The Sustainable Finance and the Digital World — Is it the Financial Future We Want?
In our first episode of the new webinar series, The Financial Future We Want: The Sustainable Finance and the Digital World cross-sector experts discussed a wide variety of issues and solutions. Here we have compiled some of the highlights of the discussion. The first episode brought together such experts as:
Thierry Arys Ruiz: CEO & Founder of AgAu AG and TARCO NGO | MD, AIER — Bastiat Society Switzerland
Ekkehard Ernst: Member of STOA International Advisory Board within European Parliament| AI specialist at ILO | President of Geneva Macro Labs
Vanessa Grellet: Executive Director | Global Partnerships and Alliances|ConsenSys — WEF Global Innovator
Ralph Chami: Economist| Assistant Director at the Institute for Capacity Development | International Monetary Fund
Giuseppe Ugazio: Edmond de Rothschild Foundations Chair in Behavioral Philanthropy| Geneva Finance Research Institute.
The discussion began with an opening statement from Mrs.Grellet. She defined Digital Finance as the integration of emerging technology with the provision of financial services…Whereas Sustainable Finance, on the other hand, is financial services integrating environmental, social, and governance criteria into their business or into investment decisions.
Mr. Arys Ruiz opened the discussion with a critical question that many of us might have been thinking about during such unprecedented times. What are the most pressing issues of the future when it comes to sustainable finance and the digital world?
Mr. Chami, believes that COVID-19 pushed us to realize that the sustainability of our economic system is very much dependent on the sustainability of the ecosystem; the new financial paradigm should have both at its core nature.
“Another important component for a sustainable future is the social component…We need to make our societies more sustainable as well,” stated further Ekkehard Ernst.
According to Mrs. Grellet, “people want to invest in companies that are respectful with the environment, with their employees and with the environmental norms”. To which Mr. Ernst added that “ESG is beginning to get more and more important, and especially for younger investors.” Mr. Ernst also believes that we are in critical need of better measuring tools that will help not only the younger generation but to even the old school investors to choose impact over profit at times.
To which Mr.Ugazio specified that decision-making trends in philanthropy are changing as well. “The philanthropes of today don’t want to give charitable money to reduce poverty only… Instead, they want to find better solutions to include and integrate the poorest population in the financial market and create something that is sustainable.”
The discussion continued deeper in philanthropy and on brainstorming ideas that could improve the current financial system and ensure its inclusiveness.
Mr. Arys Ruiz mentioned that “We cannot solve other economic problems unless we first solve the monetary issues.”
Panelists agreed that the current system needs changes, and there was no better time than now to create cross-sector cooperative ventures that can bring changes through accessible technological innovations. However, it’s not all that simple, and Mr. Chami’s concern is that technology can be used to bring a segment of the population in but can also exclude the most vulnerable part of society; one should be careful of who is implementing the technology and how it is implemented so that progress is made in an inclusive way.
The 90 minutes webinar raised critical subjects and served as a call for action. Mr. Arys Ruiz stated, “If we all get our heads together around a problem, I am confident we can find solutions.”. Panelists pursued the conversation by highlighting some of their ongoing projects.
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Watch The Financial Future We Want: The Sustainable Finance and the Digital World webinar on replay and share your thoughts with us! Stay tuned for the next episode of The Financial Future We Want webinar series.