Last week Strathmore University alumnus Reuben Muhindi, (Financial Economics, 2015), and currently doing a Master’s in International Economics at the Graduate Institute in Geneva, became the global winner of the St. Gallen Wings of Excellence Award. This is the world’s most prestigious essay competition, open to graduate and post-graduate students. The annual award is one of the key highlights of the St. Gallen Symposium.
Founded in 1969, the Symposium is described as “the world’s leading initiative for intergenerational debates on economic, political, and social issues” bringing together world business leaders, politicians, academics and thought leaders for dialogue and problem-solving on global issues. This year’s theme was “Capital for Purpose” focusing on ideas to counter short-termism and the use of capital to address sustainability.
The competition attracted close to 800 essay entries, representing 350 universities and more than 100 nationalities. From the submissions, 100 top contributions are selected and the individuals are invited to attend an all-expenses paid Symposium held at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. From the top 100, nine semi-finalists were selected, representing Harvard, Yale, Columbia, the Graduate Institute, University of Pennsylvania, McGill, University of Auckland and Moscow State University.
At the end, three finalists presented their winning ideas and later engaged in a joint panel discussion with Prof Linda Hill (Harvard Business School) and moderated by international journalist, Riz Khan, in the presence of global leaders. The emerging winner was Reuben Muhindi followed by Natalie Lau (University of Pennsylvania) and Toan Do (Yale University)
In his essay titled “Systemic interventions for sustainable financing”, Reuben focused on four high-impact global initiatives that will intensify the use of capital to finance sustainability: an overhaul of financial reporting standards, realigning global banking regulations, reconfiguring bond credit rating, and having sustainability board positions.
“It was an inspiring and wonderful experience to share my ideas with global leaders and to see them resonate. I am grateful to God for this milestone and the positioning to be a world-changer. His grace abounds so I can continue to use my gifts!” he says.
Reuben is an aspiring public sector leader with interests in central banking and financial markets, public finance management, and sustainable investing. A sustainability enthusiast, he is keen to serve on global corporate initiatives and public sector reforms focused on long-termism and sustainable investing.
Prior to graduate school, Reuben worked at McKinsey & Company and as a graduate assistant at the Strathmore University Institute of Mathematical Sciences (SIMS) and Strathmore Law School (SLS).
Here is a link to the winning essays: https://www.symposium.org/competition/winners.
This article was written by Reuben Muhindi
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