E4A RESEARCH INTERN
Sophia is an ecological economist, currently completing a Masters in Environmental Studies at York University in Toronto, Canada. She is working in partnership with the PhD-level research group Economics for the Anthropocene, and through this partnership was invited to conduct parts of her research within CUSP.
Sophia Sanniti is a systems thinker, ecological economist, and game-changing activist currently completing a Masters in Environmental Studies at York University in Toronto, Canada. She is working in partnership with the PhD-level research group Economics for the Anthropocene, and through this partnership was invited to investigate and conduct her research interests with CUSP.
Sophia is determined to explore alternatives to our current structurally pro-growth economy – and society – in order to align human activity within the finite limits of our biosphere. This has led her to assist Professor Peter Victor in the research and preparation of the second edition of his book Managing Without Growth: Slower by Design Not Disaster. In questioning the growth imperative, Sophia is fascinated with the vast unconscious psychological motivations behind humanity’s insatiable desire to accumulate capital. Empirical evidence gathered by the methods utilized in Terror Management Theory demonstrates the existential function capital accumulation may be playing in our daily lives, and proposes that growth in wealth and material goods is essentially one of many methods used to manifest ourselves past our own biological limits in the wake of the realization of our inevitable demise. Sophia intends to explore the relationship between humanity’s existential fears and the need to acquire capital, and whether other more socially and environmentally responsible actions can serve the same function without destroying our environment – perhaps even healing it.
As a graduate of the University of Waterloo’s interdisciplinary Environment and Business co-op program (B.E.S.), Sophia attained nearly two years of practical work experience in both the private (environmental consulting) and public (Environment Canada) sectors which included initiating and implementing the design and analysis of the Species at Risk Population Trends sustainability indicator. During her undergraduate degree she also implemented an awareness and fundraising event on behalf of a local NGO, co-authored an article on sustainability-related social marketing campaigns which was featured at the 2015 World Social Marketing Conference, and maintained the role of Project Manager for her 8-month group thesis project on the desirability of an ecosystem services credit which was implemented in partnership with Alternative Land-Use Services.
Sophia’s earnest passion for our planet and its people motivate her to inspire positive change at every possible opportunity, and she looks forward to the opportunities CUSP will provide to expand her ever-growing research horizon.