Our financial system has become disconnected from the real needs of people, the environment, the wider economy and society. Dysfunctions in the financial system lie at the root of many of today’s challenges, from climate change and economic crises, to poverty, marginalisation, and inequality.
It doesn’t have to be this way. People created the system and people can change it.
Our vision is a financial system that serves people and planet, one which is: democratic, sustainable, just and resilient.
The Lab works on transformative systems-change. We focus on deep, lasting change in the financial system that impacts:
Mental models – the social and cultural mindsets, narratives, norms and values that make up and perpetuate what we believe is normal.
Power dynamics – power dynamics determine how the system operates, who gets most influence, and whose interests prevail.
The Lab’s role is to build power to transform the financial system for people and planet by:
Cultivating a powerful community of systems-changemakers – from inside and outside the financial system, including innovators and influencers from values-based finance, fintech, mainstream finance, civil society organisations, governmental organisations and academia.
Working on high impact initiatives with clear leverage points – to achieve concrete changes that shift mental models and power dynamics to transform the financial system.
We run four programmes targeting the key financial system impacts that will be needed to meet our vision:
1. Growing purpose-driven finance: Significantly expanding the size and impact of financial institutions that put social and environmental purpose at the heart of their ownership, mandate, governance, culture, and business models will be key to building the financial system of the future.
2. Shifting mainstream finance: Mainstream players such as banks and pension and insurance funds will have to shift their activities significantly if we are to meet our environmental and social goals.
3. Influencing law, regulation and policy: The financial system is structured by policy and regulation which define the playing field and rules of the game, and the system’s alignment to environmental and social goals. These rules hold the key to creating or incentivising major transformative change to the system.
4. Building our community: We build the power of our community by developing its size and diversity, facilitating connections, nourishing the people within it, advancing new thinking, and by supporting the development and growth of initiatives for change.