This month, we ask you to take 30 seconds to meet Carlos Vargas, former oikos PhD fellow in Sustainable Finance (2017). During his time at oikos, Carlos was also responsible for running the oikos Case Writing Competition and was involved in other programs such as the PhD Academy and the Future Lab. Today, Carlos is a professor of Finance at EGADE Business School at Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico. He also teaches at Harvard Summer and Extension Schools.
In this brief letter, Carlos reminisces his oikos experience and discusses his insights on sustainable finance.
In 2015, when I was planning to start my PhD in 2015, I found out about oikos while looking for Case Studies on Sustainable Finance for the class I teach at Harvard. I was very impressed to see all the different programs and activities that oikos promoted and eventually I applied for a PhD fellowship.
Being part of oikos was great for me. It allowed me to successfully complete my Ph.D., which was a lifetime goal for me and I was also able to meet outstanding people in my time there. I learned a lot, but perhaps, the people I met, and the friendships I made, are what I appreciate the most from my time at oikos.
Sustainable Finance is my passion. I started working in this field over 8 or 9 years ago when it was still something new and unexplored. First time I started teaching on this subject I was even able to read all books published in the subject. Today, it is a totally different reality.
Especially after the Financial crisis, a lot of people started to realize that the financial world was not necessarily doing things the best way possible, and some of these concepts and practices started to thrive. In addition to that, newer generations probe to be more engaged and proactive towards Sustainable Finance. We want to do things differently, we want to make a positive change. Finally, technological advancement has allowed for more sophisticated and effective impact measurement, this could have not been done some years ago.
Nowadays, we have reached the point when Sustainable Finance enters the mainstream and becomes an important subject, and reaching that point means a lot to me. I truly believe this is how we design the future of finance, and it is already happening.
This summer, I concluded my PhD at the Institute of Banking and Finance at the University of Zurich. I have got a professorship in Finance at EGADE Business School at Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico, and I still teach at Harvard Summer and Extension Schools. I have many professional and academic goals at the moment, some of which are very related to developing more the field of Sustainable Finance.
Looking back I am just happy I was able to be part of oikos. It has been a great opportunity and has been definitely instrumental in the fulfilment of my professional and academic goals.