Which are the next walls to fall - in finance? By alumna Alexandra Dobra.

by Kate Coghlan on 23 November 2016


I am currently pursuing a PhD in Behavioural Research, with a focus on the fund management industry, at the University of Warwick, under the joint supervision of Professor Richard Taffler and Professor Richard Aldrich.

After having graduated from Cambridge in 2013, I went to pursue a career in consulting, in London, as an Analyst at Accenture and a Seconded Analyst to the Accenture Institute for High Performance and, later, as a Senior Associate at Duff & Phelps. I worked on strategy, regulation and innovation, with Boards and Senior Management for Fortune 100 and SMEs. In addition, after having graduated from Cambridge, my links to the university have continued, as I was selected as a role model by 100mentors to help talented students land the University of Cambridge.

As a keen pursuer of positive social impact, this fall, I have been selected as a finalist to present my innovative idea at the ‘Falling Walls Lab Finale’ in Berlin – ‘The brightest minds on the planet’ BBC - presided by the Chairman of the Board of the Nobel Foundation.

My innovative idea, the ‘High-Performance Corporate DNA Transformation Model’ aims to break the walls of unethical corporate behaviour. Following 2007, the financial services industry has been under the spotlight for unethical corporate behaviour. The industry responded by implementing new core control systems, organisational structures and (formal) corporate cultures. Nine years later, the financial services industry continues to incur damages due to unethical corporate behaviour and to drive down social value. So how can this be fixed? The ‘High-Performance Corporate DNA Transformation Model’ that I have developed as part of my PhD thesis, answers how this can be fixed. The ‘High-Performance Corporate DNA Transformation Model’ shall be commercialised by Swiss Economics, headquartered in Zurich, a leading independent consulting company with proven experience in supporting companies, associations and public authorities in regulated industries.

Falling Walls is a unique international annual gathering of leaders from science, business, government, and the arts. Inspired by the peaceful fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989, the question of every Falling Walls meeting is: Which are the next walls to fall - in science and society? The meetings are acclaimed for the high-level speakers, the brevity of presentations, the diversity of issues and the amicable open atmosphere. The Falling Walls Foundation, a charity, is generously supported by the German Ministry of Education and Research, the Helmholtz Association, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Berlin Senate, and numerous other acclaimed academic institutions, foundations, companies, non–governmental institutions and individuals.

Lucy Cavendish College has a strong community of women who are actively engaged in causes with a positive societal impact. Therefore, being part of the College was an experience with a lasting impact for me.

To find out more about Alexandra, please see her Linked In profile here: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/alexandradobra

You can watch a video of her Falling Walls presentation here: https://vimeo.com/191248433