The Responsible Finance Podcast
Creativity helps to build bridges between sustainable, responsible & Islamic finance and encourages beneficial uses of technology in the process

Creativity helps to build bridges between sustainable, responsible & Islamic finance and encourages beneficial uses of technology in the process

December 19, 2018

This month, we are featuring an interview with Mounir Khouzami, Executive Board Member, Chairman of the Advisory Board and Co-Founder of Swiss Arab Network, who has also recently joined the RFI Foundation Board of Trustees.  As he will explain, Mounir is working across three nonprofits to advance his personal mission of being an “intercultural bridge builder”.  He has spent the past 10 years, most recently with UBS, working on strategy, innovation, change management in finance. We also discuss what we have learned from the last two RFI Summits and what we are looking forward to for RFI Summit 2019.

Poverty is not natural and can be overcome and eradicated - An interview with Inge Relph

Poverty is not natural and can be overcome and eradicated - An interview with Inge Relph

November 20, 2018

This episode of the podcast features an interview with Inge Relph, Head of Sustainability & Strategic Relationships of the ERA Foundation, who has also recently joined the RFI Foundation Board of Trustees.  Inge’s career has been guided by the global dimensions on human rights and how women can play an important role in the process of peacebuilding. She has taken a hands-on approach to her work including living in Egypt and mentoring women leaders through conflicts in Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Syria. 

Her career has included stops consulting for the United Nations, executive roles in the private sector and founding a number of nonprofit organizations.  She was a Senior Advisor to The Elders, a group of senior statespeople including Kofi Annan, President Carter, Gro Brundtland and others, during the landmark year of the SDG agreement and Paris Accord on environment.

Silicon Valley & Shari’ah compliant: Find out how thirdACT finances energy efficiency without debt

Silicon Valley & Shari’ah compliant: Find out how thirdACT finances energy efficiency without debt

September 19, 2018

Diane Schrader is Founder & CEO of thirdACT.  ThirdACT is a FinTech working to drive resiliency in communities with non-debt financing of energy efficiency and renewable energy investment. Instead of using debt, thirdACT finances properties’ energy efficiency upgrades in exchange for a share of future sale proceed for the next 20-30 years. This structure provides an uncertain individual property level return that, with help from big data, can be combined together into a portfolio that meets investor needs. 

How can Islamic finance leverage technology in support of positive environmental and social impact?

How can Islamic finance leverage technology in support of positive environmental and social impact?

August 21, 2018

We have been doing the podcast now for a year – this is the thirteenth episode – and so we’re going to change up the podcast with a guest host.  Our guest host is Stuart Hutton, Chief Investment Officer of Simply Ethical, and he’ll interview Blake Goud, CEO of the RFI Foundation about RFI.  In the conversation, Blake shares the history of the RFI Foundation, why it was set up, what it has accomplished so far and what it's working on for the rest of the year.  We had a lot of good conversations in the first year of the podcast, and we are always interested to have feedback.  If you have any feedback, including suggestions for future guests, please drop us an email at info@rfi-foundation.org, or tweet it to us @RFIFoundation.

What happens when a commercial banker goes to divinity school?

What happens when a commercial banker goes to divinity school?

July 17, 2018
Michael Looft has lived a storied life. A globe trotter by nature, he’s worked and traveled in upwards of 50 countries around the world. Michael has spent over a decade working in financial services for the poor (microfinance) at the crowdfunding organizations Kiva and Lendahand. He holds graduate degrees from both St. John's College and Harvard. 
 
Michael has published three books. His latest book is the novel Crossing Allenby Bridge, a story of a man whose adventures around Asia and the Middle East teach him how lead with love through microfinance and Islamic finance. He has also published two non-fiction works: Inspired Finance and Social Impact Finance.

When he is not writing or traveling the world eating exotic foods and meeting interesting people, Michael can be found either trail running or camping with his son.

You can visit him at michaellooft.com

Interview with Matthew Joseph Martin, Founder & CEO of Blossom Finance

Interview with Matthew Joseph Martin, Founder & CEO of Blossom Finance

June 20, 2018

Matthew Joseph Martin is an early pioneer in the application of financial tech for responsible finance. Combining his passion for Islamic finance with his deep financial technology background, Matthew founded Blossom Finance in 2014 which aims to increase the availability and inclusivity of Islamic microfinance.

Matthew's background includes engineering and product management experience in the payment card, money remittance, mobile payments, and mobile banking sectors at venture capital funded, international tech startups Xoom, Boku, and Monitise. He has advised technology startups on various topics including blockchain, payment technology, product management, and sharia finance.

Matthew has spoken to various international audiences on the topics of crowdfunding, microfinance, and blockchain at events in the United States, Bahrain, Dubai, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. He's also an early advocate for proof-of-ownership and distributed ledger technology like Bitcoin; in 2013, he launched his first cryptocurrency business allowing instant purchase of Bitcoin from 27 countries using just a mobile phone. Matthew has studied 8 languages and speaks Indonesian, Farsi, and French at an intermediate level in addition to his native English. Matthew embraced Islam in 2010 and lives in Jakarta, Indonesia with his wife and son.

