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SLU-Madrid Graduate Employs Economics to Make a Positive Impact

by Katie Gortz on 01/27/2022


Iulian Gramatki (Class of '13) currently works as an economist for State of Life, a startup that performs social impact analyses and program evaluations for charities, local government initiatives, and multinational companies in the United Kingdom. The organization's mission is to provide the guidance and tools that enable their clients to better understand and maximize their social and economic value to society. 

State of Life recently took part in the United Nations Volunteering Innovation Challenge. Gramatki and colleague Will Watt presented a detailed analysis entitled, "Measuring and Monetising the Benefits of Volunteering to Sustainable Development Across the Globe." The paper addressed three principal concerns:

  1. Is there evidence in the UK data that volunteering is beneficial to sustainable development and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in particular? 
  2. How can one establish the full social and economic value of volunteering in monetary terms, using the latest welfare economics and social value methodologies? 
  3. Can this open data approach be successfully replicated across the globe? 
Iulian Gramatki

Iulian Gramatki, Ph.D. Photo by Ángel García.

The United Nations has subsequently adopted the methodology outlined by Gramatki and Watt to measure the economic value of volunteer midwives in Togo. 

In another recent project, "Active Essex: Local Delivery Pilot (LDP Evaluation)," State of Life joined a coalition with the University of Essex to provide an evaluation framework and analysis of the 10-million-pound Sport England LDP across Essex. The findings led the council to reallocate funding from areas where it was less effective and into a place-based strategy aimed at lower socioeconomic areas in the county. 

More on Gramatki's Background

Gramatki, who is originally from Moldova, believes that his education at SLU-Madrid provided both the academic foundation and the international exposure that have allowed him to excel academically and professionally. 

After graduating from SLU-Madrid summa cum laude with a degree in international business, Gramatki moved to Germany to pursue a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Frankfurt. He successfully defended his doctoral thesis in 2016, earning his Ph.D. at age 24 in just three years, making him both the youngest and fastest graduate of the program to date. 

He then went on to intern at the European Stability Mechanism in Luxembourg and work for various companies across Europe, including Simetrica, a startup research consultancy in London, and Civitta, an international consulting firm with branches in 15 countries in Eastern Europe. In his current role at State of Life, he works remotely from his native country of Moldova with colleagues from his former job in London. 

"Many of the concepts I learned as part of my international business major — basic accounting, marketing and management principles, etc. — are very useful background knowledge to have in almost any job or when running one's own business," he explained. "I am especially thankful to SLU-Madrid for providing me with international exposure. I learned to appreciate diversity, understand different cultures and feel at ease when interacting with people from all over the world."

He also explained that moving to Spain and learning the Spanish language further stimulated his interest in learning languages. He went on to learn German while studying in Frankfurt, and he currently speaks seven languages fluently. 

When asked if he had any advice for current students, Gramatki said, "Take advantage of the international experience! Mingle with different people, talk to them, interact, be open and positive."