Unveiling the new Lab strategy

The Lab has launched an exciting, ambitious new strategy to transform the financial system for people and planet. Developed over the course of 2020 with input and guidance from the Lab community, the Lab strategy 2020-2030 lays out our vision for finance, the values that guide our work, our theory of a change, and the programmes that are going to make it happen.

The Lab’s vision is a financial system that serves people and planet. By that, we mean one which is:

  • Democratic – a transparent and accountable financial system, where all people can participate in the rule-making and institutions that shape it.
  • Sustainable – a financial system that helps meet society’s long-term needs and supports human flourishing on a thriving planet.
  • Just – a financial system that promotes diversity and equality and protects human rights.
  • Resilient – a financial system that provides security and stability for all, and for the real economy.

Our vision drives our work and strategy along with our values – the principles that guide how we work and form the foundation of our organisational and community culture. The Lab’s three core values are:

  • Ambition – holding true to our transformative vision with bravery, based on a fundamental commitment to learning.
  • Collaboration – achieving change with others who share our ambition, being accountable, and acting with humility.
  • Empowerment – acting in solidarity with those marginalised by the financial system, approaching ourselves and others with love and care, and creating spaces where everyone can participate.

But how will we make this vision happen? We focus on transformative systems-change – 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.

We know we can’t do this alone. Our role is to build power to make this change happen, 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.

Our current initiatives are grouped into 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 communitywe 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.

We’re really excited to share our new strategy, and to work with our community to progress towards our vision for finance with renewed focus, energy and ambition.

Read a summary of our 2020-2030 strategy here. If you have comments or questions about the new strategy, get in touch. To get involved, join our community of systems-changemakers.