Extel 2003 to 2018, for SRI, Responsible Investing.

This is the 2018 IRRI Survey results - published by Extel Surveys and SRI-CONNECT. I snuck in at 20 for “most positive contribution to sustainable investment and corporate governance in 2018”


 This survey has its origins in the Extel survey, where the first survey was done in 2003. I won the no. 1 slot back in 2003 for best sector analyst for integrated SRI analyst. 


Now that RI, ESG, Sustainability and its adjacent areas such as green finance and the like, has on the face of it taken off I reflect that we’ve achieved some things, but not as much as we might have hoped for.

Greta Thunberg | Climate Activism | Autism

Not everyone can be Martin Luther King, Tyler Cowen posits in his recent philosophy book, Stubborn Attachments, but hints that those who can be will make a huge difference. How to know what to do… There’s a common sense morality that many of use that implies we do the best we can for our families and friends and acquaintances but, for instance, we don’t divert all of our time and resources to helping the extreme poor or to fighting climate change.

One trait that autistic thinking seems to have more than typical thinking is a stubborn focus. This focus borders on what typicals  would find too difficult. It can manifest on an insistence on only doing something one way, for instance only drinking out of a certain cup but also an insistence on, say, fighting for the truth.

Autistic thinking can sometimes have a concrete consistent logic that defies the niceties of typical thinking - either social niceties or the (wilful) blindness that typicals exhibit - a tendency to tell the truth as they see it - for example “you are fat” as statement of fact or “we are destroying the planet”

Typicals obviously can display these traits, but I find it notable in the atypical population.

Perhaps, it is unsurprising to note Greta Thunberg, 16 years old is on the autistic spectrum (Asperger’s diagnosis) and is a climate activist.

She finds the lack of progress by the Davos’ elites as bewildering and the use of airplanes (and meat eating) by those professing to be combating climate change as inconsistent.

Thus displaying a consistent concrete logic by travelling by train, activist campaigns and turning her parents vegan. And with a disregard for Davos social niceties.

A recent CNN article on her advocacy at Davos:

“"Some people say that the climate crisis is something that we will have created, but that is not true, because if everyone is guilty then no one is to blame. And someone is to blame," Thunberg said flatly. "Some people, some companies, some decision-makers in particular, have known exactly what priceless values they have been sacrificing to continue making unimaginable amounts of money. And I think many of you here today belong to that group of people."

(see above)

There was a short pause in the room before Bono started clapping.”  (Full text here: https://amp.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/25/our-house-is-on-fire-greta-thunberg16-urges-leaders-to-act-on-climate

Article here:


Her recent Washington post Op-ed


And her previous UN COP24 speech:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFkQSGyeCWg

Links: VC, Creativity, Gulag, 80000 hours

Links of the week


Have I Been Pwned: Check if your email has been compromised in a data breach

Have I Been Pwned allows you to search across multiple data breaches to see if your email address has been compromised


the Guardian

Action not words needed over biggest public health failure of our time: pneumonia | Larry Elliott

Me: I think that antibiotic resistance and use, as well as basic hygiene (toilets etc. cf Gates Foundation) are bigger health failures, but the idea is worth a thought.


the Guardian

Leaps and bounds: what I learned in 13 years as the Observer's dance critic

After filing his final dance review last month, Luke Jennings reflects on the transcendent highs and excruciating lows, and his hopes for the future of the art form.

Me: I missed many of these (caught the Pina Bausch). Unsuccessful dance is perhaps even more painful than see unsuccessful theatre, but successful dance is transcendent in ways which often defies words.


The New Yorker

The Investor Seth Klarman, in a Rare Interview, Offers a Warning. Davos Should Listen

Klarman, a low-key but highly influential investor, believes that shortsighted business practices are imperilling public confidence in capitalism.

Me: Klarman gives interviews rarely and is considered an influential value investor. His warnings chime with some other managers of late eg Ray Dalio (though not some others eg Paulson).

The Paris Review  | Forty-Five Things I Learned in the Gulag

Varlam Shalamov claimed not to have learned anything from the Gulag except how to wheel a loaded barrow. But one of his fragmentary writings, dated 1961, tells us more.


Y Combinator

Why Should I Start a Startup?

A lot of people ask themselves why they should start a startup. My answer to why you should start a startup is simple: there is a certain type of person who only works at their peak capacity when there is no predictable path to follow, the odds of success are low, and they have to take personal responsibility…



80,000 Hours

80,000 Hours: How to make a difference with your career

You have 80,000 hours in your career. How can you use them to make a difference?