Islamic finance has much to gain by acknowledging and addressing gender imbalance

Islamic finance has much to gain by acknowledging and addressing gender imbalance

May 15, 2018

Dr Aishath Muneeza is Associate Professor at INCEIF and is one of the key founder of Islamic finance in Maldives. She is the first female Deputy Minister of Ministry of Islamic Affairs and the first chairperson of the Hajj Pilgrimage Fund of Maldives. Currently, she is the chairperson of Maldives Centre for Islamic Finance.

She has published books and numerousarticles on Islamic Finance and her research areas include legal studies & corporate governance applicable to Islamic Finance. She structured the first corporate sukuk, sovereign private sukuk and Islamic Treasury instruments for the government of Maldives and she has played the key role in offering of Islamic finance products by more than eleven institutions. She also designed the first Islamic microfinance scheme offered in Maldives. 

Dr. Muneeza sits in Shariah advisory committees of financial institutions offering Islamic financial services such as Islamic hire purchase and takaful. She also holds the position of chairperson of three different in-house Shariah committees. She is the chairperson of Shariah Advisory Council of CMDA, the capital market regulatory authority of Maldives since 2011. She  is the only registered Shariah Adviser for structuring capital market instruments in Maldives and she is a registered Shariah Advisor at the Securities Commission of Malaysia. The Islamic capital market framework of Maldives was designed by her. She has won numerous national and international awards for her service in Islamic finance industry including the Rehendhi award, the highest award conferred to women by the government of Maldives.

She is also a role model and a mentor for females who aspire to build their careers in Islamic finance industry and is the Vice President of Women on Boards, an NGO advocating women representation on boards of companies. She is an invited speaker in Islamic finance conferences and events held in different parts of the world. She is listed in 2017 as number seven among the 50 Influential Women in Business and Finance by ISFIRE which is an official publication of Islamic Bankers Association based in London and she is among the most influential 500 in Islamic Economy. She is a member of the Association of Shariah Advisors in Islamic Finance Malaysia (ASAS), Malaysia.

Interview with Daud Vicary Abdullah, Managing Director of DVA Consulting Sdn Bhd and an RFI Trustee

Interview with Daud Vicary Abdullah, Managing Director of DVA Consulting Sdn Bhd and an RFI Trustee

April 10, 2018

For one RFI trustee who recently retired from running an Islamic finance university, the way forward for Islamic finance has become clearer as he has had more time to think.  Daud Vicary Abdullah, former president & CEO of INCEIF, the Global University on Islamic Finance, spoke to RFI Foundation CEO Blake Goud for our podcast following a presentation at the Securities Commission & Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS) roundtable. 
 
Daud Abdullah’s conversation — which builds upon the many topics he has raised in articles for the RFI Foundation newsletter — sparked a bigger conversation on how Islamic finance can be truer to its broader objectives while navigating a world where turning principles into action can be difficult.

Interview with Dr. Sherin Kunhibava, Senior Lecturer at University Malaya Law faculty

Interview with Dr. Sherin Kunhibava, Senior Lecturer at University Malaya Law faculty

March 14, 2018

In this podcast, we talk to Dr. Sherin Kunhibava, a Senior Lecturer at the Univerity Malaya Law faculty who had her research on how Malaysia’s Islamic banks approach environmental impact recently published in the Arab Law Quarterly. Dr. Sherin’s expertise is in commercial law and Islamic finance law and she has worked both as an academic and also has worked in banking and elsewhere in the financial industry. 

Her research focuses on whether environmental impact is important for a bank’s identity as a Shari’ah compliant institution, how it should implement this in its operations and who should oversee whether its actions go far enough to meet its obligations for Shari’ah compliance.  Currently most Islamic banks don’t address environmental issues as a part of their Shari’ah governance process so her research includes some recommendations for how Islamic banks could start to address this issue.

Full citation: Sherin Kunhibava, Sarah Tan Yen Linga and Md Khalil Ruslan. "Sustainable Financing and Enhancing the Role of
Islamic Banks in Malaysia," 32 (2018) 129-157.

Interview with Jessica Robinson, Founder & CEO, Moxie Future

Interview with Jessica Robinson, Founder & CEO, Moxie Future

February 20, 2018

In this podcast, we talk to Jessica Robinson, Founder & CEO of Moxie Future, who was previously Head of Asia for the UN supported Principles for Responsible Investment.  Moxie Future is the world’s first insights, education and community platform empowering women as responsible and impact investors. 

Moxie Future has a report out now that is designed to address a gap in the data relating to what women investors are looking for.  To start filling this gap, Moxie Future commissioned a survey of women across five markets, the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and China.  The results point to an huge opportunity for the financial sector to increase its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals, and improve its engagement with women, both employees and clients.

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