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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Ariel Sharir

 

Growing up I was strongly influenced by my mom, a strong environmental advocate who instilled in me a resonating values-first approach to life. This led me to pursuing various impact-focused activities and allowed me to discover the power of impact driven capital through my involvement in supporting entrepreneurial individuals in developing countries through the Kiva platform. I have had the opportunity to work for a purpose-driven venture capital fund and the London Social Value Fund. These experiences have opened my eyes to the catalytic power of impact investing and have cultivated my desire to spur positive change in the world.

 

What is your personal definition of sustainability?

Sustainability means a variety of different things to me and my definition is always evolving and changing as my experience in the sector grows. Currently I define sustainability as any activity or function that can be maintained in the long run and makes the world better for the common good. I am especially interested in environmental sustainability as I think that it is the single most important problem that needs to be addressed in the world.

 

What role do you see sustainability playing in your professional career?

I see sustainability playing a very large role in my professional career as I plan on pursuing impact investing. This will mean that how I define sustainability and how I learn to measure sustainability will be critical to my success going forward. I hope to learn more in the sustainability certificate to allow myself to most effectively position myself for success. Furthermore, having the aptitude to recognize and identify when sustainability is core to a start-up’s business models is imperative, as this will allow me to determine the true impact-nature of the company. I also believe that with a constantly changing society, it is important to ensure that the world works towards raising the bar on what companies can define as sustainable practices. I hope to help shape this standard and ensure that it is constantly rising as our environment demands it. Overall, in my professional career path I hope to utilize my constantly evolving definition of sustainability to inspire others and work towards spurring systemic positive impact to help our environment and world as a whole.

 

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?

I first got involved with sustainability though a club in high school called the Environmental Protection Network. This club grew my interest in the environment through salmon conservation activities, beekeeping and a sustainable farming project. This interest led me to work with a purpose driven venture capital firm that invested solely in social or environmental startups during my second-year summer. My work there opened my eyes to how deploying strategic capital to enable impactful startups succeed is a key component to spurring innovative sustainable solutions. To build on this passion, I joined the London Social Value Fund, a student-led investment fund that aims to deploy capital to impactful start-ups in the London community. Through this I have been inspired by many of our advisory board members and have learnt a lot more about sustainable business models and the social impact world. Lastly, I am also involved with the Student Energy Club at Western, in which I hold a sponsorship and finance executive position. The club aims to educate students on the power of renewable energy solutions.

Ariel Sharir

Ariel Sharir