Growth STEM

girls-architecture-vault.jpg

Yes, that’s me.  I’m helping students understand arches, vaults and domes … the forces that affect them … how they stay standing … and where they are used.  This is part of the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Science of Architecture workshop that I’m thrilled to help facilitate and support. This STEM-based (science, technology, engineering, math) workshop helps middle school students recognize the basic structures of, and forces that effect, architecture.  Students hopefully gain a greater sense of agency regarding the built environment and the role of STEM in everyday life.

I mention this because the capital markets is a STEM field too.  Math, technology, programming are essential tools to explain, analyze and evaluate the business/financial environment and market/portfolio structure.  Trends of expansion (tension) and contraction (compression) for companies and sectors are forces. Models are built to understand and predict the effect of forces on the structure (or company).

To students, I often describe architecture as being the intersection of art and science.  By leveraging STEM to serve people in the places they live work and play, architecture can enhance the lives we live.  Can the capital markets do the same?  I believe yes when it moves beyond being a purely mathematical exercise and seeks to support business in its role to serve customers, employees and communities.  Like the oil that makes an engine run more effectively, the capital markets create value when it deploys resources to support growth, creates liquidity to allocate capital where it’s needed or lowers the cost to do business and generate returns.  In this way, the capital markets can serve people by harnessing the forces of expansion and contraction.

A final thought:  The photo on top was taken at the same workshop session:  a diverse group of students were reaching up together to form a dome.  Architecturally domes are strong structures often used when you want to create a large open space with no obstructions.  For me this represents ideals related to: diversity … reaching up … strong structures … team work … no barriers.  Leading students through this workshop is one way I help bring these ideals to life.  How do you support ideals important to you?

Happy Holidays

Lisa Ciota
President/Founder
Lead-IR Advisors, Inc.

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