Experience

Sean has 30 years experience working as a social change strategist, working with governments, not-for-profits and pension funds. In that time he has founded five social enterprises and been the proprietor of a ground-breaking current affairs publisher. 

He is now 100%+ focused on being CEO of the Climate Bonds InitiativeThe Initiative is an investor-focused international organization that works to accelerate the global shift to a low-carbon and climate resilient economy by mobilizing bond markets. That includes advocacy around standards; issuer support for bond market development; and policy interventions that promote green finance solutions.

Projects include developing green securitization as a response to aggregation challenges in emerging markets; working with the Chinese central bank on how to grow green bonds in China; a Green Infrastructure Investment Coalition; publishing regular state of the market analysis; and market development programs in India, Brazil, Mexico and East Africa. Sean has also been a consultant on green bonds to the United Nations Secretary General; has been a member of the People's of Bank of China Green Finance Task Force, and is a member of the China Green Finance Committee. He has published a number of papers on how to grow green bonds in China. The Climate Bonds Partnership network includes major investors such as BlackRock, Allianz GI and Legal & General IM; major banks such as HSBC, Standard Chartered, Citi, Barclays, BNP Paribas and RBC; and Government Ministries in Switzerland and France. Sean was a member of the 2013 Commonwealth Secretariat’s Expert Committee on Climate Finance.

The Climate Bonds Initiative runs an International Climate Bonds Standards and Certification Scheme with some 200 organizations involved in its development and governance. The $34 trillion Climate Bond Standards Board includes the Treasurer of California, Bill Lockyer; the US Investor Network on Climate Risk; the EU Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change; CalSTRS, the USA’s second largest pension fund; Australia’s Investor Group on Climate Change; CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project; the Natural Resources Defense Council. Its industry working group includes representatives from KPMG, PwC, Standard & Poor’s, Aviva Investors and the IFC. 

An accomplished international speaker, Sean has over the past year spoken at conferences and seminars in Toronto, New York, Boston, Washington DC, Paris, Frankfurt, Utrecht, London, Casablanca, Doha, Beijing, Hong Kong and Sydney. He was previously an award-winning marketing advisor to a number of the largest Australian pension funds and a social marketer and publisher.

Experience across a wide range of issue areas

Sean has developed policy marketing strategies for a wide variety of government agencies and NGOs.  He has worked in areas ranging from law and justice to environmental education and age-based discrimination. He has previously been:
  • Network for Sustainable Financial Markets (NSFM) > director, international association of finance sector professionals and academics.
  • Climate Risk Ltd, advising business and government on climates risks and opportunities > Europe manager. 
  • Australia’s National Relay Service > consultant marketing manager.
  • Greenpeace Australia Pacific > board member. 
  • Online business services company Cleardocs (UK and Australia) > board member.
  • TransformUK multi-sector climate policy coalition > Steering committee member.
  • CEO (and co-founder) of middle-level public relations consultancy Social Change Media.
  • CEO of internet consultancy Social Change Online. The firm created hundreds of web sites in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Brussels.
  • Proprietor of independent politics and current affairs publisher, Pluto Press Australia.
  • Founding manager of educational publishers Redfern Legal Centre Publishing & Streetwize Comics.
  • A director of The Australia Institute think tank.
  • Chair of the community agencies: Waterloo Family Services Centre and Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre.
> Australia climate policy projects
  • Moving to a Clean Economy, A Climate Change Action Plan for the new Rudd Labor Government in Australia. Produced under the banner of the Labor Environment Activists Network, it outlines the economic benefits of action, opportunities and the need to address winners and losers from policy proposals.
  • The Smart Energy Plan - Taking the next steps in climate change leadership. (See attachment at bottom of this page.) A proposal for "Clean and Economic Energy for NSW", developed for the Clean Energy Business Alliance and the Labor Environment Activists Network.
> Government communications on social issues
  • Strategy development for a variety of national and regional communications and marketing projects, including:
    • National public awareness campaigns around literacy education.
    • The Reader Friendly Communication Awards, promoting better communication in public documents.
    • An anti-racism campaign for the Human Rights Commission, "Different Colours One People".
    • Public awareness for the Australian Attorney-General's Justice Statement.
    • Public relations for a national mental health awareness campaign.
    • Creating nationally distributed Parenting Education resources.
    • Projects around indigenous issues ranging from promoting the value of Indigenous Languages, to Community Action for the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation.
    • Co-writing the Australian Government's e-Strategy Guide for NGOs.
  • Sean has worked closely with national government Ministers, State government departments and local government.
> Pension fund marketing
  • Sean has extensive experience working on improving financial literacy for members of Australia’s largest pension (industry superannuation) funds.
  • His company, Social Change Media, provided marketing and communications services for 6 of Australia's largest 20 pension funds.
  • He pioneered innovative popular communications for some of the largest pension funds in the world (HESTA, C+BUS, Aria, Australian Super, MTAA); undertook the first qualitative research with members of Australian industry pension funds; and marketed one of the first Australian eco-investment funds (for HESTA Super). 
  • Sean's firm was the winner a dozen "Combined Major Superannuation Fund" communications awards.

“A clear and innovative thinker and a great motivator and communicator, with clients, with staff and with business partners like me.” 

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Sean Kidney,
31 Dec 2008, 05:06
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Sean Kidney,
5 Jan 2009, 08:38
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