Interview with Cary Krosinsky of Yale University
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by Justine Hudock
Student Community Engagement, Knovva Academy

by Professor Cary Krosinsky
Lecturer, Brown University
Lecturer, Yale University

Financial management in small and grand scopes are the undersung VIP of every Knovva Academy summit: when the cash changing hands scales up from individual transactions to that of entire nations’ budget sheets, the game scales — particularly in sweat-inducing consequentiality. 

Cary Krosinsky of Yale University was a beacon of modern monetary policy knowledge to our 400 students at the recently concluded Model G20 Summit: Climate Change and the Future of Humanity. 

During the day, Cary Krosinsky has nearly as many titles as his last name has consonants: lecturer in the Practice of Management at the Yale School of Management, and Faculty Adviser at the Yale College on Energy Studies, Climate, and Investing. He also teaches the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Investing at Brown University, helping support the Sustainable Investment Fund within the Brown Endowment, and has been an MBA Lecturer at Concordia and Maryland. He also helped lead and design the RFK Sustainable Investing program at Columbia’s Earth Institute.

How did he fare with a couple hundred international students several years younger than those in his typical classroom?

“I thought the quality of the students’ questions were great. They were very thoughtful, they were concise. It’s a good indication of all the students’ ability and desire to do good work, so it was great to see.

Over the course of his evening lecture and discussion session with the students, Prof. Krosinsky was posed with buckets of student-devised questions, including India native Gauri Chaturvedi’s “How can we include every country in the concept of Natural Value?” and stateside Jocelyn Rose’s meticulous “How do you suggest a country whose economy relies heavily on non-sustainable businesses, resources, or non-renewable raw material try to transition into having a more sustainable industry?” 

“I was really hoping that students could gain a little bit of an understanding that they may not have had before, on how important finances and the conversations around climate change become,” Prof. Krosinsky explained. “Those challenges are everywhere, and they work their way through you know all economies, all people’s lives and they’re different in every country.”

Throughout his lectures and discussion sessions with the students, Prof. Krosinsky insisted to the kids his hope that they hone their simulated countries’ efforts to try to devise a way to hold conversations that concern everyone, such as climate change, in a productive, globally-inclusive manner.

“When you look at these challenges we face, it can certainly be very daunting. It can be easy to get stuck on negativity and negative approaches. What I wanted to communicate in my participation with the students is that a positive approach will inevitably be the solution. We will have success if we cooperate.”

During our discussion section, Prof. Krosinsky was posed with real-world economic problems faced by the students attending, including one poignantly pressing question by Josemaria Montalvo from El Salvador, who asked Prof. Krosinsky his opinion regarding the state of developing countries such as her own: “How are countries like mine going to raise the necessary capital to meet the goals of sustainable finance?”

Our guest responded to each question, no matter the sensitivity of the subject, with measured tact. He sums up his beliefs: “Frankly, a bunch of old white men,” Prof. Krosinsky pauses to laugh, “aren’t going to solve much of anything.”

“We need the young people to rise up and get involved in a positive way, and when that happens change starts to follow. You know, encourage everyone to look at this sort of area as critically important to your career if you’re so minded, or at least help encourage what needs to happen or get involved yourself and think about how much fun, it would be to actually solve these problems together.”

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