With the launch of the Building Banking on Values, a new VoiceAmerica radio series I’m hosting that goes behind the scenes to tell the stories of the people, passion and positivity within the values-based banking and financing sector; I thought to introduce you to some of our guests. Listen to the show episodes right here!

Meet Olaf Weber: Author, Professor, and Program Director of the Master’s Program (MES) in Sustainability Management, University of Waterloo (Canada)

Olaf is the director of the master’s program in Sustainability Management and a CIGI Senior Fellow. His research and teaching interests centre on the connection between financial sector players, such as banks and sustainable development, and the link between sustainability and the financial performance of enterprises. Olaf works on research questions like:

  • What are the current and potential impacts of banks on sustainable development and what may banks do to influence sustainable development in a positive way?
  • What is the role of voluntary and regulatory mechanisms for the financial sector to become more sustainable?
  • How do social banking and impact investing contribute to sustainable development?
  • How do businesses manage environmental risks such as water risks and conflict minerals and how do their management practices influence their financial performance?

Currently, Olaf supervises Sustainability Management students and PhD students working on the three research questions and teaches courses in Environmental Finance, Sustainability Accounting and Reporting, and Theories and Tools for Sustainability Management. Olaf also collaborates with banks, such asChina Industrial Bank on Green Finance.

Olaf’s latest book, Sustainable Banking introduces business leaders and students to the many ways in which financial institutions can manage their environmental and social impact and meet the needs of the current generation without compromising the needs of future generations. Olaf Weber and Blair Feltmate go beyond the business case for sustainability: how managing environmental, social, and governance risk can contribute to a bank’s bottom line – to make the sustainability case for banking: how banks and other financial institutions can make a positive impact on society.Book discount.

The book also explores the key aspects involved in making a financial institution sustainable: how to manage the direct and indirect impacts of banking activities on the community and the environment, how to minimize and mitigate the environmental footprint of internal operations, and how to account for various types of environmental and social risk in lending and project finance. They also introduce sustainable banking products and strategies being adopted by industry leaders, such as responsible investing, social finance, and impact lending.

Meet Darrin Williams: Chief Executive Director of Southern Bancorp, Inc. (USA)

Meet Darrin Williams: Chief Executive Director of Southern Bancorp, Inc. (USA)
Darrin Williams’ career is a unique combination of law, business, and politics. Presently, Darrin serves as the CEO of Southern Bancorp, Inc., where he oversees the activities of all three of Southern’s companies. Southern is one of  the most effective and largest community development organizations in the United States, as well as a model for an entire industry of mission-focused financial institutions known as Community Development Financial Institutions. Southern is a $1.2 billion asset organization with over 80,000 customers and 43 branches located primarily in underserved markets in the Mid-South.  Prior to joining Southern, Williams served as Speaker Pro-Tempore in the Arkansas House of Representatives and as the managing partner of the law firm of Carney, Williams, Bates, Pulliam & Bowman, PLLC, where he focused on representing aggrieved investors and consumers in class action litigation against some of the nation’s largest publicly traded companies. On the web at www.banksouthern.com

Williams also served three terms of elected office in the Arkansas House of Representatives, serving as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee and Speaker Pro Tempore of the 89th Arkansas General Assembly. He has been recognised nationally for his legislative work, including being named a 2013 Champion of Small Business by the National Capital Coalition, an Aspen-Rodel Fellow in Public Leadership by the Aspen Institute, and selected as one of 12 state legislators from around the country to watch by Governing Magazine.

In 1986, then Governor Bill Clinton and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation announced an initiative to end decades of economic decline in rural Arkansas by creating new trends of investment in people, jobs, business and property. Southern Bancorp, a community development bank holding company, and its family of nonprofit development affiliates would emerge from that initiative. A consortium of private foundations, governmental entities, corporations and concerned individuals would come together later that year to incorporate Southern Bancorp. Learn more.


Meet Marloes Nicholls:  Senior Fellow, Finance Innovation Lab, and Program Manager with Meteos (United Kingdom)

Marloes has been Programme Manager, Finance (Meteos), Director of Money Comms Lab and lead researcher for BankingFutures. Marloes provides advice to campaigners and students working on alternative finance and economics. Marloes has conducted workshops and lectures in a variety of fora, including the International Cooperative Alliance World Expo, the Pisa Internet Festival, OIKOS, the Skoll Centre for Entrepreneurship, and a number of financial institutions.

Marloes has a wealth of experience working on social change, including co-founding the campaign Move Your Money UK and working at Oxfam on global campaigns and policy. At Oxfam, she was a divisional project manager and supported the development and evaluation of major high profile campaigns, including work on Oxfam’s climate change policy and campaigning.

Marloes continues to participate in grassroots, creative activism in the UK, and is particularly interested in drawing on the arts and community organising to provide accessible ways for the public to engage with money and the financial system. Marloes is also an active member of the New Economy Organisers Network (NEON) and guides Occupy London Tours of Mayfair.

In 2015, Marloes was invited to become a Senior Fellow of the Finance Innovation Lab, in recognition of her work towards creating a more democratic, fair and responsible financial system.

An economist by training, Marloes graduated from Nuffield College, University of Oxford, with a Masters of Philosophy in 2011 and received a first class bachelors in Philosophy and Economics from the University of Bristol in 2008; where she specialised in Game Theory. She worked as a research assistant for notable professors and politicians during this academic period. Learn more.


Don’t forget to tune into Building Banking on Values. My VoiceAmerica radio show airs on Thursdays 15:00 PDT on the Business channel. Learn more.


#BankingOnValues @CatalystWarrior @bankingonvalues @VoiceAmBusiness @MarloesNicholls @MeteosFutures @thefinancelab @southernbancorp  @repwilliams