With economies and political arenas in flux, the need for solutions to environmental and social issues has never been greater.

Every year, the Kellogg School of Management and Morgan Stanley partner to host the Sustainable Investing Challenge. The competition calls on hundreds of graduate students from around the world to propose financial innovations that tackle environmental or social problems, while also offering investors the potential for market-comparable returns.

Ideas as diverse as reducing Californian wildfires to de-mining Angolan farmland have won in past years, and each Challenge brings  increasing numbers of student participants as well as private sector attendees.

“In the first few years of this competition, the attendees of the judging panel were foundations and impact investors,” says David Chen, Adjunct Professor of Finance at Kellogg and Chairman of Equilibrium Capital. “But in the last couple of years, it’s shifted significantly. We now have hedge funds and large global financial services companies attending.”

The 2016 Challenge in April attracted 341 students from 64 schools targeting sustainability issues across 32 countries. They create teams of four, and 10 teams meet at a final event to present their proposals to a panel of judges. "The best part about this competition is that you meet like-minded individuals who believe you can move the needle in ways that philanthropy can't," says Ryan Alam, a member of 2016's winning Terra Limpa team.

Next year's Challenge is gearing up for an even broader group of students interested in a field that's growing at a rapid pace.

“The Sustainable Investing Challenge draws on finance to help solve some of the world's most pressing issues through attractive investment opportunities,” says Audrey Choi, CEO of Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing. “It’s the future of finance. And the students who take part in the Challenge already know that.”

Proposals from student teams are due on February 15thLearn more about other key dates and how to apply for the 2017 Sustainable Investing Challenge.

CRC 1647693 exp: 11/2017

 

 


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