Stefano Ramelli has been with oikos since 2016 when he became a PhD fellow at the Department of Banking and Finance of the University of Zurich, Switzerland. As his fellowship came to the end in January 2019, Stefano looked back at his oikos journey in this thoughtful letter.
Before moving to Zurich in January 2016, I was working in Milan — my hometown — in the field of sustainable finance. It is a very interesting industry, but after a few years of happy professional activity, I started feeling the need for a new challenge, of a more thoughtful and critical understanding of the complex links between finance, our society and the environment. At that time, I had also become very much aware of the importance of higher education in rethinking the role of finance in our economies. That is why when I saw the Call for Application of a new “oikos PhD fellow in finance and sustainability” I did not hesitate for a second, and I applied. It was the right opportunity at the right time.
I think my three years as oikos fellow have been very fruitful. Just to mention one of the activities I am particularly proud of, in 2016 and 2017 I had the pleasure to co-organize two successful oikos academies. These events helped some brilliant young scholars from around the globe to connect with each other and advance their research on finance and sustainability. When talking about sustainability and finance, we strongly need initiatives like these ones that foster new multidisciplinary approaches to research and education.
For the moment, I am just quite busy with my PhD dissertation and with the completion of some ongoing research projects. As for the future, I plan to continue trying to advance my and our collective understanding of whether and how finance can help to create a better world, not only through research but also by engaging with students and organizations outside the academia.
If my enthusiasm is still so high three years after starting my PhD is also because of all the people I met at oikos. I would like to send a special thanks to the (very special) members of the management team of oikos international, who always trusted and supported me throughout the last three years. Thanks to all of you! I wish oikos and all the oikees all the best for the future. This world urgently needs many more people like you, and more student-driven organizations like oikos.