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Updated: Nov 17, 2020

Video of event held on Tuesday 27th October 2020

FinTech’s promise is that of disruptive digital technology that will democratise finance, increase competition, and better align the financial system with broader societal goals. FinTech could change the power dynamics between the owners of capital, citizens, and the public and private intermediaries that deploy those funds. Digital finance can be an important catalyst to make more rapid progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. FinTech is also seen as the competitive answer to the economic problem of a highly concentrated banking market. This online event brings together experts and practitioners in digital finance to explore the tangible progress that financial digitization has made towards achieving its promise and to explore how public policy initiatives can further accelerate movement in the desired direction. We will explore the following questions:

  • To what extent will developments in digital finance live up to the promise?

  • What are the characteristics of digital finance that lead to enhanced social value in a way that the traditional finance market cannot?

  • What is the relationship between digital finance and traditional green finance or social finance initiatives?

  • What are appropriate metrics to judge whether individual digital finance initiatives create social value?

  • What public policy initiatives can accelerate the social contribution of digital finance specifically as opposed to the general contribution of finance to social goals?




Sir Roger Gifford


Sir Roger Gifford is Senior Banker at SEB in London. He is Vice-Chairman and a former Chairman of the Association of Foreign Banks (UK) and was Chair of the London Green Finance Initiative launched in 2016. He chaired the UK Government’s Green Finance Taskforce in 2018 and is now Chair of the UK Green Finance Institute, launched in 2019, which has the economics, risk and commercial opportunity of meeting the challenge of climate change as its main focus. He was Lord Mayor of London in 2012-13.


Marianne Haahr


Director of the Sustainable Digital Finance Alliance - a not for profit foundation - with the objective to harness the power of fintech to unlock financing for the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Marianne has been External Advisor on TechVelopment to the Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Prior she was Executive Leader at Sustainia leading the development of the

Global Opportunity Explorer,

a digital platform for sustainable business innovation in partnership with the UN Global Compactand a group of Norwegian businesses and investors.


Louise Wilson


Co-founder of Abundance, an award-winning peer-to-peer investment platform with a mission to help turn members of the public into real stakeholders in things they care about. She founded Abundance following a successful career structuring and managing multi-million £ investment offers at a major bank in the City.


Simon Zadek


Currently Sherpa of UN Secretary General's Task Force on Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals; Chair of the Migrant Nation Foundation, and Chair of the Finance for Biodiversity initiative. He was Co-Director of the United Nations Environment Programme Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System. He is a visiting professor at Singapore Management University and Visiting Scholar at Tsinghua School of Economics and Management in Beijing His book, The Civil Corporation: The New Economy of Corporate Citizenship received the Academy of Management's Best Book Social Issues Award and has been called one of the most influential books on sustainability by the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership.


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