. Through this lecture, we hope to encourage diverse voices and promote positive change for all life in our common home.

We hear from three different groups who will share their perspectives from Industry, Academia and Faith Communities. Each group will discuss how their roles can influence people's behaviour and people's financial/ environmental decisions for the common good?

Views from practitioners

  • Dr Katya Gratcheva, Climate Investment Funds, World Bank, Washington DC
  • Rajashree Padmanabhi, Climate Policy Initiative, London

Views from academia

  • Professor Kevin Ibeh, Marketing & International Business, Birkbeck, University of London 
  • Professor Hélyette Geman, Mathematical Finance at Birkbeck, University of London

Views from faith communities

  • Robert Harrap, General director of SGI Buddhist Association 
  • Dr Dominic Chai, Jesuit, Vatican COVID-19 Commission Economy Taskforce 

The event will run on Thursday 31 March 18:00-20:00 GMT and the session will be run in the roundtable-style and available to academics, students, practitioners, and the public.

There is an option to attend this event either in person at Birkbeck Campus or attend the session remotely and join online.

The lecture is part of the hybrid workshop Environmental Finance for the Common Good. You can view the full workshop itinerary of in-person and online events on our website. 


Sponsoring Institutions

The Money Macro and Finance Society, United Kingdom

Department of Management, Birkbeck College, University of London, United Kingdom


Event Disclaimer

This event is subject to any restrictions in place with regard to the Covid pandemic. If it is not possible to hold the event in person, then it will be moved online.



Dr Ekaterina (Katya) Gratcheva leads Climate Investment Funds’ finance function and scaling up mobilization of private capital to finance transformational change towards low-carbon climate-resilient development in developing countries. In her prior roles in the World Bank she focused on providing policy advice and thought leadership on sustainable finance, facilitating long term finance through capital markets and strengthening the role of financial institutions in development finance, as well as managing World Bank’s assets and liabilities. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School, a Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics from Moscow State University, and a doctorate in Operations Research from George Washington University. 

Rajashree Padmanabhi is an analyst at Climate Policy Initiative’s London office where she focuses on tracking climate finance for the flagship series The Global Landscape of Climate Finance. Her recent work focuses on developing a sustainable finance roadmap for India, a deep dive into innovative financial instruments for adaptation in Asia and Africa. Rajashree holds a master’s degree in Environmental Policy and Regulation from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from India.

Professor Kevin Ibeh, PhD, FCIM, FRSA, is Professor of Marketing and International Business and Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) at Birkbeck, University of London. He also currently serves as Commissioner of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, UK Representative to the European International Business Academy Board among other roles. Professor Ibeh has undertaken consulting and advisory tasks for influential organisations, including the World Bank, the OECD, UNCTAD, the Scottish Enterprise, and the Department of Trade and Investment of Northern Ireland. He is Lead Series Editor of the Palgrave Series on Entrepreneurship in Africa, having previously chaired the Universities UK sub-Saharan African policy network, led academic departments in the UK, hosted major international scholarly conferences and guest-edited several influential journals. Professor Ibeh’s research, focusing mainly on firm internationalisation and international entrepreneurship, has produced over 100 scholarly articles and four books, reinforcing his reputation as a leading scholar of Africa’s emerging multinationals. Professor Ibeh has served and continues to serve institutions across Africa, Asia, Australasia, the Caribbean, Europe, and North America in various capacities, including visiting professor, keynote speaker, expert adviser, panellist, external examiner, external assessor, editorial board member, and much else.

Professor Hélyette Geman is a Professor of Mathematical Finance at Birkbeck, University of London where she is the Director of the Commodity Finance Centre; and a Research Professor at Johns Hopkins University. She is a graduate of Ecole Normale Superieure in Mathematics, holds a Masters degree in Theoretical Physics and a PhD in Probability from the University Pierre et Marie Curie and a PhD in Finance from the University Pantheon Sorbonne. For the past 21 years, Professor Geman has consulted for major banks, energy and mining companies as well as commodity trading houses, covering the spectrum of interest rates, catastrophic risk, crude oil and electricity, metals and agriculturals. She was previously the Head of Research at Caisse des Depots in Paris. Professor Geman was the first president of the Bachelier Finance Society and has published more than 150 papers in top international finance and insurance Journals including the Journal of Finance, Mathematical Finance, Journal of Financial Economics or Resources Policy. Her book Commodities and Commodity Derivatives: Energy, Metals and Agriculturals published by Wiley Finance in January 2005 has become the reference book in the field. She edited in 2008 the book Risk Management in Commodity Markets: from Shipping to Agriculturals and Energy and was in 2010 the first Wilmar-International Invited Professor of Commodities Business at Singapore Management University. Professor Geman is a Member of the Board of the UBS-Bloomberg Commodity Index. Professor Geman counts many brilliant characters among her past and present PhD students, among them Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan. She is the President of the Society ‘Women for Climate’.

A Buddhist since 1987, Robert Harrap trained as a barrister and was in chambers in London for sixteen years before being appointed as Director of Buddhist organisation SGI-UK in 2013. He lives with his wife in the village of Taplow in Buckinghamshire, near the SGI-UK headquarters at Taplow Court. He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought. SGI-UK is a charity that relies on the voluntary donations of its members for the daily running of its activities and has an endowment fund which is invested on ethical ESG principles.

Dominic H. Chai, S.J. is a Jesuit Scholastic of the USA West Province and currently serves at the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. Prior to entering the Society of Jesus, he taught strategic management and international business ethics at Birkbeck College, University of London. He received a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, an MA in theological studies from Loyola University Chicago, and a PhD from the London School of Economics. His research focuses on examining companies as communities and their contribution to the common good. He currently holds a research associate position at the Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.

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