Book Project

Frontiers in Sustainable Investment: Hard Questions on the Horizons 

#FrontiersInSI


The investment practitioner's guide to the frontiers of sustainable investment  - geographically and intellectually -  and the next generation of practitioners of the ESG theme in investment practice.

Graham Sinclair is marshaling colleagues in sustainable investment in emerging markets around the world to help develop a new book project aimed at improving the global knowledgebase on how investment practices integrate ESG factors into investment decisions, and what challenges confront us in the years ahead.


WHY NOW?

The idea for "Frontiers in Sustainable In
vestment: Hard Questions on the Horizons" has been 7 years in the making, and I am excited we have a way for experts in sustainable investment, responsible investment and ESG have a way to "work" together. With the years of work in frontier and emerging markets, I seek to share some of the learnings and perspectives from parts of the world not often covered, and people I have met along the way that have some compelling material to share. 

The FinSI book project with the working title "Frontiers in Sustainable Investment: Hard Questions on the Horizons" has an audience of investors in emerging markets, sustainable or responsible investors, and actors along the investment value chain into emerging markets, including multi-national corporations and sustainability consultants. If all goes to plan, we shall launch in Q4 2017.



WHO IS THE AUDIENCE?

The audience for "Frontiers in Sustainable Investment: Hard Questions on the Horizons" is:
  1. Investors looking to understand emerging markets, and best practices in sustainability - and what challenges and opportunities lie ahead.
  2. CEOs and business leaders looking out for "next big thing" at cutting edge of sustainability and/or trying to grow their businesses in emerging markets
  3. Policymakers, analysts and legislators facing emerging markets
  4. MBAs looking for a hard-nosed reality read on making sustainable investment happen as they plot there careers; and the faculty that must teach them.
The book is the "practitioner's guide"; must-have on bookshelf for investors, policymakers, CEOs in emerging markets and academics understanding the current practices. We expect the book to be a key item in libraries of specialist sustainable investors who are PRI signatories, as well as knowledgeable emerging markets professionals.



WHY DO WE NEED "Frontiers in Sustainable Investment: Hard Questions on the Horizons"?

From experience, emerging and frontier markets are places where the logic, practices and edges of sustainable investment get tested. It is in the tough questions that hard answers are sought. We think people around the world have something important to say: each contributor has something important to add. This is the opportunity to have voices from/about frontier and emerging markets to express themselves. 

This book will offer a realistic, informed view of the sustainable investment value chain in 2017 - and where it could be going. 
It will say new things, tackling some hard truths. The book's use case for the readership audience is:
  1. Expert, rigorous, required reading for investment practitioners and stakeholders.
  2. New, fresh and advanced thinking.
  3. Fits themes of new practices from "far-off places" and/ or "tough stuff that no-one likes to talk about" for example, is the Q1 2012 culling of Aviva SRI team in London the last hurrah for specialist ESG teams? Does ESG really add value as advertised? etc etc.
  4. Controversial/ polarising - strong evidence based research or practices leads writer X to position Y which may be unpopular.
  5. New voices/ authors (you would be an exception; you're the grey hair here!).
  6. Following the parallel and cross-cutting themes, the book-ending and weaving (editing with contributors) will ensure that book reads linearly, and as drop in/out read for specialist.
This webpage is planned to support the project. A dedicated webpage for Frontiers in Sustainable Investment: Hard Questions on the Horizons" will be used to support the book itself. We intend for this book to rank alongside other major books in its format, content and approach - see BOOKSHELF.



WHAT IS THE THEME?

The plan is for a book on 2 themes tackling "frontiers", both literally and figuratively.
The book must offer new, substantive, original and additional information to the body of knowledge in sustainable investment, namely:
  1. GEOGRAPHIC INVESTMENT FRONTIERS: in frontier and emerging markets approaches to sustainable investment with perspectives from all major emerging markets or covering work in those markets
  2. INTELLECTUAL INVESTMENT FRONTIERS: showcasing of best practices at cutting edge of making sustainable investment happen - tough questions, problems, controversies, innovative solutions.
As lead author and editor, my role is to set the context for each contribution, to book-end the material and weave the contributions by leading experts in chapters into the two over-arching themes.



WHAT DO THE CHAPTERS COVER?

