The press release for the Banco Itaú Award Scheme for Sustainable Finances that I helped launch in Brazil last week ran as follows:
“The first edition of the Itaú’s Award for Sustainable Finances event was held on February 17th in São Paulo, choosing Juliana Rangel, from the newspaper O Globo, and Daniel Wajnberg, of the Institute for Research and Post-Graduation in Business Management of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Coppead/UFRJ), as authors of the best articles on sustainable finances in the categories Journalism and Academia. Juliana Rangel was chosen for her report on “Politically Correct Income”, and Daniel Wajnberg, for his work “Sustainability in Brazilian Banks: a scrutiny of the divulging of the relationships between socio-environmental initiatives and corporate financial performance”. Each winner will receive R$ 10 thousand and a trip to London, with an agenda of studies focused on sustainable finances proposed by SustainAbility.
“Also awarded were Flávia Pardini, a journalist working for Revista Página 22, of São Paulo, whose report “The Parts and the Whole” was chosen as the best report in the modality Magazines; and Thiago Schneider de Jesus, of the Regional University of the Northwest of the State of Rio Grande do Sul (Unijuí), for his work “Sustainable Finances: Prospects and Challenges for Financial Institutions”; chosen as the best academic text in the modality of Post-graduation. Both will be entitled to a prize of R$ 10 thousand.
“The remaining finalists were, in the category Journalism, Gitânio Fortes (Folha de S. Paulo), Juliana Arini (Época), Maria Teresa Costa (Correio Popular) and Sammya Araújo Anhamus (Metrópole). In the category Academia, the finalists were Ana Paula Pinheiro Zago (Federal University of Uberlândia – UFU), Franklin Roosevelt Mendes Thame (National Scientific Computation Laboratory – LNCC), Jesuína Figueira Cézar (Institution for Research in Accounting, Economy and Finances of the State of Espírito Santo – FUCAPE), Jorge Emanuel Reis Cajazeira (Business Management School / FGV), Vera Lúcia Franco Veiga and Aluísio Xavier (Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro – UFF).
“Developed with support by Instituto Ethos and with consultancy by SustainAbility – renowned internationally for creating the concept of the “triple bottom line” –, the initiative aims at providing incentives for the academic and journalistic production on the theme, collaborating for the expansion of debate on better initiatives for the economic and social development of corporations, communities and governments. The prize-awarding event counted with the participation of John Elkington, founder and director of SustainAbility.
“The Judging Commission of this first edition was composed by the academicians Cláudio Boechat (Dom Cabral Foundation), Mário Monzoni (FGV), Priscila Claro (IBMEC), Rosa Maria Fisher (USP), and journalists Dirceu Pio (Revista Brasileiros), Heródoto Barbeiro (CBN and TV Cultura), Kiko Brito (O ECO) and William Waack (TV Globo). The winning works are accessible on the site (www.itaufinancassustentaveis.com.br).”
The following evening, I did a panel session at the first in a series of Sustainability Dialogues hosted by Banco Itaú, with speakers from Ashoka and Artemisia. Then the following day, Thursday, I flew back home. Found myself sitting next to a social entrepreneur who had been featured the previous evening, on his way to Turkey. The number of times that this happens is increasing all the time: this evening I sat next to a woman I met recently from Goldman Sachs and a couple of weeks back it was someone I knew from the fair trade movement.
Both in Brazil and since I have mainly been working on the new report on the Phoenix Economy, although there have been a fair few meetings as well, including one with Ian Cheshire, CEO of Kingfisher, on Monday. We have been quietly testing out our conclusions with business leaders before committing them to print. A palpable sense that Spring is in the air, but other people’s ill-health and economic turmoil clouds the horizon. The human herd continues to stampede rather than migrating, but it’s only a matter of time.
Meanwhile, bets are being taken on when the magnolia tree outside our office will break into leaf. It was in bloom when Elaine, Sam and I first went to see 2 Bloomsbury Place last Spring, so a sense, yet again, that the giant wheel of time is turning all around us.