Bruno Lam is a UBC Sauder graduate contributing to building an ecosystem of impact investors in Vancouver and impact-driven student initiatives at UBC.
It all started when Lam attended UBC Sauder's Centre for Social Innovation and Impact Investing's (S3i) annual “Propel” conference. Up until then, the Commerce student knew that he wanted to combine his business education with his interest in sustainability and poverty alleviation. Business, however, didn’t seem to have a place in solving global issues.
The first panel at the conference proved him wrong. Lam learned about the investors using their capital to generate both social impact and financial profit. He heard about the social enterprises operating in local communities in Vancouver and in developing countries.
He left the conference inspired and got involved in creating several initiatives at UBC Sauder that allowed him to combine both business and social impact. With the Commerce Scholars Program, he modeled the environmental costs in the supply chain of electronic equipment, and studied the mechanics of new financial instruments making education more affordable in Ghana. As a management committee member of the UBC Sauder Philanthropy Program, he sourced and managed consulting projects with three prominent social enterprises in Vancouver. In his final year, he took COMM386E: Social Enterprise, which allowed him meet like-minded students to understand the topic further.
“All these experiences helped me develop my own theses about the role of business in society," said Lam. "A real “a-ha” moment for me occurred while working with social enterprises at the Coast Capital Savings Innovation Hub. None of them rely on their “social” mission to sell to customers and investors. All of them are as rigorous about their product as their Silicon Valley counterparts.”
Lam graduated in May 2016 and was awarded the Matthew H. Henderson Memorial Prize for the "Most Outstanding Male Graduate." Since then, he has remained involved with building the social impact community at UBC Sauder. He has worked with the Peter P. Dhillon Centre for Business Ethics on several projects, including reporting to the UN Principles for Responsible Management Education initiative and as a coach to an undergraduate team at the Ted Rogers business ethics competition. Additionally, he works with multiple student clubs, research centres, and faculty divisions to create initiatives surrounding business and social impact.
Over time, Lam narrowed his focus to two areas: finance and data. Today, he works with SauderS3i to provide research and advisory services to the Pacific Impact Investor Network, and manages the data analytics for a social enterprise called Brighter Investment. His future plans include developing expertise in the areas of data science and human-centered design. His hope is to contribute to society's transition into a low-carbon economy.