Launching the Sustainable Finance Lab

Launching the Sustainable Finance Lab
Global, Europe
| 2009 - 2010 |
Finance / Tri-sector

Reos Partners is working with WWF-UK to engage the finance sector in shifting towards greater sustainability. In early 2008, WWF-UK, as part of its One Planet Future strategic plan, invited Reos Partners to work with them in this effort.

With the financial crisis unfolding, a joint team from WWF/Reos interviewed forty stakeholders across the financial sector, having in-depth conversations with a range of stakeholders including investors, bankers, insurers, regulators, academics and NGOs. These interviews resulted in the development of an analysis of the current challenges facing the sector, insights into pre and post-crisis thinking. Through a collaborative process this interview data was used to co-create to the purpose of the Lab. New partners were also identified who were both concerned about the situation and prepared to act for change in the finance sector.

As the crisis unfolded in full, WWF-UK, and Reos Partners were joined by a number of stakeholders to engage in strategic conversations. This group considered not just the implications of the crisis but also looked at the crisis as a symptom of deeper structural challenges. In 2009 WWF-UK and Reos Partners were joined by the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales. Together they convened a series of scenario workshops on the future of the financial sector. Working in partnership with the Futures Group at the Said Business School, University of Oxford, these workshops bought together over one hundred stakeholders to consider the future trajectories of the financial system. These "Future of Finance" workshops resulted in the creation of a wider community of stakeholders who had identified a number of leverage points that indicated the most promising areas of innovation within the financial sector.

Over the course of 2009 a prominent group of advisors were invited to join the Finance Lab as Faculty, including well known figures such as Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Paul Krugman and Prof. Muhammed Yunus.

In early 2010, the first quarterly gathering of the wider Finance Innovation Lab community took place and a number of Innovation Groups formed, which will be taking an action-orientated approach to issues such as complexity in finance, risk, and banking models.

The Finance Innovation Lab has evolved to provide a space for innovation in financial systems. This long-term change process is convening a diverse range of institutions and individuals from business, finance, government and civil society to incubate several initiatives to demonstrate what a sustainable financial system serving business, the environment and society would look like.

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