Ethical Investments!?

Lately I’ve heard more and more talk about investment and endowment campaigns and I think this is important work that the student movement could benefit from through unified efforts.

We discussed this possibility over the weekend at the SYC Western Regional Conference and there’s also a call being organized by Sakura Saunders who has been involved in a linked campaign at the University of Toronto against the corporate influence of Barrick Gold. They are also tying their work into educating students about mining issues. Let me know if you’d like to get in on that call, the doodle is now being circulated.

I thought I’d post the notes from the conference to gauge interest and get the ideas out there for those who’d like to be involved.

The following notes were taken by Spencer Rasmussen from UBC:

I’ll attempt to summarize our discussion:

– huge pools of capital (UBC’s is almost 1 billion)
– affecting university decision-making
– they make scary investments (Haliburton)
– endowments represent major source of revenue growth

– divestment in tar sands?
– democratize endowment governance?
– transparency?
– investing in good stuff?
– comprehensive sustainable investing standards?

– targeting university donors
– disclosure to media of portfolios
– pressuring governments to make up funding

Potential Partners:
– Canadian Association of University Teachers
– green businesses

Apologies for the ideas I missed.  I’m still a bit worried about how such a campaign could work for stable and ethical post-secondary funding.

Perhaps the campaign could be structured through a coalition, but it would definitely need an organization or skilled individual to get things going.  Is this something SYC could do?  Is there someone within SYC who’d be interested in doing it.  A few hours on the phone + maybe a conference call might be enough to gauge interest.

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