Grants / Projects we are funding

Enabling a Financial System That Benefits Society: WWF-UK (the Finance Innovation Lab)

Grant details


Awarded on:01/11/2014


Area of interest

Systems change

The project aims to align civil society, amplify new narratives and cultivate action around systemic leverage points for change in finance. The long term aim is to create the enabling conditions that help grow a financial system that benefits society.

What is the issue?

There has been an increased understanding of the power and potential of the financial system – that is the power to serve ‘itself’ and the potential to serve ‘the whole’. Actors are often working in isolation, overlapping their efforts, or competing for attention. There is a lack of a credible vision for change. No one actor, no one policy intervention currently is or is going to create significant change. To meet today’s complex challenge of financial system reform, civil society needs to be more strategic and collaborative.

To create meaningful impact we need to look beyond focussing on changing the rules. The rules of the system must also be inspired by values that serve the interest of ‘the whole’ – people and planet.

‘How’ we cultivate change is just as important on ‘what’ we focus on. Collaboration is essential to address complex challenges- especially that which exist in finance today.

What will the project try to achieve?

The overall purpose of the proposed work is “To build the collective impact of civil society to transform the financial system so it serves people and planet.”

  1. New social norms are created, which are supported by the public and media, which influence finance to have a social purpose that serves people and planet.
  2. There is strong political will amongst key policy makers and regulators to change the ‘frameworks’ in order to transform finance. Relevant polices are changed.
  3. Civil society’s capacity is inspiring and influencing the purpose and shape of the financial system.
  4. The governance of the financial system is more actively shaped by civil society and new market makers who have a social purpose.

Who might be interested in this project?

Stakeholder groups interested in the project will include:

  • Civil society activists and change agents
  • Policymakers looking to find ways to diversify the finance system, including parliamentarians working on the Banking Reform Bill;
  • Alternative financial service innovators, such as peer-to-peer platforms, community banks or impact investment funds;
  • Economic and financial press and media; and
  • Academics and researchers interested in a fair, responsible and democratic financial system.

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