The relationship between resilience, innovation and Islamic finance? Speech by Jean-Yves Leber for students majoring in finance at Montpellier Business School

Final year students in the Master’s programme majoring in finance welcomed Jean-Yves Leber, who was visiting to illustrate their Islamic finance module.

Led by Dr Beysül Aytac and Cyrille Mandou (Director of the Bachelor’s programme), the Islamic Finance module consists of presenting the principles of Islamic finance, its financial products and institutions, and its prohibitions and obligations.

As part of this course, students listened to Jean-Yves Leber, who made his debut at the (Comité National d’Etude des Risques Industriels et Scientifiques [National Committee for the Study of Scientific and Industrial Risks]), talk about the relationship between Islamic financial products for financing green projects, compared with traditional Western finance. The goal was to get them to think about another, more ethical and innovative form of finance, knowing that Islamic finance is based on the simple principle that setting interest rates is prohibited and sharing profit and loss is mandatory.

“I have been working for several years on ethical finance and Islamic finance in the context of funding for ecological transition, which deals with projects involving entrepreneurs and communities linked by the search for resilience - the ability of a body, an organisation or a system to recover its initial properties after an alteration – in the face of environmental changes. Since the times of ancient Greece, Mediterranean countries have shared a set of common values, to which I have added this notion of resilience. To me, it seemed necessary to share this idea of the power of resilience, applied to finance that respects human beings and their environment, which for me, is fully expressed in Islamic finance”, states Jean-Yves Leber.

The idea of bringing together, raising awareness in and waking up students, the decision-makers of the future, so that they think beyond traditional formalities, and consider the implementation of innovative, more respectful alternatives, even in a sector that does not seem to be governed by the moral values of ethics and innovation, is a concern of our Master’s programme, which focuses on international openness. This speech gave rise to a genuine culture shock... ”like those we had in religious history in the first year”, some even said.