Call for Applications: Impact Investing at TBLI CONFERENCE, Zurich–Switzerland

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Join us as we report on the current state of impact investing in Switzerland’s financial heart, Zurich. You will independently investigate stories and capture industry leaders’ opinion on the relevance of this “emerging” investment category.
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flickr / wallyg under Creative Commons


ZURICH, Switzerland – Zurich, a small city, circling around a long history and increasingly disputed corporate finance and investor industry. Where else could someone better hunt for investment stories than in Zurich? Your job will be to mingle with leading investors and investment experts around the topic of “ESG” (environmental, social, and governance) or impact investing at the TBLI CONFERENCE™ EUROPE 2013. As critical and investigative observers, you add context and content to this industry gathering (see full attendee list here).

Led by a topic-specialized offsite editor, we aim to produce trusted and independent journalistic content about this conference and participating industry leaders.

Project Highlights

This conference project brings together the who-is-who of the global impact and ESG investment industry.

  • Focus on the current debates of investment categories in the field of impact and ESG investments, as well as the role of the TBLI CONFERENCE model in the competitive landscape of conferences in the field, such as EVPA Annual Meeting, Partnering for Global ImpactSOCAP US and Europe meetings.
  • Program dates are:
    • First week of November: journalistic online training and pitch session with editor, specialized in the field;
    • 14-15 November: in Zurich at conference venue; story investigation and quick turnaround blog posts on conference mood and participant voices;
    • December: investigative feature article deadlines.
  • 3 reporter slots.
  • Submit until 25 October: CV, pitches, and application form.
Editorial Tracks

1.     The culture of impact investors – fake, bloody capitalistic or way forward

How do financial investors in this category talk about finance? What motivates these people, and what are the newsworthy and different topics, if there are any, that make up their discussions? See for example: Does the World Water Forum Need More Conflict?

2.     Fringe stories of Zurich´s responsible finance industry – ethnographies at Zurich’s stock exchange

Step out of the conference full of Spotify stock information and search for opinion at the Swiss stock exchange and the banking area of Zurich. See for example: Davos fringe stories.

3.     Impact investment conveners – the business of conferences

You will profile the TBLI CONFERENCE through a look into its business model and the competitive landscape of similar conferences or event conveners such as EVPA Annual Meeting or SOCAP US and Europe meetings. Questions that we foresee are: What is special about investor conferences? How is such a conference financed, who pays for what, and does this add up to be a solid business model for the conference organizer?

4.     News industry in the financial sector – who`s writing for and about it for what reasons?

TBLI CONFERENCE has several media partners that will send their correspondents to write about the conference. What are their stories, for whom are they writing these stories, and for what purpose? You will analysis and dig into the role of specialized industry media. See for example: The Loss of Diversity at the Rio+20 Media Standard Factory.

5.     Insight impact investment industry today – investor practices

You will profile several participating investors and their investment practices and management structures. The analysis turns towards a descriptive account of how impact investors work, and how they work differently, if they do, compared to mainstream investors.

  • Professional journalism training program and offsite editorial guidance by specialized editor and content expert.
  • Highly visible journalistic work published on our outlet.
  • Travel budget, reimbursed up to 200 CHF, and waiver of conference participant fee (worth 500 CHF).
  • Please note that we will not provide accommodation. If not based in the region, we recommend to couch surf with locals or hostels.
  • Enrolled in a higher education program (i.e. Bachelors-level or above, preferably at the Masters or Doctoral level).
  • Strong academic background in a discipline or phenomenon (with ideally a concentration in finance or economics).
  • Excellent written and verbal English skills.
  • Experience in online journalism a plus.
Requirements and conditions

By applying for this project you agree on the following:

  • During conference days, at least one daily blogpost per reporter.
  • Two “journalistic” articles (profile, investigative, or opinion piece), full draft submission by 1 December.
  • Exclusive editorial and publishing rights of all material gathered from sources provided through the project belong to Student Reporter. In other words, all content and articles that you write during this project need to be assigned or permitted by Student Reporter (including those you plan to publish elsewhere).

Please fill out the application form below and send to (subject line: “TBLI2013-first name+last name”) the following:

  • resume or CV [max 2 pgs; .pdf file format]
  • Two to three article pitches of the stories you are interested to follow up at the conference site [max 150 words per pitch; one single MS Word file for all pitches]. MUST FOLLOW our guidelines here.
    • In addition, the pitches must be derived from or surround the 5 editorial themes we provided above.
    • Be sure to carefully look through the conference program to study speakers as well as looking into the conference organizer, sponsors, and media listed on their site.

Student Reporter is a media partner of TBLI CONFERENCE Europe.

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