Schulich Hosts Global Virtual Graduation for ILN International Fellows
A virtual graduation was recently held for the 21 International Fellows representing senior government leaders in sustainable infrastructure from emerging economies from across the globe. The Fellows received a Masters Certificate in Sustainable Infrastructure Development and Finance from Schulich for completing the intensive Sustainable Infrastructure Fellowship Program.
The program was created by the Investor Leadership Network (ILN) to promote a mutual understanding between emerging market infrastructure planning public sector officials involved in infrastructure planning and developed market investors. The goal of the program is to combine academic and hands-on experience to better align the expectations of infrastructure planners and investors to build capacity and help close the global infrastructure gap. Launched in 2018 to coincide with the G7 held in Canada, the ILN representing fourteen of the world’s largest institutional investors in infrastructure selected the Schulich School of Business to deliver this international program.
“Now the time is yours to make the biggest difference in the world,” said Marc-André Blanchard, Executive Vice-President and Head of CDPQ Global, to the Fellows during the ceremony. “We need infrastructure, fast, everywhere on the planet, particularly in frontier and developing markets. The two biggest risks on this planet are climate change and inequalities – what’s the answer to both? Rapid build of infrastructure. We need greener infrastructure. We need more inclusive wealth, more inclusive economy. It’s all about building infrastructure that is fit for purpose but that also can be bankable in the world, that can meet the requirements of technology and that can meet the requirements of developers.”
“You have personally and professionally endured a year like no other,” said Amy Hepburn, CEO, ILN. “COVID brought challenges and remarkably you rose to the occasion. We are so grateful for all you have put into this program. We hope this is the beginning of a partnership. Stay in touch, you have an ally in the future for the good work you are trying to do.”
The first year of the program was in-person at Schulich, the 2020 program was cancelled due to COVID and the program went online in 2021. This year’s program consisted of 28 online sessions plus eight industry day sessions hosted by the sponsors over the past eight months.
“Even as the delivery of the program had to quickly pivot online, our goal was to cultivate high quality, engaging and experiential programming that developed a cohort that felt connected even across vast geographies, time zones and pressing COVID-related challenges,” said Sherena Hussain, Academic Director, ILN Sustainable Infrastructure Fellowship Program. “This investment is critical to addressing the parallel challenges of climate change and global inequity.”
At the end of the ceremony, International Fellow Astghik Saghatelyan from Armenia wrote in the virtual chat: “Thank you everyone for this exciting lifetime experience and congratulations to all of us!”