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Sustainable Finance 2017 : Designing a sustainable financial system: Development goals and socio-ecological responsibility


When N/A
Where N/A
Submission Deadline Oct 7, 2016
Notification Due Oct 28, 2016
Final Version Due Jan 31, 2017
Categories    edited book   sustainable finance   financial systems   sustainability

Call For Papers

Designing a sustainable financial system: Development goals and socio-ecological responsibility

Thomas Walker, Ph.D., Concordia University
Stefanie Kibsey, M.E.S., Concordia University
Rohan Crichton, Ph.D.(c), Concordia University

You are invited to submit a chapter for an edited book titled ‘Designing a sustainable financial system: Development goals and socio-ecological responsibility’ to be published by Palgrave Macmillan. Below you will find more information regarding the proposed book, the editors, and the submission procedures.

Our current financial system is a legacy from a time when our understanding of socio-ecological systems, natural resource management, and environmental degradation was limited. Utmost importance was placed upon economic growth and development, with little consideration for the integrity of the environment, sustainability, or the wellbeing of future generations.

In recent years, especially following the perceived success of the Paris Climate Agreements (COP21), new ways of thinking and doing business have emerged among academics, practitioners, and policymakers. In the minds of many, the financial system is no longer a closed, isolated system; it has evolved into a larger socio-ecological system where finance, social wellbeing, natural resources, and planetary health are highly interlinked. In fact, it is often argued that our world cannot move towards sustainability, address climate change, reverse environmental degradation, and improve human wellbeing without aligning the financial system with sustainable development goals.

Academics, policy makers and practitioners are currently developing a variety of new tools and methods to include environmental and social factors in the way we make and evaluate business decisions; however, many of the proposed ideas and approaches have been highly controversial. Our book aims to add to the discourse on the design of a sustainability-oriented financial and economic structure by exploring how a system can be designed that a) is environmentally and socially responsible, b) is aligned with planetary boundaries, c) manages natural resources sustainably, d) avoids doing more harm than good, e) is adaptable to changing conditions, and f) is fair and accessible. We define a “sustainability-oriented financial system” as a financial system that is in line with larger sustainable development goals that promote social and environmental wellbeing for current and future generations.
This transdisciplinary book will explore the latest tools and methods being developed and studied by the academic community and by policymakers, with a specific focus on the practical applicability of the proposed solutions. Ultimately, the book will make the case for the financial sector’s contribution to sustainable development.

We invite critical contributions from leading academic experts, policymakers, and practitioners in related fields to provide insightful and practical analyses of the role of the financial system within the larger socio-ecological system. We encourage contributions that reflect cutting edge research and the latest trends in the transition towards a more sustainability-oriented financial system.

1. Why the Current Financial System is not Sustainably-Oriented:
1. What is a sustainability-oriented financial system? How do we define such a system? What is the connection between the financial system and sustainable development?
2. What are the main issues that must be addressed and why?
3. Why is input required from different disciplines within the academic community and from practitioners?
2. A More Sustainability-Oriented Financial System:
1. How is the financial system part of a larger socio-ecological system? How is finance related to nature and society?
2. What are natural capital and ecosystem services? Can and should we put a price or value on nature?
3. How are financial system stability and sustainability related? How is a greener economy affected by stranded assets and transition risk?
3. How to Make the Transition:
1. Which tools or mechanisms are being developed to transition to a more efficient and sustainability-oriented financial system?
2. How should the transition occur?
3. Where is innovation happening?
4. What are the pros and cons, risks and benefits, and strengths and weaknesses of different tools and methods?
5. What are the latest trends in research? What can transdisciplinary research contribute?
6. What are the latest trends in business? What research and knowledge is needed by practitioners?
7. How is regulation changing? How do different regulations compare? What is the influence of private codes of conduct on a sustainable financial system?
8. What are the specific needs in various geographic locations, developed and developing societies, and different ecosystems? How do global and local approaches differ?
4. A Fair and Inclusive Financial System:
1. What are the main problems and criticisms of the tools and methods being implemented in the transition of the financial system?
2. How do we prevent greenwashing?
3. How do we make sure the financial system is fair, just, equitable, and socially inclusive? How do we make sure the poor and vulnerable are not left behind? How can we design a sustainability-oriented financial system that benefits everyone?
5. Case Studies:
1. Examples, empirical evidence, and case studies of what has worked or has not worked so far.
6. Moving Forward:
1. Reflections on the current state of the financial system, trends in research, and trends in business practices.

