Your View On 2021: David Harry Stewart
The new year is just around the corner and what a reality shattering 2020 it’s been. As we set our sights on 2021, we’ve taken a slightly different approach to the usual “Trends for the new year” or “The top things to consider” type of articles. In this Q&A series – Your View On 2021 – we spoke with a few engaging and bright professionals who share their views on 2021. And no, it’s not necessarily about defining trends. The focus is more on sharing positive views, (new) habits, suggestions and what they’re looking forward to in the new year. Cheers to a positive and healthy 2021!
For our first Your View On 2021, we spoke with Stacy Fiehler.
By nature and by education, Stacy is a writer, storyteller and performer. After training in the theatre in London and then an eye-opening role in private banking, she now combines these experiences in order to bring the world of impact investing to center stage, as the Head of Marketing & Communications at responsAbility Investments in Zürich, Switzerland.
What are you looking forward to in 2021?
I am looking forward to the launch of my company’s new website, which I’ve been working on with my team for the last year. We’re aiming to help educate and share knowledge on sustainable investment; see it as a repository on sustainable investment. With the new design, it will optimize the user experience and really be a force for driving our business in a new, exciting way.
How will the (sustainable) investment landscape look to adapt in 2021 compared to 2020?
The pandemic has put a spotlight on sustainable investing as never before. 2021 will see even more investors demanding sustainable solutions from their banks, and therefore 2021 will be the year that real baselines and definitions are set (i.e. EU Taxonomy), for what qualifies as a sustainable investment, so that “green-washing” can be identified and money will flow to the investments that are really worthwhile.
Can you tell us a bit more about a responsAbility project we should be on the lookout for in the new year?
We will be launching our second Sustainable Food Private Equity Fund, which targets investments in sustainable food companies in Asia. With the rising middle-class there, the demand has shifted very quickly to organic and sustainably sourced products. There is also a huge opportunity to invest in companies that are improving the supply chain, as there are currently many inefficiencies that cause both excessive food waste and also cause diminishing returns for the farmers.
Being a communications professional, what changes do you foresee for the art of communications in 2021?
I think that the shift has been, and will continue to be, towards authenticity and emotional truth, regardless of the industry or brand. The art of communication is about giving – that means that you deeply understand your audience and you deliver to them, in the most honest and authentic way, what it is that they are looking for. If your audience wants to see the numbers, just show them the numbers. If they want to learn about how gender lens investing is good for business, give them a story. Put a smile on their face. Put a tear in their eye. Make them feel something in their belly.
Any recommendations for 2021?
With the current situation, I would feel strange recommending physical travel, therefore I think travel within the mind is in order. So since I mentioned sustainable food, I would say that it would make sense to pick up this book if you get the chance: The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat in a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World by Amanda Little SUMMARY: The sustainable food revolution is underway, but is the future of food looking bleak—or better than ever? This author and award-winning journalist spent three years traveling from an apple orchard in Wisconsin to a remote organic farm in Shanghai, from Norwegian fish farms to famine-stricken regions of Ethiopia. She asks tough questions and throughout her journey, she finds and shares a deeper understanding of the threats of climate change and encounters a sense of awe and optimism about the lessons of our past and the scope of human ingenuity.
Finally, on a personal level, what type of changes in your habits or approach to work/life balance are you looking to continue into 2021?
I started working earlier in the morning and then using a longer lunchtime to exercise. I go running, usually, or do yoga. It makes a huge difference in the productivity and concentration that I bring to the afternoon. And it frees up my evenings to spend more time cooking, which I really enjoy and then sharing that with friends and family!