Seasoned island hopper Sara Kaffashi joins the talented team here at Loop as our senior social value economist. Sara loves hiking, cooking and city travel, as well as the occasional shopping trip to London. Let’s get to know her a little better…
So, Sara, what does a social value economist do?
I monetise the social benefit from investing in social wellbeing, including the environment and community value.
At Loop, what contribution do you aim to make?
I will be active in expanding and monetising social, environmental, and economic KPIs for different projects, leading the delivery of consulting projects, and evolving and developing cutting edge social value metrics.
Economists frequently look into their crystal balls, so what do you see as the future trends for social value?
As time passes, the social value will be measured more as the interaction of supply and demand for different indicators, meaning a willingness to pay measures rather than pure proxies. I believe we are moving towards universal measures in business operation and social impact calculation.
How does climate change impact your job?
Climate change affects all our lives directly or indirectly. However, at Loop, we save on travelling related carbon by offering a hybrid working solution.
How did you get into this line of work?
I have an undergraduate degree in environmental science and management. Later, I became interested in economics, especially microeconomics and econometrics and their application to the environment. Luckily, I had the opportunity by furthering my master’s and later a PhD in environmental economics.
How travelled are you?
I was born and raised in Iran and lived and worked in different cities there before making a big move to Malaysia. I spent almost eight years in Kuala Lumpur and then lived for a year in Moscow before relocating to England and Milton Keynes.
Describe the view out of your Milton Keynes window.
I live on the outskirts in a small village surrounded by fields and greenery. You can hear the sheep, and it always amuses me how loud they can be. A view of the church’s bell tower and a few barn conversion homes gives me the cosy village life feel.
How do you like to relax?
I like sport especially running and swimming. I love nature and try to join activities that involve hiking or walking. I love cooking, and if the time allows, travelling.
What book are you reading right now?
I am reading a fascinating memoir about Barak Obama called A Promised Land.
I’m giving you a day out in London, what would you do?
Shopping, restaurants, and more shopping with friends.
Good luck in the new job Sara, and thanks for taking the time to speak to us.