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:

  • We are in a civilisation level change in the world and its systems including finance will be transformed in the process for continued relevance to a world more connected, knowledge-based, with new energy and resources to fuel its activities
  • ‘Big finance’, whether state driven or private sector, today acts as a necessary utility for the mass market (credit and deposits) and as an agent for other market participants, but lacks its own independent mission
  • Specialised fit-for-purpose finance expands to address issues 
  • Finance needs mobility, flexibility, coordination to be relevant in a world where change is the constant and equilibrium cannot be expected
  • Development finance is an essential ingredient in financing initiatives that build new markets, which can then attract private sector players as they mature
  • 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 
  • 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) as well as in fast growing developing ones like India (c.70% to become full participants)
  • Digital currency from multiple actors is a disrupter but to radically change the financial model; it requires major adoption by governments and then can be trusted and shift the financial system system
  • Democratisation of finance is the future, digitisation and cybertechnology is an enabler 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
  • 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  
  • The UN adding an 18th SDG for Sustainable Finance would give impetus to financing the current 17 SDGs and provide definitions, standards, commitment, measurement and impetus to drive change in finance and financial systems to pave the way for financing major issues and the future

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