Sustainable Financial Innovation Centre Annual Conference 2024

ESG Evolution: Navigating Future Challenges and Opportunities

29 November - 1 December 2024

University of Birmingham, Dubai Campus, United Arab Emirates

Keynote Speaker: To be confirmed.

Organizers and Guest Editors: Douglas Cumming, Florida Atlantic University; Hisham Farag, University of Birmingham; Sofia Johan, Florida Atlantic University.

Front entrance view of the University of Birmingham, Dubai


ESG assets are projected to reach $50 trillion by 2025, constituting over a third of the estimated $140.5 trillion in total global assets under management (Bloomberg). The literature on ESG is evolving rapidly, see for instance, Fama (2021); Alex Edman (2022); Cornell. (2021); Cornell & Shapiro (2021) and Cumming et al (2024) among others. Alex Edman (2022) argues that ESG holds significant importance yet is not uniquely exceptional. He states that companies should not be praised solely for enhancing their ESG performance, neglecting other intangible assets that generate long-term financial and social returns. Prior studies also find that although ESG investing may have positive societal impacts, it does not necessarily lead to higher returns for investors; However, as the polarisation regarding ESG grows, stakeholders with differing and sometimes conflicting ideologies and interests engage in debates over its relevance and impact (Forbs, 2023. Larcker et al (2022) discuss seven commonly accepted myths surrounding ESG, revealing that many lack empirical evidence. Alex Edman (2024) proposed a significant shift in the practice of ESG to the informed creation of long-term value, namely Rational Sustainability.

This call for papers encourages research to not only study companies’ commitment to ESG principles e.g., voluntary disclosure during crisis period and whether companies may prioritize financial performance over ESG considerations (value vs values) during times of economic instability but also the future development, challenges of ESG.

Paper Submission Procedure

Papers are to be submitted to: the Sustainable Financial Innovation Research Centre (SFIC) Email: with the subject heading: 'Dubai Conference on ESG Evolution: Navigating Future Challenges and Opportunities.' In your submissions, please indicate whether you want your paper to be considered for the European Financial Management (EFM).

Registration fees:

  • Early bird registration by 30th July 2024: £400
  • Regular registration fee: £450PhD students
  • Early bird registration by 30th July 2024: £250-Regular registration fee: £350

Special issue of European Financial Management (EFM)

A special issue of the EFM will be published on “ESG in the Era of Geopolitical and Economic Instability”. Guest Editors are Douglas Cumming (Florida Atlantic University, USA), Hisham Farag (University of Birmingham, UK); Sofia Johan (Florida Atlantic University, USA). The Special Issue will consist of selected papers presented at the conference. Authors are invited to submit research papers electronically via the EFMA website indicating if your paper should be considered for the EFM Special Issue on ESG in the Era of Geopolitical and Economic Instability. Papers will be reviewed following normal EFM standards. After the conference, authors should thoroughly address discussant comments before submitting their papers to the EFM platform. Authors should inform Prof. John Doukas, Editor-in-Chief, European Financial Management, via email ( that their submission is intended for the 'ESG Evolution: Navigating Future Challenges and Opportunities' special issue.

Key dates

To aid in the development of papers, a three-day conference will be held at Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham, Dubai, United Arab Emirates on November 29th, 30th, and December 1st 2024. The conference will feature an evening reception on 29 November 2024. Conference paper presentations will be on November 30th and December 1st at the newly constructed Birmingham Dubai campus. Deadline for submission to the conference is June 30th, 2024. Authors will be notified about acceptance to conference by July 15th, 2024. Acceptance to the conference does not guarantee acceptance into the European Financial Management.

Special Issue Conference Sponsored by:

The Sustainable Financial Innovation Research Centre (SFIC) at the University of Birmingham; the European Financial Management Association, and European Financial Management.