The Deep Transitions Newsletter puts one member of the Global Investors Panel in the spotlight each month. Issue #4 of our newsletter features Roberta Benedetti del Rio who is Senior Advisor on Impact to Just Climate, a subsidiary of Generation Management. We are delighted to announce that she has been appointed as co-chair for the Global Investors Panel (together with Johan Schot). Starting in January 2022 she will take on a strategic role, working with Ed Steinmueller, Susanne Keesman and Johan Schot, to align the contents of the philosophy for transformative investments across the Panel and to support the construction of impact pathways for the philosophy within the investment community and public sector.
Roberta, what has motivated you to become co-chair of the Global Investors Panel?
“I am really excited to take the role of co-chair of the Global Investor Panel with Prof. Johan Schot. The Deep Transitions Futures project is in my view one of the most interesting and advanced research efforts into systems dynamics aimed at a sustainability transition. I believe it has the potential to kickstart conversations, ideas and projects which can accelerate a sustainability transition, while ensuring that its directionality, through its complex interactions, is as much as possible understood and desirable for all. In the past months of involvement with this project, as a member of the Global Investor Panel, I have greatly enjoyed the process, learning from the highly prepared research team and from the experience of an engaged and diverse investors group, so I was very happy to deepen my involvement with this effort.”
What would you say are the biggest challenges in sustainable finance?
“Sustainable finance has grown rapidly in the past decade, but its growth has not yet correlated to an improvement in climate change, equality, biodiversity and other objectives. The challenges are varied, and a large part of sustainable finance has been focused primarily on the mitigation of financial risk as opposed to the creation of positive impact. So on one level, the prevalence of mandates and, correspondingly, performance incentives, anchored solely around financial performance, with typically short-term and one-sided structures, is at the heart of the problem. On a deeper level, though, the ability to embed systems-change and transition theory into investment philosophies is still nascent, and the distinction between system optimization vs. Deep Transition is not commonly understood, debated and tackled. This is where the Deep Transitions project can make an important difference.”
What does the success of Deep Transitions Futures and the work with the Panel look like for you?
“System dynamics theory and sustainability transitions are complex disciplines, and in an ideal scenario they would be explored through an inclusive and iterative process. If we could provide a model to test and demonstrate how to embed this research into innovation and investing, while involving multiple actors and creating a shared support for this approach, I would certainly call this a success.“
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