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Two Student Clubs with an Eye on Sustainability Come Under the Wings of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE)

Monday Jan 17,2022 | IIE News

 

New Student Clubs

 

Two Student Clubs with an Eye on Sustainability Come Under the Wings of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IIE) 

With the conclusion of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), it is evident that youths are stepping up to demand for immediate action to be taken to prevent the severe consequences of climate change on their generation.
Two SMU student clubs with a strong mission in raising awareness and educating the student population on sustainability, be it through impact investing or Smart City technologies, have joined IIE’s community this January 2022.
We had a chat with SMU Impact Investing and SMU Smart City Society, to find out more about the respective clubs, their goals as well as upcoming initiatives to further their cause.


Welcome to the IIE family! To start off, can you share more about your club and how did it come about?

SMU Impact Investing: Thank you for the warm welcome. SMU Impact Investing is the first and currently, only student club in Singapore to have an exclusive focus on impact investing and more broadly speaking, sustainable finance. Founded in 2018, the club was first started to build a community of like-minded individuals who are passionate in leveraging capital to bring about systemic change. We began by educating members about impact investing through introductory classes, case competitions and collaborations with industry partners. With the launch of our ‘Analyst’ track, students are given the opportunity to publish research papers to develop deeper perspectives on the latest trends in the field of impact investing.  

SMU Smart City Society: 2-3 years ago, our advisors, also faculty members, put together a team under the Smart-City Management & Technology (SMT) major in the School of Computing and Information Systems (SCIS) to groom interest in this niche area, so that students would have more opportunities to connect with industry partners. The club used to target SCIS SMT students, but we realised how broad the topic of “Smart City” is and decided to open up to students from different faculties. Ultimately, Smart City is not just about the technology, but also people’s uptake towards it as well as various public policies that influence it, so we want to broaden our scope such that all students can benefit from it. This is one of the reasons for wanting to join IIE as well. 

 

What are some of the partners you have worked with and the impact of these collaborations? 

SMU Impact Investing: The club had a partnership with TRIVE, which is a seed stage Venture Capital firm based in Singapore that invests in technology start-ups that are creating positive impact in Southeast Asia. The TRIVE White paper mainly focuses on Technology in Alternative Foods. We have also published research papers done on the Agritech landscape in South Africa, Micro-finance landscape in Indonesia, Technology in Alternative Foods, and Renewable Energy landscape in the United States of America (USA) in the last cycle. Through the assessment of these companies’ business models, members would better understand the companies’ position towards sustainability and the Net Zero movement, which would encourage deeper considerations from retail investors for the support of these companies. 

SMU Smart City Society: To strengthen our industry-academic links, we organised several sharing sessions with industry partners under our SCULPT programme, allowing them to share the technological advancement in each sector with the students. These sessions are grouped according to different themes, such as Smart Cities, Smart Farming, Social Justice, Smart Infrastructure, Smart Public Services, Smart Healthcare and Smart Governance. At the end of each session, participants would contribute to the mind map of each topic and share their takeaways as well as findings in each area, allowing them to gain a certain level of understanding and awareness on each topic. 

 

Tell us more about your club’s marquee event(s), and what other exciting activities the members can look forward to participating in the upcoming year? 

SMU Impact Investing: The club’s marquee events include our annual Sustainability Case Competition as well as the Masterclasses for students who are interested in learning more about the space and the continuation of SMU II’s Inaugural Panel Discussion from October 2021. 

Coming up in 2022, we are happy to introduce the expansion of our curriculum to include ESG analysis of future risks and opportunities, and how it can be tied to financial valuation of prospective companies. We will also be launching our very first internal case competition and a new research component on ESG Thematic Research. To tie these exciting activities together is our upcoming series on industry professionals across a wide range of sectors, so stay tuned to our social media channels to keep updated with the announcement of the series by end-January 2022! 

SMU Smart City Society: Aside from the SCULPT programme, we also organised the Code for Cities Hackathon last August with Surbana Jurong as the sponsor for the prize, internship and potential FYP (Final Year Project) collaborations for the winners. Open to all SMU undergraduates, we wanted to create a competition that allows students to think outside the box on technologies that can be used in Smart Cities to enhance people’s lives.  

The theme for the Code for Cities Hackathon changes every year. Last year, it was on “Environmental Sustainability and Resiliency”. For future runs, we want to explore more relevant themes on pressing issues in Singapore, such as the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and the “30 by 30” goals, and we are currently on a lookout for potential sponsors to ensure they are aligned with this year’s theme. 


If you are interested to join or collaborate with either club, please contact the relevant club below: 

SMU Smart City Society: Website, Instagram and smartcitysoc [at] smu.edu.sg (Email)

SMU Impact Investing: Website, Instagram and impactinvesting [at] sa.smu.edu.sg (Email)

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