The Sustainable Finance Foundation Course (SFFC) was launched in 2016 and is the premier short-course on sustainable finance globally. We aim to attract the best and brightest current and future leaders and deliver a unique experience that equips participants with the knowledge and networks required to undertake significant future work on sustainable finance. The course is centred around a five-day residential workshop held at a college in the University of Oxford from Monday 23rd to Friday 27th September 2019.

The course has been designed and developed by the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme as an introduction to sustainable finance for current and future leaders working in a range of sectors, for example: staff at environmental NGOs who would like to help the global financial system create better environmental outcomes; civil servants and regulators working to develop policies that can foster the development of sustainable finance; executives working in financial institutions that need an introduction to sustainability, the environment, and climate change as they relate to finance and investment; philanthropic funders looking to navigate sustainable finance topics so as to support the most impactful activities; and trustees or company directors that want to understand how sustainable finance relates to their fiduciary duties.

The course is centred around a five-day residential workshop held in a College at the University of Oxford.

The Oxford Residential

The residential workshop will provide a foundational knowledge in the emerging theories and practice of sustainable finance and investment. It will arm participants with sufficient understanding to navigate and critically analyse the key aspects and developments in sustainable finance and investment, as well as how to engage with financial-sector stakeholders for collaboration.

You will have the chance to:

  • Engage critically with financial systems and theories in terms of: private and public finance and investment; innovative NGO financial strategies; and assessing financial information (including evaluating sustainability opportunities and risks).
  • Translate knowledge, information, and objectives from your work into evidence and motivation for engagement with the financial sector.
  • Frame your objectives in a way that is meaningful to financial decision-makers, exploring questions around: how financial engagement fits with your organisation's broader strategy; and where opportunities for environmental leadership can be expanded.
  • Learn from, challenge, and engage in conversation with leading Oxford faculty and expert practitioners who blend research with experience. They will make palatable cutting edge theory on sustainable finance and investment using a combination of real world case-studies, presentations, online simulations, and debate styled under the Oxford Union.
  • Embark on the unique 'Oxford experience' and explore first-hand the richness that the city has to offer including candlelit college dinners and the opportunity to immerse yourself in one of the global homes of education.

Capstone Projects

Over the subsequent six to nine months you will engage in an extended learning project implementing a real-world project related to finance and sustainability. It is intended to demonstrate application and growth from course learning.

The capstone project can be on anything as long as it is related to sustainable finance and investment. It can be a personal project, a project as part of your job, a campaign, a commercial venture, a research project, or something else.

The Course Directors will help you along the way, for example, by providing feedback and introductions to people that might be able to help. You will also be supported by the network of peers from your cohort.

Examples of projects may include:

  • An investment case or financial argument to present to an investment institution;
  • An advocacy campaign or strategy to leverage the influence of markets and finance for environmental benefit; and
  • Or a substantive alternative project of relevance to the participant's work (subject to faculty approval).