Thematic Interdisciplinary Challenge (TIC)

Investing in the future (Pathways to Sustainability)

Investing in the future

Tackling the pressing challenges of climate change, including biodiversity loss, inequality and sustainability, will not only take a vast amount of investment but a complete reshaping of how we invest. The current climate scenarios that investment firms use to guide their strategies towards SDGs are drastically unfit for a future that looks to be unpredictable, complex and volatile. To make the leap to a sustainable transition, capital needs to be channelled towards system change rather than system optimisation through transformative investment.


Quantitative models of climate scenarios used in the financial sector are limited: based on unrealistic assumptions and failing to provide a holistic view of the impacts of climate change (such as risks, conflicts, migration and disruptions). The key challenge is creating holistic, qualitative, and theory-consistent scenarios, which map what could happen in many of our plausible futures. We need to understand what entirely new sectors, systems and economies might look like, and how new technologies, business models and cultural understandings come together.

Do you want to be at the frontline of sustainability transitions?

Students and professionals from different backgrounds and disciplines will work together with leading investment firm Baillie Gifford and the Deep Transitions team to develop climate scenarios that could be incorporated into current investment frameworks. They will focus on a variety of sectors, such as healthcare, food and agriculture, mobility and energy, and conduct global-level risk mapping alongside in-depth research into particular focal geographies (with  input on what areas are focused on). The Deep Transition project aims to plant the seeds for change in the broader financial industry and help spark the Second Deep Transition: a sustainability revolution.