Alumni Forum | May 2022

The study of climate change and sustainability is the new computer science

Sustainability and environmental awareness is the social issue and driving economic factor of the future. The Big ESG Idea: Defining the licence to operate.
Alumni Association invites you to discuss socially and economically relevant topics, share your expertise with and gain insights from within the community.

Venue: SSE Riga, Soros auditorium
Date: Thursday, May 26
Time: 14:00-17:00

Attendance policy: Open to all alumni and Y3 students

14:00 Opening note: Arta Beitāne, Member of the Board, SSE Riga Alumni Association
14:05 Welcome speech: Yuri Romanenkov, Executive Vice President – Development at SSE Riga, on the launch of the Strategy Institute, a new unit to serve as the bridge between the School and the business world
14:20 Keynote address: Dr. Karen E. Wilson, Senior Advisor, Centre on Well-being, Inclusion, Sustainability and Equal Opportunity (WISE), OECD
15:00 Alumni Panel ‘Adapting to the new reality’ followed by Q&A
16:00 Alumni Panel ‘Riding the wave’ followed by Q&A

Keynote Address

It’s an honor and privilege to have Karen E. Wilson sharing her vision and experience on the topic. Her profile indicates the weight and strength of her competence and expertise:

Karen is a Visiting Lecturer and Senior Advisor to the Strategy Institute at the Stockholm School of Economics Riga where her focus has been on sustainable finance, ESG, impact investment and private equity. She also works with the OECD and has been leading the OECD’s engagement in the Impact Management Platform (IMP) which seeks to provide coherence on sustainability standards for companies and investors.

Karen has worked in the private and public sectors on finance, entrepreneurship and innovation, including in investment banking and venture capital. Earlier in her career she was part of the management team of the World Economic Forum and served as a Senior Fellow at Bruegel and Kauffman Foundation.

She is an Associate Fellow at Said Business School at Oxford University and teaches at other universities in addition to SSER. She also serves on a number of boards with organizations involved in impact and sustainable finance.

She received, with honors, a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics and Management from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Alumni Panel ‘Adapting to the new reality’

It’s no secret that sustainability is a key priority for many of us, and there are tangible steps businesses can take to ensure they are aligned for success. From upgrading buildings and infrastructure to forging ahead with greener, more efficient production standards – there are numerous opportunities for businesses to reduce waste in the supply chain and incorporate sustainability within their company culture.

Sustainable innovations through the growth of the digital economy is also a key area where investment in digital solutions can improve our productivity and connect us faster to each other. Whether it’s software management solutions, apps or new technological enhancements to reduce energy usage – sustainable innovations that reduce our carbon footprint over the long-term are the way forward.

Maija Orbidāne, BSc’08
Head of ESG Practice at PwC

Evija Tambaka, BSc’15
Head of Group ESG Target Setting at Swedbank

Evija Šturca, BSc’03
Partner at KPMG

Imants Jansons, EMBA’10
Senior Vice President Legal Affairs / General Counsel at airBaltic

Kristians Pudans, BSc’00
Marketing Director at Altum
>> Session Moderator

Alumni Panel ‘Riding the wave’

We all need to be aggressive at meeting – and exceeding – our sustainability targets. The need to innovate will not disappear, but sustainable innovation is increasingly critical as society becomes more conscious of addressing climate change. It’s something everyone, at every level, needs to contribute to.

There’s a significant opportunity for early-stage businesses to build a market-leading position around helping others do better. If you’ve done the groundwork to be able to help a business (in any industry) become more sustainability conscious, you’ve got an advantage.

Einārs Garoza, BSc’14
Partner at INLUD

Egija Gailuma, BSc’13
Co-founder of SPACESHIP

Māris Simanovičs, BSc’01
Founder of NOTHOT

Lauris Grāvelis, BSc’07
>> Session Moderator