Call for Submissions: Ecological, Societal, and Technological Risks and the Financial Sector- An edited collection to be published by Palgrave Macmillan (Palgrave Studies in Sustainable Business)



The John Molson School of Business at Concordia University, in partnership with Palgrave Macmillan as a leading scientific publisher and Future Earth as the United Nations´ knowledge network, kindly invites contributions to the forthcoming edited book Ecological, Societal, and Technological Risks and the Financial Sector. This transdisciplinary book will include critical contributions from leading academic experts, policymakers, and practitioners in related fields to provide insightful and practical analyses of the interactions between the financial system and the larger socio-ecological system. We encourage contributions that reflect cutting edge research and the latest trends in the transition towards a more sustainability-oriented financial system.


The world is facing various challenges stemming from changes in ecology, society, and technology. Climate change, mass migration, and cyber-attacks (among others) undoubtedly affect the financial sector as well as unresolved problems within the financial system itself.

However, the identification, measurement, and management of these non-traditional risks among academics, financial practitioners, and regulators is still at a developmental stage, especially water risk, cyber risk, and the risks stemming from the newest technologies and developments such as the uberisation of many services (including banking), blockchains, Fintech, etc.

Our edited book will shed light on this topic by examining the unique measurement and modelling challenges associated with each of these risks, the connectivity of non-traditional risks, and their interaction with finance. Specifically, it will (1) identify and classify evolving risks from outside (and inside) the financial system, (2) explore approaches to assess and operationalize non-traditional risks in finance, and (3) show how they affect the financial system (thereby exploring the vulnerability of financial institutions and financial markets).

A comprehensive analysis of non-traditional risks in finance should – as an extension – provide the basis for the development of appropriate risk management techniques in a way that securitisation of these risks may entail some opportunities for investors. Approaches may include both actions to protect against the threats from non-traditional risks and measures to benefit from opportunities arising from upcoming changes.

We address this topic from the perspective of institutional investors who engage in the risk and return management of financial firms as well as from the perspective of financial supervisors, regulators, and central bankers for whom non-traditional risks create new challenges. We also address both the adverse and positive effects of institutional investors through their supervision. In addition, our book will address issues related to voluntary and involuntary corporate disclosures related to these risks, specifically, the future effects of providing investors with transparent and useful information about the potential impact of these risks.

Every risk factor discussed in this book creates unique challenges for individuals and institutions as well as for our society as a whole, and traditional risk management approaches are typically inadequate in addressing them.

The book takes account of a recent paradigm shift regarding financial systems. In recent years, new ways of thinking and doing business have emerged among academics, practitioners, and policymakers, many of whom no longer consider the financial system a closed and isolated system.

Rather, these parties often argue that our financial system has (or should) evolve into a larger socio-ecological system where finance, social wellbeing, natural resources, and planetary health are highly interlinked. Whereas the financial system has traditionally been considered as a responsive system that is exposed to and reacts to external challenges, financial institutions and markets are increasingly considered as primary actors who affect and influence the surrounding natural and social system by means of their actions and/or inactions. Under this theory, the world cannot move towards an overall balance (sustainability), address climate change, reverse environmental degradation, and improve human wellbeing without aligning the financial system with sustainable development goals.


Thomas Walker, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Finance, John Molson School of Business, Concordia University (

Dieter Gramlich, Ph.D., Professor of Banking & Finance, Head of the Banking Department, Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (

Mohammad Bitar, Ph.D., Scholar in Residence, Department of Finance, John Molson School of Business, Concordia University (

Pedram Fardnia, Ph.D. Candidate in Finance, John Molson School of Business, Concordia University (


1. Economic risk factors (new dimensions and interactions with non-traditional risks)
a. Financial risks (low interest margins, indebtedness & leverage, domestic savings rates, asset bubbles, etc.)
b. Business risks (business costs of crime and violence, quality and quantity of local supply, business cost of terrorism, etc.)
c. Macroeconomic risks (public finance, taxation)
2. Ecological risk factors and their measurement/management
a. Global warming (rising temperature)
b. Extreme weather events (floods, droughts, hurricanes, blizzards, wildfires, etc.)
c. Scarcity of resources (water, energy, air, etc.)
d. Loss of biodiversity, pollution
e. Collapse of ecosystems
3. Societal risk factors and their measurement/management
a. Demographics (ageing societies)
b. Societal instability and cultural polarization (nationalization, terrorism, mass migration, etc.)
c. Health (diseases, pandemics, etc.) and food shortages
d. Geopolitics
4. Technological risk factors and their measurement/management
a. Cybersecurity threats (e.g., hacking and the sale/misuse of confidential data)
b. Automatization (robotization)
c. Blockchain technology (e.g., the price volatility of digital currencies and their use for criminal purposes)
d. The Dark Web
5. Outlook
a. New methodologies in the field of risk measurement/risk management
b. Existing and new hedging instruments (e.g., specialized derivatives, catastrophe bonds)
c. Investment and other opportunities stemming from emerging risks
d. Enhancing risk disclosure standards for corporations and financial institutions
e. The need for new regulations at the supranational, national, and provincial level


This book will consist of contributions from experts from both the academic and practitioner communities at the interface of finance and surrounding systems. Contributions may include conceptual approaches for modeling as well as case studies and reports obtained from practical experience. It is thus intended for readers in different fields and industries. Besides its use as an academic textbook, it can be used as a best practice manual for regulators, policymakers, and industry leaders in the growing area of sustainable finance around the world.

We will be reviewing submissions with an open mind to new approaches, especially those that push the boundaries in addressing critical problems moving forward. Additional suggestions for topics may be considered.

Researchers and practitioners with expertise and interest in this field are invited to submit abstracts of no more than 1,000 words, together with a CV, to Pedram Fardnia (Editor) at by February 28th, 2019.

Authors will be notified about the status of their proposals and will be sent complete chapter guidelines by March 14th, 2019. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by May 31st, 2019.

Submitted chapters should be original and exclusively prepared for the present book. No part of the article should be published elsewhere. Chapters must not exceed 7,000 words (including all references, appendices, biographies, etc.), must use 1.5-line spacing and 12 pt. Times New Roman font. Further formal guidelines referring to the APA 6th edition reference style will be provided.

The authors will make a valuable contribution to the interplay between the financial and the surrounding systems as an expanding and elementary field. Each author will receive a copy of the book. It goes without saying that there are no submission or acceptance fees for submitted manuscripts.


Abstract and CV submission deadline – February 28th, 2019
Selection of abstracts and notification to successful contributors – March 14th, 2019
(publisher release forms forwarded to successful contributors)
Full chapter submissions – May 31st, 2019
Revised chapter submissions – July 31st, 2019
Publication – December 31st, 2019 (tentative)