Reimagining finance for the 21st Century Economy

Reimagining finance for the 21st Century Economy

A guest blog from Stuart Hutton – who will be leading daily panel conversations in the Exchange venue at Greenbelt 2018.

Ever since the credit crisis just over 10 years ago, we have seen governments, financial institutions and even investors look at how the banking system first failed us, and how we can change it to make it such that it would not happen again. However, here we are a decade on, and debt continues to rise, global economies are just slowly growing, but being affected by many different aspects, and one of the greatest concerns in the market is when the next crash will occur.

In addition to that, geo-political crisis like Brexit are offering fluctuations in the pound sterling that on one hand add value to the larger global companies share value, but at the same time provide the import of inflation into the markets. Money is still clearly controlled by central banks and global banks, and the divide between rich and poorer still seems to widen.
Some economists and analysts are starting to challenge that maybe we are just not looking at this from the right angle. In fact, by considering the financial aspect only, are we missing some of the greatest issues in our time? Surely a more social and responsible view on how money makes the World go around is for the better of both people and planet.

In the recent press release from the Holy See, Cardinal Peter Turkson states that “Economic and financial issues draw our attention today as never before because of the growing influence of financial markets on the material well-being of most of humankind.” The role of a clear ethical foundation that assures well-being realised through the quality of human relationships, is not something that finance has always demonstrated, and it is now more than ever that we have this opportunity to make a difference and reidentify the role of money in our world.
Following the limited result of the Millennial Development Goals, the UN through extensive collaboration and consultation, developed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are 17 goals to achieve a more sustainable world for future generations by 2030, and to achieve these 17 goals will need money, and plenty of it.

Over the long weekend at The Greenbelt Festival this year, there will be the opportunity for a one-hour session each day at mid-afternoon in the Exchange, where we will explore some of the more thoughtful aspects of money and finance, and how this interacts with our beliefs today. The three sessions will provide a panel of speakers, and the audience, an opportunity to explore areas that are having major impacts on our relationship with money today and into the future:

Saturday – What role does religion have in finance?
A look at how different faiths view finance, and why Islam has evolved such a strong identity today in this market. Also, the role that the Roman Catholic and Anglican Church has started to take. Normally held far apart, why is it important to encourage the role of religion in today’s money markets, and what does it mean for those who adhere to these stronger values?

Sunday – Making an impact with our money
A look at what money really means today, its role in society and how this is changing. How today, money has more purpose, but what impact does this have on those who don’t have it, especially in this unbalanced world. How can it have even greater social and environmental impact, both on a small scale locally & globally?

Monday – The end of money as we know it
A discussion on what is seen as the latest craze, like Bitcoin and Blockchain, as well as a few other mad sounding ideas. Where did this spring from and why is it changing the world around us, and not just finance, but potentially everything? Can just about anything be tokenised?

The hope for these three panels will be to explore just how we all can be part of change, especially around a move away from a stakeholder role to a more stewardship one. If we can consider the generosity of investors when considering both financial return, and social impact. We can now, at last, see how we as the people on this amazing planet we live on, can make it a better place to live.