Currently browsing: Guest

This category is for selected guest blogs written by students on the City, University of London Writing for Business shortcourse.

Work-play-live: Future-proofing the built environment through impact investing

[Hilary Waterman specialises in communications and is an avid traveller who enjoys exploring new cities. She was a student on the City, University of London Writing for Business short course in January-March 2020. Hilary wrote this blog as part of a homework/in-class exercise on that course.]

Author’s note: The views expressed in this piece reflect those of the author, not Savills Investment Management.

In a letter to investors in 2018, Laurence D. Fink, CEO of BlackRock – the world’s largest asset manager – wrote:

Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. … To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.

Laurence D Fink, BlackRock CEO, January 2018

We are in the midst of a sea change in how companies conduct business and plan for long-term growth. ‘Doing good’ may have been an activity conventionally pursued by nonprofits looking to better the world. But due to a confluence of factors including globalisation, socially conscious Millennials and the ever-increasing gulf between the haves and have-nots, impact-driven investment has landed squarely on the agenda of profit-driven businesses too. As much as personal values are fuelling this behaviour, society and the environment are demanding it.

A change of climate is a good thing: invest in a sustainable Africa

[Ada Amadi is a research funding officer working within higher education. She was a student on the City, University of London Writing for Business short course in October-December 2019. Ada wrote this blog as part of a homework/in-class exercise on that course.]

If headlines are to be believed we are currently in a climate emergency.

Rising temperatures, floods and potentially irreversible environmental damage are but a few of the known effects of climate change.

Climate change is the 13th UN sustainable development goal (SDG) and over the past year it has made regular headlines.

Developing countries, like those on the African continent, have been hit the hardest. Government policy makers agree that something needs to be done. Surely now is the time for us to act.

The work of Olafur Eliasson: Tate Modern exhibition review

The use of light for experience, investigation and play

[Maria Luisa Hernandez Enriquez is an Industrial Engineer with a love for art who studied for one semester at Christie’s Education. She was a student on the City, University of London Writing for Business short course in October-December 2019. Maria Luisa wrote this review as part of a homework/in-class exercise on that course.]

Olafur Eliasson’s performative practices provide a space for the spectator to interact with the artwork itself. He has created a wide variety of pieces including sculptures, installations, paintings and photography, using materials that are not common in the art world: mist, fire, water, stone and light. The materials look to nature and evoke the landscape of his native land.

There is a humanistic approach in the work of Eliasson; it is completed when the viewer experiments with it through their senses and mind. The artist crafts the experience for the viewer to interact with it, and afterwards the viewer activates the masterpiece. It could be said that the art piece is not complete until the viewer plays with it and has their own experience.

Through collaboration the artist merges science and art, creating a unique environment for the visitor. The artwork may appear to be simple; however the process of making it involves a lot of study. Eliasson successfully achieves the application of engineering and geometry to art pieces, and manages to engage with the viewer.

If you are lucky enough to be able to see one of his works, do not hesitate and go. An unmissable exhibition is just finishing, on 5th January 2020, at the Tate Modern in London: ‘Olafur Eliasson in real life’. It is spectacular and sensorial. To enjoy it, you do not need to know anything at all about art, just time. It brings together over 40 works of art completed since 1990 by the Danish-Icelandic artist.

Image: Tate Modern promotional literature 2019: tate.org.uk

Africa’s contribution to the developed world

[Paschorina Mortty is a communications expert who is passionate about Africa. She was a student on the City, University of London Writing for Business short course in October-December 2019. Paschorina wrote this blog as part of a homework/in-class exercise on that course.]

The global narrative on Africa is often a paradox and here’s why. On the one hand, Africa is often linked to a plethora of negative representations and perceptions. These include poverty, famine, corruption and conflict. Conversely, we also hear of the great potential of Africa with phrases like ‘Africa Rising’ and the ‘Next Frontier’. However, these representations do not come close to defining the true character and potential of a continent that is still, in some parts, being stunted by neo-colonialism. Many people still view Africa as a continent that is dependent on aid and the West, when in fact this dependency is a two-way street. There are many diverse and often positive stories about Africa and its contribution to the developed world that remain untold.