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    Academy News

    Crash course introduction to Input-Output model mathematics

    by Ad Min -
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    A new crash course is available now in the Academy.

    The course should be useful for people who want to refresh their linear algebra and matrix theory knowledge or want identify specific areas which they wish to study deeper. It offers a brief introduction to Input-Output Model mathematics, the basic elements of linear algebra and matrix theory that are necessary to understand the standard Input-Output models, including their environmental impact extensions. Matrix theory is the main subject covered here, as it is the dominant mathematical tool used in IO analysis. The focus is on notation and defining the mathematical objects and operations commonly used, not the economic interpretation or any mathematical proofs.

    This resource can be seen as a slightly more mathematical version compared to Appendix A: Matrix Algebra for Input-Output Models as presented in the definitive textbook on IO models, namely Input-Output Analysis Foundations and Extensions by Miller and Blair. We follow roughly the naming, notation and conventions of the Encyclopedic Dictionary of Mathematics.

    A summary of the main topics covered:

    • Basics, Matrix Definition, Matrix Families
    • Various Matrix Operations
    • Matrix-Matrix Products (Cayley, Hadamard, Kronecker etc.)
    • Matrix Inversion and Matrix Series
    • Select IO Specific Topics

    You can enroll directly here. Enjoy and keep us posted with any observations, ideas or feedback on how to improve this resource.

    New Course: The Climate Dictionary Quiz

    by Ad Min -
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    The Climate Dictionary is an initiative of the  United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) aimed at providing people worldwide (*) with a simplified guide to understand climate change. The Dictionary (first published Aug 2023) seeks to bridge the gap between complex scientific jargon such as present in the IPCC publications and the general public. It selects several dozen important climate concepts that are currently actively discussed worldwide with the aim to make them more accessible and relatable to individuals from various backgrounds and levels of expertise. The content is crafted to cater to diverse audiences, catering to both the scientifically inclined and those with limited prior knowledge of the subject.

    A selection of Climate Risk related terms that are documented in the Open Risk Manual are already integrating the Climate Dictionary content with a focus on Risk Management and Sustainable Finance implications. As an additional resource, the Climate Dictionary Quiz accessible here at the Open Risk Academy is based on the Climate Dictionary and provides an educational tool to enable deeper understanding of the essential terminology. 

    The quiz consists of circa 65 questions of multiple choice type. The  objective is to enable anybody interested in climate change to benchmark their knowledge of these key terms.

    (*) Currently in English

    Temperature anomaly worldwide as per July 2023 (are reported by NASA)

    Image: Temperature anomaly (deviation from long-term average) as reported by NASA for July 2023

    Migration of course code repositories from main Open Risk account

    by Ad Min -
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    Dear Academy users, the github repositories for courses that have associated code and/or data has been re-organized to improve usability. A new github organization (Open Risk Academy) now holds all such course directories (instead of the main Open Risk account).

    Any old links to specific repos should be still functional (redirecting to their new location) but the best way to access the collection is through the new organization landing page linked above.

    There is also a new associated github discussion page that can help with specific issues around course material available in these repos. As always the Open Risk Commons forum is available for more general discussions of tools, risk models, best practices or any other relevant issue.

    Happy "back to school" to everyone!

    Screenshot of Open Risk Academy github organization

    2001 Users joined the Open Risk Academy's Space Odyssey

    by Ad Min -
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    Dear Academy users,

    we have happily reached 2001 registered users. For fans of Stanley Kubrick's extraordinary 1968 movie this is a number full of connotations.

    Well, actually its way past 2001. It is anno 2023 already. While the future is not quite what is was predicted to be, it is wonderful and scary in its own way.

    Digital technology is everywhere, ubiquitous computing devices in the hands of (almost) everybody, information networks spanning (almost) the entire planet, algorithms gobbling ever more data and getting ever more complex and inscrutable.

    What does the dawn of the digital age mean for both old and new and emerging risks. What does it mean for our ability to learn to manage these risks?

    Image of the 2001 Space Odyssey monolith

    What role can the Academy play to enable an open, widely available risk management skill-set based on open source tools and knowledge bases?

    Where lies the biggest potential for impact? Is it Sustainable Finance? Or maybe Python Data Science? Or Cybersecurity or AI Risk? Maybe something else altogether that you see brewing or even "all of the above"?

    I would like to invite you to chip in your opinion, suggestions and experiences to help us chart a course for the next phase of the journey. What courses or tools do you see as most relevant for our own, down to Earth, Space Odyssey?

    Looking forward to hear from you. Please send a free-form email with any thoughts or remarks to academy@openriskmanagement.com

    Electrifying the Doughnut: Simplified Visions of Sustainable Finance

    by Ad Min -
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    Dear Academy users,

    today is June 21, happy Solstice Day! It is also the sixth annual #ShowYourStripes Day - a time when meteorologists and other climate communicators around the world raise awareness of our warming planet by displaying colorful visuals of climate change.

    strips of temperature rize

    An opportune moment, thus, to put together a few words and visuals inspired by the remarkable sustainability transition journey we have embarked on as societies, the changes this may bring to the shape of economic activities to come, the structure of future financial systems and the new challenges for risk management.

    The blog post Electrifying the Doughnut: Simplified Visions of Sustainable Finance is a journey into well known visualizations such as Planetary Boundaries and the Doughnut Economy that have eloquently and succintly raised public perceptions about complex issues around economic sustainability.

    It raises the question: Can we create more quantitative and practical versions that can be used in the context of developing sustainable finance tools and risk management? What simplifications and tradeoffs are needed? How can we reconcile and present diverse information such as spatial distribution of production and consumption, complex supply chains, energy mix and, ultimately, responsibility for transitioning towards a sustainable economy.


    A graph depicting interconnect urban nodes with different sustainability profiles as indicated by the color code 

    Equinox 0.7 release focuses on scope 2 (electricity) emissions

    by Ad Min -
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    New data models introduced in this release of Equinox cater to the requirement of integrating energy attribute certificate information into the portfolio database.

    A schematic depictrion of energy flows in an economy

    The overall procedure for accounting for Scope 2 emissions does not deviate from the established patterns of the GHG Protocol:

    • Description of the GHG Inventory Boundary and in particular electricity consumption within that boundary
    • Information on Emissions (Energy and Emission Sources, Activity data and Emission Factors associated with each activity)
    • Information on Methodologies of measurement and Data Quality
    • Information on Emission Changes (For Period-on-Period explanations)
    This standard GHG quantification and reporting procedure is already mapped in the Equinox architecture, e.g. in the design of its portfolio and reference data models and reporting flows.

    The peculiar case of Grid energy attributes

    The peculiarity of electricity and Scope 2 emissions is that (in general) energy injected into distribution grids does not retain any of its production attributes and in particular the amount of GHG emissions that were generated during its production. This follows simply from the physics of electricity generation and transmission.

    Various jurisdictions have developed certification schemes that create informational artifacts that attribute energy produced during a certain period on the basis of the generating device. Market-Based Scope 2 Accounting is an alternative Scope 2 GHG Protocol method based on GHG emissions emitted by the generators from which the reporting entity contractually purchases electricity alongside energy attribute certificates.

    In order to facilitate the reporting of Scope 2 emissions under the market-based approach, the 0.7 release of  Equinox introduces data models and tools for managing energy attribute certificates, in particular those following the European Energy Certificate System (EECS) standards.


    Are you interested in Sustainable Portfolio Management and open source tools or eLearning material to support the energy transition? Please reach out!

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