The Covid-19 landscape: towards a sustainable economic blueprint?

The final event in the Adam Smith Business School 'Coming Through Covid Sustainability' webinar series

How might Covid-19 and the associated and expected economic turbulence that surrounds it provide opportunities to take seriously new ways of thinking about the economy and the role of business within it? This webinar draws together thought leaders from business, policy and academia to consider the productive possibilities for ways of thinking differently about financial accountability, investment and the economy after Covid-19.

Samina Akram specialises in the field of Islamic and ethical finance and has a wealth of experience within the investment, private and commercial banking space. Previous organisations she has worked for include; Merrill Lynch International Bank (where she was heading up their Islamic finance wealth management business). Deutsche Bank, Barclays Bank, Toronto-Dominion Bank and National Bank of Dubai (Emirates NBD). She runs her own consultancy firm (Samak Ethical Finance) and is founder of the Women in Islamic & Ethical finance forum (WIEFF) which has over 10,000 professional members from more than 30 counties.

Her exceptional contributions to the Islamic finance industry have won her immense respect, public recognition and multiple business awards. She is a recipient of the United Nation's Women's Federation for World Peace award. Samina won numerous internal Merrill Lynch leadership awards during her time with the bank. Other accolades include runner-up of the Women of Future Awards under the category of 'Business Women of the Future' and being shortlisted in the European Muslim Women of Influence list. She has been recognised by Islamic finance review ISFIRE as being among the 20 most distinguished women in Islamic finance globally; with a number five ranking’. More recently Samina has been awarded the Freedom of the City by the City of London.

Brian Henderson is a Partner and Director of Consulting within Mercer’s Wealth business. Lead advisor to some of the largest UK Pension Schemes and Employers and known for developing innovative and award winning wealth solutions. As Director of Consulting, Brian is responsible for overseeing the consulting agenda, developing key market themes and regularly represents Mercer’s view externally. He has over 25 years’ experience which also includes investment consulting together with performance measurement. Before joining Mercer in 2008, was a Senior Investment Consultant within the Investment Practice of Hymans Robertson LLP. Prior to that, he was a director of The WM Company, the specialist performance measurement firm, latterly owned by Deutsche Bank. An industry influencer he has supported many groups, including: member of both the PLSA Policy Board and DC Committee, member of the CFA Institute ESG taskforce , chair of the PLSA cross-industry taskforce delivering guidance for trustees on ESG and Stewardship., chair of the Customer Engagement team for the Advisory Group to UK Government: Creating a Culture of Social Impact Investment and Savings, member of the UK Social Impact Investment Implementation Taskforce and leader of the Financial Wellness team on behalf of the DWP Fuller Working Lives strategy group.

Omar Shaikh is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI). A Chartered Accountant by profession, he specialises in ethical finance, Islamic finance and private equity. He has extensive experience in financial services, has advised multiple governments on financial inclusion policy and regulatory frameworks for non-interest and is a leading advocate and industry commentator for ethical and responsible finance. His background includes working with Ernst and Young London where he was former Head of Islamic finance.

Omar launched the award-winning Edinburgh Ethical Finance Round Table series, a platform that led to the inception of the Ethical Finance Hub and GEFI. Through his work he has established a number of events and campaigns, including the Ethical Finance Summit (a major conference), a pioneering project with UNDP creating innovative financing structures for the SDGs and the interfaith Edinburgh Finance Declaration. GEFI has launched the Path to COP26 campaign, bringing together stakeholders to advance climate finance ahead of the crucial 2021 Glasgow summit.

Michele Battisti is a Lecturer in Applied Economics at the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow. Michele is a labour economist and has been specialises in migration, inequality and gender. Michele holds a PhD in Economics at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. Before joining the University of Glasgow, Michele has worked as researcher at the University of Munich. Michele's research has been recognised internationally and has led to a current research project working on the role of immigrant social networks on the employment and human capital investment decisions of newcomers to Germany.

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