In our planning, we covered some ideas of what could work; but the main thing is for "Frontiers in Sustainable Investment: Hard Questions on the Horizons" to:
  1. Original: add something new to the literature
  2. Current: write from the experts' existing/current/planned work so not to add an extra workload item
  3. Additional: generate another "lego block" in explaining our work in sustainable investment
  4. Expert: let the experts' experience be shared; and grow from capturing in black and white.
The book needs to hang together, to have themes/threads that run through - obvious ones being geography; asset class; investment value chain role; issue; impacts. My work is running the project; contributing the bookends; and weaving together (with chapter authors) the chapters to read the book to be greater than the sum of its parts; and accessible to the non-linear reader (like us!).

We plan for Frontiers in Sustainable Investment: Hard Questions on the Horizons" to have around 25 chapters of 3,000 - 5,000 words with graphs/ charts/ diagrams. The co-authors will be writers whose voice has never been heard or not fully heard, and we hope that up to 80% of the book contributed by new leading voices in this field, with an emphasis on new voices active in frontier and emerging markets.



WHAT EXPERIENCE DO CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS HAVE FOR THIS?

Frontiers in Sustainable Investment: Hard Questions on the Horizons" project is informed by experience working with Cary Krosinsky et al on Evolutions in Sustainable Investing:Strategies, Funds and Thought Leadership (Wiley, 2011).  

Writing chapters needed some serious hours, but flowed from current important work, but is a great opportunity. 
With their insights and experience, the contributors - and ultimately the audience - will enjoy Frontiers in Sustainable Investment: Hard Questions on the Horizons". The book will be positioned as the "next-generation" and "further thinking" to sit on the bookshelf next other handbooks for the investment practitioner or stakeholder, for example: 
  1. Evolutions in Sustainable Investing
  2. Sustainable Investing: The Art of Long Term Performance
  3. Sustainable Finance: Investment Strategies for the Social and Environmental Purpose Investor. First Edition
  4. Sustainable Investing: Revolutions in theory and practice
  5. Investing in a Sustainable World: Why GREEN Is the New Color of Money on Wall Street
  6. Sustainable Investing and Environmental Markets: Opportunities in a New Asset Class
  7. Sustainable Investing for Institutional Investors: Risk, Regulations and Strategies
  8. Investing with Impact: Why Finance is a Force for Good
  9. Nature's Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature
  10. Environmental, Social, and Governance Issues in Investing: A Guide for Investment Professionals



PROJECT GOAL

Our hope is that "Frontiers in Sustainable Investment: Hard Questions on the Horizons" reads as well as a series of TED talks. 

The book meets the readership's need for one resource to identify, explore and explain approaches to making sustainable investment happen on the frontiers of investment practice, literally in far off geographies and figuratively at the intellectual limits in 2017.




PROJECT TIMELINE

This project is more about quality than quantity, and is event-driven not time-driven. 
Book project timelines in 2017 are: 

Q1 2017
Invited writers submit 300 word paragraphs January 2017
Finalize writers and contributions end April (final contributor mix to be decided)
Negotiate and sign with publisher February 2017
Lock down publishing contract and contributor commitments February 2017

Q2 2017
Authors submit first draft 3,000-6,000 word chapter by 20 April 2017
Feedback to contributors and guidance for revisions 31 May 2017 
Final draft from contributors by 30 June 2017

Q3 2017
Pre-print draft by 15 August 2017
Final draft with endorsements 30 September 2017

Q4 2017
Publish for release December 2017
Launch events and feedback sessions scheduled in December 2017- January 2018




AUTHORS

Co-authors and contributors are a selection of the best next generation of practitioners in ESG. 
The contributing authors list will be updated as we develop in 2017 (the authors list included on 10 May 2012):

Rein Ojavere + Geoffrey Mazullo
Christopher McKnett
Lauren Compere + Amol Titus
Nick Robins
Yvonne Janssen + Dennis van der Putten
Laura Gitman
Bruno Bastit
Karin Ireton
Rory Sullivan
Cary Krosinsky
Sudip Hazra
Adam Lane
Hendrik Garz
Sandra Lauterbach + David Lubin
Bruce Kahn
Luisa Montes + Lisa Hayles + Mark Robertson
Liesel Van Ast + Lauren Smart
Sonia Kowal
Barbara Pomfret + Greg Elders 
Jason Sohigian + Becca Madsen
Corli le Roux + Shameela Ebrahim
Martina Macpherson
Wayne Visser
Christoph Biehl
Pamela Leste
Oliver Karius
Gareth Allison + Linda-Eling Lee
Sarah Cleveland
Bill Page

...

*list is subject to change.

 

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