This book will consist of contributions from experts from both the academic and practitioner communities at the interface of finance and sustainability, and is thus intended for readers in different fields and industries. The intention is for this book to be used as an academic textbook for students and scholars in business, social sciences, and environmental studies. In addition, it aims to inform regulators, policymakers, and industry leaders by serving as a best practice manual.
Submissions should be written in a non-technical writing style to allow for widespread application. Additionally, the call encourages contributions that are transdisciplinary. As such, chapters that incorporate new concepts, tools, and/or theories – potentially including those from other disciplines or fields – are welcome. We will be reviewing submissions with an open mind to new approaches, especially those that push the boundaries in addressing critical problems moving forward.

Submitted chapters should be original and exclusively prepared for the present book. No part of the article should be published elsewhere. Chapters must not exceed 7000 words (including all references, appendices, biographies, etc.), must use 1.5 line spacing and 12 pt. Times New Roman font, and must use the APA 6th edition reference style.

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit abstracts of no more than 1000 words, together with a CV, to Stefanie Kibsey (Editor) at by October 7th, 2016.

Authors will be notified about the status of their proposals and will be sent complete chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by January 2017.

There are no submission or acceptance fees for submitted manuscripts.
Abstract and CV submission deadline – October 7th, 2016
Selection of abstracts and notification to successful contributors – October 28th, 2016
Full chapter submission – January 16th, 2017
Revised chapter submission – April 1st, 2017


Thomas Walker holds an MBA and PhD degree in Finance from Washington State University. Prior to his academic career, he worked for several years in the European consulting and industrial sector at such firms as Mercedes Benz, Utility Consultants International, Lahmeyer International, Telenet, and KPMG Peat Marwick. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles and five book chapters, and has been an active reviewer for well over 40 articles. In addition, his work has been featured in the Harvard Business Review and in Germany's Harvard Business Manager. In February 2015, Dr. Walker was appointed as Interim Director of the David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise. Among other things, he has served as Laurentian Bank Professor in Integrated Risk Management (2010-2015), chair of the finance department (2011-2014), on the steering committee of the Montreal chapter of the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA), and as member of Concordia’s senate finance committee.

Stefanie Kibsey is the program coordinator for the David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise. She holds an interdisciplinary Master of Environmental Studies degree in Environment & Resource Studies from the University of Waterloo and a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University. Ms. Kibsey is also part of a Development Team, in collaboration with the United Nations Future Earth initiative, to create a ‘Knowledge-Action Network’ of academic, practitioner, and policymaking experts that will facilitate co-designed solutions to aligning the financial and economic system with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This collaborative project, along with the growing interest in sustainable finance world-wide, are the inspiration for the proposed edited book.

Rohan Crichton is a federal public servant and a faculty member at the Telfer School of Management. Mr. Crichton is also completing his PhD at Concordia University, where he specializes in examining how strategic human resource management can be leveraged to improve organizational human and environmental sustainability efforts. He has written and published several reports for the United Nations and is an active manuscript reviewer for multiple associations including the Administrative Science Association of Canada. Mr. Crichton has over 15 years of experience working and consulting for private, public, and international organizations. Part of this work has included advising organizations such as the United Nations Environment Programme, the Federal Government of Canada, and other levels of government on topics related to sustainable living and sustainable best practices.

The David O’Brien Centre for Sustainable Enterprise (DOCSE) develops sustainable practices through academic research, programs, and outreach within the community.

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