Eric Hensel :: Founding Partner, Sr. Sustainability & Social Investment Advisor

"The American Khaleeji. Introduced to the UAE and GCC post-bachelors; his degree in economics is from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor - USA. Since his graduation he has been active in initiating new community and youth organizations almost entirely in the GCC states. Although he is an American, his lifelong dedication is to the Arab world, culture and youth.

Eric is a founding member of the Sustainable Square team. He is responsible for the development of the unique model for the Sustainable Square Think Tank as social entrepreneurship. His efforts are still aligned with his core passion, youth programs and youth empowerment but combined with a holistic, connective and analytical approach to sustainability. Declarations must be justified by data and rationality, something sustainability presently lacks too often.

He seeks new methodologies to justify extensive focus on CSR and is a skeptic of standards and methods such as ISO and GRI in their raw, imported form. He always wants to see initiatives localized. He aims to make CSR and sustainability locally focused and managed with an emphasis on real added-value. He puts extra emphasis on volunteering as a powerful vehicle as it brings people out of their comfort zone and into the lives otherwise overlooked. His preference is to work on research and reports inspired by real activities and tangible, local realities.

In 2007 he was given the chance to launch and stabilize the highly successful Takatof social volunteering program of the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy based in Abu Dhabi. He made his mark there until forming Sustainable Square seeing more than 10,000 volunteers placed during his stint. In his time with the Emirates Foundation he ran or created projects funded by or in partnership with Al Aabar Investment Company, Environmental Agency Abu Dhabi, AL Dar, ESNAAD, Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (Formula 1 organizers), Abu Dhabi Airports Company, Emirates Islamic Bank, Ministry of Education, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Executive Affairs Authority, among others.

Eric was involved in AIESEC Middle East and North Africa during a time of high regional expansion between 2004 and 2007 including management positions with AIESEC Bahrain, Oman, Tunisia, and UAE. Eric has facilitated, chaired, trained, and participated in conferences and projects in the USA, GCC, North Africa, Middle East, Asia, and Europe.

Eric Hensel
Founding Partner - Sr. Sustainability & Social Investment Advisor