In our second episode of the new webinar series, The Financial Future We Want: Inclusive and Transparent Financial System cross-sector experts discussed a wide variety of issues and solutions.
To combat issues with our current systems, AgAu.io, TARCO NGO & AIER — The Bastiat Society wanted to embody a sense of urgency and act upon given challenges. Following prominent experts took part in the event as speakers:
· Thierry Arys Ruiz: CEO & Founder of AgAu AG and MD of The Bastiat Society Switzerland
· Marie Owens Thomsen: Head of Global Trends & Sustainability | Lombard Odier Investment Solutions
· Michel Girardin: Economist and Lecturer in Macro-Finance | University of Geneva
· Peteris Zilgalvis: Digital Innovation and Blockchain | DG CONNECT | Co-Chair, FinTech Task Force | European Commission
· Sabine Schlorke: Managing Global Manufacturing & Global Trade Supplier Finance Program | Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services Department | IFC
The discussion began with an opening statement from Mrs. Schlorke wherein she mentions how financing is a tool that can improve people’s lives; long-term financing, equity financing & short-term financing along with finding ways to introduce transparency to the big data that hasn’t been present before.
Ms. Owens Thomsen sees that private banks “have feudatory duties to try and preserve client’s wealth which means that we have to be fully engaged in how the world develops and we firmly believe that an economy that is sustainable and inclusive is the kind of economy that will deliver the best results.”
Mr. Girardin comments that the “things we are interested here in this vision for financial future, namely inclusiveness, transparency and [I would] also add sustainability,” those are at the foundation of a truly inclusive system that allows for more disenfranchised individual’s ability to access services and institutes.
Co-Chair of the FinTech Task Force at the European Commission, Mr. Zilgalvis sees massive opportunities with technology being the biggest driving factor “in the financial markets we think that many of the new technologies specifically distributed ledger technologies, blockchain, artificial intelligence can help to make the financial system more competitive, more open and more inclusive”.
The issue goes further than just Europe, globally these technologies can be leveraged to create that environment that will “really put the citizen at the center… of the services and utilize the possibilities like digital assets, smart contracts, central banks digital currencies in the future that make them have more access to financial services whether that to be for their small-medium enterprise, the startup just as a consumer, for corporates or for people who have retired and are not active in the economy”.
Panelists have agreed that our current system needs to shift focus, and there was no better time than now to create cross-sector cooperative ventures that can bring changes through accessible technological innovations than the present moment. However, it’s not all that simple, there is real issues that need to be addressed particularly that women are far less represented and supported in the financial world.
Marie Owen Thomsen highlighted that “ there’s as many as 1.7 billion who are excluded from financial services today, and 1 billion of those 1.7 billion are women; this has to change.” Technology, if accessible can be used to uplift those who are struggling the most and bring in more sustainability in the process. The hour-long webinar raised critical subjects and served as a call for action.
In order to foster a unified front state, Mr. Arys Ruiz, stated, “I see academia to be as a little bit of a way to discuss with both the private sector and the public sector in order to form an informed opinion about what it is we should be doing”.
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