The Finance Innovation Lab in 2017, 2018 and beyond!


As 2017 draws to a close, our Executive Director Anna Laycock shares a few highlights from the Finance Innovation Lab’s year, along with our plans for next year and a small favour to ask…

What happened in 2017?

 This year our flagship incubation programme, Lab Fellowship, focussed on financial health. Working with our partner Toynbee Hall, we held an expert Ideas Hack, recruited 13 pioneering Fellows, provided intensive support and leadership development for them over six months, and held a hugely successful Demo Day at which guests made over 150 pledges of support. 

On Friday we released the first findings from our independent evaluator and it’s good news: the programme is “an outstanding success” with “an abundance of evidence that it has met its stated outcomes of embedding social purpose into the design of new innovations in this field”. Please spread the word!

2017 montage 1

Our experience of supporting innovators through regulatory processes led us to hold a series of roundtables on the relationship between social purpose and financial regulation, in partnership with the FCA and St Paul’s Institute. We’ll be releasing a report on this early in 2018 – watch this space!

We also started work on a new textbook on green finance, in partnership with the Chartered Banker Institute. The Institute’s Green Finance Certificate will launch in 2018, with the textbook as the core learning resource. 

2017 montage 2

We took our message on financial systems transformation across the world, including the launch of the Independent Money Alliance in the UK, an intensive workshop with the Stockholm Resilience Centre, teaching innovation to members of the Institute for Social Banking, lecturing on fintech and social purpose at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and sharing our learning around systems change at Spark! and Future of Good in Ontario, Canada. 

Finally, we recruited six stellar new Trustees, who will help us take our work to the next level in 2018 and beyond. We’re looking forward to another busy year!

Trustees 2017 wide

Our plans for 2018

In February we’re hosting two roundtables to explore issues raised through our Financial Health Fellowship:

  • Open Banking and Financial Health: 10.00 – 12.30, Thursday 8 February
  • Ethical use of AI in Finance: 10.00 – 12.30, Thursday 15 February

If you’d like to find out more, please email

Fellowship will of course return in 2018 – we’re currently working on an exciting new model to help us expand our reach and give intensive support to innovators with the strongest potential to positively disrupt the financial system.

We’ll also be taking our unique incubation model into the heart of the financial system, working with intrapreneurs who want to transform their professions and embed social purpose in their organisations. We’re looking for collaborators to help us shape this work – please get in touch on if you’d like to get involved.

2017 montage 3 

And finally…

We’re looking for supporters who could enable us to scale our work to incubate the people and ideas with the potential to change finance for the better. We have ambitious plans for the next few years – so if you know someone who shares our belief that finance can and should be done differently, and who might be able to help us get there, please let me know.

Thank you for all of your support over the last 12 months – here’s to a very happy Christmas and a peaceful, just and sustainable 2018!