UN-World Academy of Art and Science Panel: The Role of Finance in Addressing Global Challenges

Convening Organisation: UN-World Academy of Art and Science

Lead: Garry Jacobs, President & CEO, World Academy of Art and Science



Panel Moderators: Ketan Patel, Greater Pacific Capital; Christian Hansmeyer, Greater Pacific Capital


  • Neha Grover, South Asia Regional Lead, Private Equity, IFC, India
  • Prakash Kannan, Chief Economist, GIC, Singapore
  • Adam Levinson, Co-Founder of Gama, Singapore, NYC, SF
  • Norman Roesch, Founder and Managing Partner of Coreleus, Formerly MD, Goldman Sachs, Ambassador, Credit Suisse, Germany
  • Anjalee Tarapore, General Manager, HDFC, India
  • Ding Wei, Chairman, CICC Capital, China, HK
  • Osamu Yamamoto, Partner, Unison Capital, Japan

Some of the Key Takeaways from the Panel:

  • The World is facing a civilisation level change to its systems, including financial ones, which will be transformed in the process for continued relevance to a world about to achieve an unprecedented in history level of connectedness and distributed knowledge and with new energy and resources to fuel the activities of a nearly 10 billion world population by 2050 
  • ‘Big finance’, whether state driven or private sector, is no longer fit for purpose, and has become a necessary utility for the mass market (credit and deposits) and as an agent for other market participants 
  • Specialised fit-for-purpose finance will expand to fill the gap and enable financing to address specific issues using structures and forms that are fit for the risk, return and interests of multiple stakeholders across the world  
  • Finance needs to be more mobile, flexibile and self-sustaining to be relevant in a world where change is the constant and equilibrium cannot be expected and so disintermediation, the proliferation of currencies, peer-to-peer mechanisms and other innovations are likely to arise
  • Development finance is an essential ingredient in financing initiatives that build new markets, which can then attract private sector players as they mature which will create new markets in new geographies and for hitherto unserved populations
  • Sovereign and pension funds have an important role providing financing through crises to protect stakeholders, and their perpetual capital affords them the ability to take the long term views required to price market externalities and this pandemic demonstrates their on-going importance and growing role
  • Mass financial inclusion is required to capture the 2/3rds of the world in developed countries like the US (20-30% are not real participants I the financial system) as well as in fast growing developing ones like India (where c.70% are yet to become full participants) and without this the world’s current financial participants can expect more disruption 
  • Digital currency from multiple actors is a potential disrupter but to radically change the financial model it requires major adoption by governments and only then is it likely to become a trusted component of the system and it will then shift the whole financial system causing a political and economic shift, with implications for the dollar as a reserve currency 
  • Democratisation of finance is the future, with digitisation and cybertechnology as enablers of the widespread decentralisation of finance and the empowerment of individual level financial systems
  • Increased awareness, consciousness and self-empowerment of people regarding their condition and human rights is a driver of change and this is one of the most powerful forces for change in a world underpinned by real time social media and global digital connectivity
  • Individuals, as part of Households, own the vast majority of wealth and as consumers will increasingly make choices at the point of purchase to consume from businesses that fit their views and values, driving industry to respond in ways that affect their products and activities, and in this in turn will drive value and investors will follow

Reference Website: http://www.worldacademy.org; http://worldacademy.org/conferences/stgl