TIPC Contestant Spotlight: Regan Fink
April 24, 2020
This guest interview is a cross-posting from the Investing For Future blog, maintained by our Climate Finance Documentation Team of Public Research Interns. It is the first in a series of profiles edited by Penn College junior Maria Murad, featuring contestants in the 2020 Wharton Business School’s Total Impact Portfolio Challenge. For more on their work, visit Investing4future.org
The Wharton School’s Total Impact Portfolio Challenge (TIPC) “is designed to inspire the next generation of at-scale capital mobilization to address the world’s critical challenges,” according to the competition's website. As an Anthropology student at Penn, and someone interested in whether capitalism can serve any good, I wanted a peek behind the curtain at the TIPC competition.
The Climate Finance Documentation team’s mission is to find and shed light on the human faces behind, in charge of, and affected by climate finance. Part of my personal mission is to understand how we as humans, ensnared in a capitalist world, can change previous investment patterns in fossil fuels in order to save our planet in the age of the Anthropocene. The students participating in TIPC span the United States and Canada, and they are all scrambling to think of the most creative answers to how and whether (fictional) Pawnee University should divest from fossil fuels. This is a question our own university is grappling with itself.
I was born and grew up in Hazard, Kentucky —a small coal-mining town that relies on fossil fuels to support its own and the U.S.’s economy. Kentucky is the third largest coal producer in the U.S. I know how essential the workers that power our nation are, and the health impacts they have faced in order to do so; I’ve conducted research on lead poisoning among Eastern Kentucky coal miners. I’m also aware of the impending danger facing all humans, whether pro- or anti- fossil fuels, in the wake of climate change.
Documenting the strategies and perspectives of leaders on the other side of climate finance is essential to finding a middle ground and saving humanity from rising carbon emissions.
This first post in our series of profiles offers the perspective of Duke University graduate student Regan Fink, who is studying at both the Fuqua School of Business and the Nicholas School of the Environment. As a student of both fields, her perspective is essential to finding the connection between two words that can sometimes seem paradoxical: Climate and Finance.