#25: Prof Vanina Farber on Making a Jigsaw from Career Pieces

My guest today is Professor Vanina Farber. Vanina originates from Argentina, is an economist and political scientist and currently holds the elea Chair for Social Innovation at IMD Business School in Switzerland.

Vanina is a specialist in social innovation, entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility, with almost two decades of experience in teaching, research and consultancy, working with academic institutions and international businesses and non-profits.

She is passionate about studying and fostering the application of innovative, sustainable, inclusive and, above all, practical, market-oriented approaches that aspire to change the world by addressing the root causes of social issues.

I spoke with Vanina face-to-face in Delhi, India.

We talk about starting out by getting good at counting things that are difficult to count, about not fitting neatly into established tribes and ‘wandering around’ to find her own. We talk about about her take on business school students’ changing expectations for relevance and purpose and their impatience for having impact. We talk about where she sees social investment ecosystems heading and the importance (for now at least) differentiating ‘social’ from the rest of business. And we talk about how only now, as the stars aligned to create her dream job at IMD, does she finally see that the eclectic pieces of her career jigsaw have fallen into place to create a coherent picture.

Tony Cooke

Tony Cooke is an internationally-recognised sustainability leader with over 25 years spent at the nexus of sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship, developing and executing strategies for business, governments and not-for-profit organisations across a wide variety of sectors. He now manages a portfolio of interests including; senior corporate counsel, executive coaching, non-executive roles and thought leadership through a combination of research, writing and podcasting. Visit my personal blog at http://tonycooke.wordpress.com

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