Birth of the Transforming Finance movement?

Did May 10th 2013 mark the birth of a new movement to transform the finance system into one that serves society, the environment and the wider economy, rather than itself?

This might be a rather grand assertion, but we hope that the combination of a major conference on Transforming Finance and public release of A Charter for a New Financial System, will mark a point when the growing collaboration of civil society, social entrepreneurs, heterodox economists and finance professionals began to articulate a coherent alternative to the failed system that created the 2008 crash.

A Charter for a New Financial System

The Finance Innovation Lab have been working on system change for five years, other organisations for far longer.  No one is claiming we have found all the right answers, and much more work needs to be done.  But since 2008, whilst there has been a great deal of criticism of the existing finance system, there has been no coherent narrative of what could replace it.

The overall aim of the Charter is to articulate what we feel to be a growing alignment between players in this debate on the key features of a fair, resilient and sustainable finance system.  We, along with five other organisations – New Economics Foundation, Share Action, Positive Money, Move Your Money and Friends of the Earth – have set these out in short two page document which is now open for endorsement by any organisation who would like to. There are ten key features highlighted aiming to create a just banking system, an investment market that values the long term and harness financial innovation for socially beneficial purposes.  Since May 10, the list of supporting organisations has risen to over 20 and you will hear a lot more about its progress as we test our hunch that some alignment is being established.

Transforming Finance conference

On the same day, a who’s who of finance reform from around the world, gathered at the ICAEW in London to present some of the most cutting edge policy ideas. Some summary videos from the day are already online via The Guardian covering issues such as:

Funding the green economy

Avoiding another crisis

Banking for a Real Economy

What would a democratic finance system look like?

The Transforming Finance website will also be posting full videos of all the major speeches in the coming days.

The Finance Innovation Lab are also hosting an informal network of civil society organisations working together on these issues.  Watch this space for more developments.