SFG at Building Bridges 2023

The 4th edition of Building Bridges will kick off October 2-5 in Geneva.  Sustainable Finance Geneva is a founding partner and has been a driving force behind the initiative since its inception.  This year, we are running and supporting a series of sessions during the event.  We have summarized them below and hope to see you there!


Launch of Sustainable Finance Geneva Map and Peace Finance Hub

You are invited to join our pitch at the Building Bridges Village on October 3 from 12:30-13:00. Sustainable Finance Geneva will launch two important initiatives that will support our ecosystem of sustainable finance professionals and supporters – our interactive Sustainable Finance Geneva Map and our Peace Finance Hub.

We will begin with the launch of our new ecosystem map. This interactive tool maps over 250 organizations working to advance sustainable finance in Geneva and the broader Romandie. Delphine Bachmann will make an intervention outlining why it is crucial for Geneva to further strengthen its position as a key sustainable finance centre globally and how this map is a crucial tool in fostering a strong, united community.

We will then move to the launch of our Peace Finance Hub which will be progressively fed by the inputs of the wider peace finance ecosystem. This new web portal is designed as a repository of knowledge and guidance for investors on SFG’s Peace Finance impact theme. SFG will strive to make it useful for investors to help them better understand their portfolio exposure to conflict and give them tools to act responsibly and ensure their investments are not further fueling instability. Nobel Prize Winner, José Ramos-Horta, who brokered peace in East Timor in the 90s, will make an intervention about the importance of peace finance.


Rethinking Finance for a Post-Growth Economy

This session will focus on Post-Growth, a stance that extractive economies and populations cannot grow infinitely on a planet with finite material resources. While this topic is new to the finance sector, it has been explored by academia for at least a decade.  It is even becoming mainstream in certain policy circles, for example, the European Union held its first-ever “Beyond Growth Conference” in Brussels this past May 2023.  Given that the finance industry is predicated on delivering return and achieving favorable alphas, there are material questions about what the role of finance will be in an economy that can no longer grow in the ways it does today.  This is what we will explore in this session.

Participating in this event is a unique opportunity to explore the topic of Post-Growth with industry experts and creative minds. We recognize that big, thorny issues like this are difficult to raise in day-to-day discussion, yet they are crucial for shaping long-term thinking and strategy.  We have constructed this session under Chatham House Rules to provide an open and safe space to begin exploration of this topic.

Activism in the 21st Century: Driving Change in Finance

Activists and advocates play important roles in the financial system bringing attention to sustainability issues, calling out inconsistencies between talk/action, and pushing for greater ambition. This session will explore how other organizations like private-sector membership associations can complement the work of activist and advocate NGOs and brainstorm ways to work together to create a culture of accountability.

As sustainability issues gain prominence there is (rightfully) increasing scrutiny around greenwashing and calls for credible action plans to match commitments made by the financial industry and companies in the real economy. The role of activism warrants further discussion but is often seen as too political or contentious. We have constructed this session under Chatham House Rules to provide an open and safe space to engage in frank dialogue.  In addition, we aim to identify key action areas we can take forward as a community. We expect this discussion to be lively and insightful.

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