UNB Alumni
Telling our #ProudlyUNB stories

UNBeknownst #32: Sara Taaffe on the tension between economic progress and sustainability

Author: UNB Alumni

Posted on Oct 19, 2023

Category: Young Alumni , UNB Fredericton , Podcast , Renaissance College

Knowing that there are a lot of people who really care and are working every day to make change, and seeing more and more policies and corporate behaviour changing, it leaves me feeling optimistic that we’re doing better than we were doing a year ago. There is hope and people have power.”  ~ Sara Taaffe (BPHIL'15)


Sara Taaffe (BPHIL’15) is a senior project manager with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership in London, England. After graduating with a leadership degree from UNB’s Renaissance College, Sara began applying her passion for social innovation in Atlantic Canada’s technology sector, but after four years began to feel disillusioned with the push for economic growth without putting value on sustainability, ethics, local business and consumer experience.

She disconnected off-grid and began to understand the significant agency that individuals hold in creating positive changes through our day-to-day decisions. Indeed, the compounding effect of these decisions has tremendous influence on that of the wider economy. 

This led Sara to pursue a MSc in psychology of economic life at the London School of Economics and create her own podcast. Now working in nature-related finance at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, she explores the intersection of economic progress and sustainability to better understand how to synergize the two.  

In this episode: 

  • Sara’s experience diverting from the corporate world to go off-grid for three years. 
  • What are the roles of consumers vs corporations and governments and other stakeholders in driving the change that’s needed for a sustainable economy? 
  • What nature-related finance means. 
  • How nature and climate are showing up as macroeconomic risks with various financial institutions. 
  • What consumers and citizens can do to help and why Sara is optimistic for our future.  

Where to listen: 

Links and resources: 

Thanks to: 

For more info on the podcast, the hosts and how to subscribe to new episode alerts, visit ourwebsite.