SVX is happy to welcome Helen Zhou to the SVX family as a Marketing and Communications Associate. We’re delighted to have her join the team!
Helen graduated from the University of British Columbia with a BA (’20) in Philosophy and Political Science as an Applebanks Loran Scholar. Helen had the good fortune of working at various organizations throughout university with the support of the Loran summer program, namely the Nobel Women’s Initiative in Ottawa, OUTtv in Vancouver, and Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights in New York City. She was also a Public Affairs Intern at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, DC.
After gaining exposure to these various sectors, she became interested in impact investment as a way to enact social and systemic change. Helen joined the Social Innovation Academy Fellowship to learn more about the world of impact investment, and became a part of the Analyst program in the summer of 2020, interning for Good & Well. Through the program, she supported Social Nature with a project and was invited to join their team as a Customer Success Coordinator.
She has recently joined the SVX team to support marketing and communications initiatives, from managing and redesigning the website to creating knowledge assets to developing SVX’s marketing strategies.
When you were ten (10) years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I’m pretty sure I wanted to be a popstar à la Britney Spears and Rihanna. I’m glad I didn’t follow my dreams there. I would make a terrible popstar.
What SDG is most important to you and why?
Gender Equality (SDG 4), Climate Action (SDG 13), and Partnership for the Goals (SDG 17). These are the most important because I believe they’re all foundational for all of the other goals. Gender equality is fundamental to ensuring poverty alleviation, health and wellbeing, peace, and reducing overall inequality. Climate action is key to ensuring sustainable cities, clean water, life on land and under the water, clean energy, and responsible consumption and production. Partnership for the Goals is essential to ensuring the SDGs are successful because no one institution, industry, or organization can do it alone. I know this is all a bit of an idealistic answer — but I believe it!
What is the last book you read (that wasn’t about impact investing)?
It was a sunny afternoon in Toronto last weekend and I had a lovely time lying in the grass and (re-)reading a fiction book for the first time in a long time: “The Marriage Plot” by Jeffrey Eugenides. I had read it once when I was in high school, but I’m now realizing just how many of the literary and philosophical references I missed. I’m only about a third of the way in, but I like it so far!
Who is one person you admire in the world of impact investing and/or social and environmental justice?
I took a course with Prof. Peter Dauvergne in my third year at UBC called Global Environmental Politics. I was excited for the course, but I expected just another doom-and-gloom climate change course. I was surprised by the hope that he taught with and the encouragement he had for his students about the solutions and opportunities in the otherwise bleak reality of the planet. He encouraged us to be critical of corporations and the disproportionate amount of harm that has been inflicted upon developing countries when it comes to climate change, but at the same time to not give up hope that we can do better. I will never forget Prof. Dauvergne and that course because it inspired me to see something like impact investing as a way to tackle issues as seemingly insurmountable as climate change.
Why is impact investing important to you?
To me, impact investing represents a way to harness capitalism and re-direct profits towards solutions for the world’s most pressing challenges. It’s a movement to encourage innovation and problem-solving, while simultaneously encouraging collaboration across sectors. As impact investing and social finance grows, I’m hopeful that it can drive more action on all levels and inspire hope in possibilities and progress.