Since January I have had the privilege of serving as the Chair of the Future of Finance Network.
The Network, which is in its third year, is the special interest group for finance and economics, mixing the industrial, academic and political worlds into a delightful cauldron of ideas.
As with all three Young Fabian Networks, the work is planned and carried out by its Steering Group. These committees are open to all those who are interested in participating in the year’s activity.
While the Network’s Steering Groups have always put on their own events, this year the Networks have found their own centre of gravity, developing programmes under their own stream with oversight provided by the Young Fabians Executive Committee.
The Future of Finance Network has a very active core. We divide ourselves into topical groups that we call ‘threads’. The idea with threads is that they act as self-contained units that take on specific responsibility for a certain topic, and then develop events and activities around this set theme. These groups are themselves led by a Convenor who oversees the activities.
The group is very supportive of each other’s endeavours – we are an inclusive family. This wonderful culture means that there is always someone there to help out with a problem, whether it’s securing speakers, searching out interesting think-tank reports, or developing event formats. This makes each success the Network undertakes a true team achievement.
As Chair, my role is to facilitate the work of Steering, interface with the Executive Committee, and secure contributions from other individuals and organisations. My day-to-day role involves being there to help others overcome obstacles, provide alterative options, and advise on difficult decisions. In short, my job is to try and make the volunteers that put together our programme happy, and satisfied with their investment of personal time into our projects.
I am also facilitating training workshops and activities outside of London – keep an eye out for further announcements soon on both these fronts. Beyond that, I am a Convenor myself, running the new Anatomy series of interactive roundtables with the next one coming up soon.
We have a lot of exciting projects in the works including: developing fiscal rules for the Labour government, financing affordable and social housing, drafting strategies to keep the City internationally competitive, and discovering what young people desire from the financial industries. The Convenors – Melissa Higgs, Yoni Smith, Jonathan Orde and Lauren O’Toole, have been exceptional in developing their programmes and leading their teams and I encourage you all to keep an eye out for more of their events later in the year.
If you’re interested in participating in our programmes, I highly recommend you sign up to the Network mailing list. For the adventurous, you can join the Steering Group and help develop and run our programme – and you don’t have to be in London to do that!
To do so, get in contact with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our next steering meeting will be held at Queen’s Ice and Bowl, London, W2 4QL on Tuesday 14 August, followed by a bowling social.
Alex Adranghi is a member of the Young Fabians