Just over 2 months ago, 51.9% of the UK voted to leave the European Union. Britain’s economy reacted as expected; the domestically oriented FTSE 250 index fell by 14% in two days, and the pound sterling dropped to a 31-year low against the US dollar at $1.32.Read more
On Thursday 26 March, the Young Fabians Finance Network marked its five year anniversary with an anatomy session on social finance.
In the network's first event of 2015, Shadow Infrastructure Minister Lord Adonis joined Big Society Capital's Aine Kelly and Will Martindale - Head of UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment, with each speaking on different aspects of social investment. Martindale spoke on ways to embed more sustainability into the financial sector, Kelly spoke on Big Society Capital's role in funding social projects and Adonis reflected on how businesses have successfully partnered with the public and third sectors to deliver social value.
The group then broke into three anatomy sessions, with each speaker debating their topic area with a section of the audience. The event was hosted by law firm Simmons and Simmons and was the first in a series of discussions to look at a range of contemporary political topics and the role that finance can play.
Commenting on the event, Labour Peer Lord Adonis said:
"I welcome this new series of policy discussions on the role of finance in society. The private sector has an important role to play in supporting social initiatives and it is commendable that members of the Young Fabians Finance Network are actively engaging in these debates."
Joshua Price, Chair of the Young Fabians Finance Network said:
"Social investment can play an enormous role in creating a more sustainable, diverse and vibrant economy and a fairer society. I’m delighted that the Young Fabians are leading the way by giving under 31s a voice in this debate and I encourage any socially-minded young person with an interest in finance to join our network.”
Amidst the backdrop of falling public expenditure, a limited flow of credit and depressed incomes, we are witnessing the emergence of a new kind of social economy. Unconventional actors and organisations are occupying a growing space between the public and private sectors, challenging established wisdom about how we create and distribute value in our society. Initiatives such as Care4Care, Community Land Trust and the Green Investment Bank, are working in new and innovative ways – somewhere between public services and the market – to deliver social and environmental benefits.Read more
The New Labour project represented the single largest policy shift in the Labour party since its creation, radically altering the electoral agenda of the party. No longer would Labour be fighting for nationalisation or "the common ownership of the means of production", instead Tony Blair would run a campaign based on a new platform of “social individualism”. Regardless of what you think of Blair, his policies were a compromise with the free market. He thought that the private sector was the most efficient, and pushed ahead with the task of privatisation set forth by Margaret Thatcher.Read more
“Crowdfunding” has become a buzzword in the past few years, and I would know; I have a little alert set up that lets me know every time the subject is mentioned online.Read more
Lack of access to capital is still a constraint on the ambitions of Britain's entrepreneurs despite the fact the economy is now growing after years of stagnation.Read more
I'm sitting at a hotdesk in Google Campus, Old Street – an area in East London that has become known as Silicon Roundabout – the UK's answer to Silicon Valley. It's packed, and I'm surrounded by people who are working for start-ups like me, but I stand out. As I look around, a quick count reveals 19 men, and just one other woman. Once a week, our team works from IdeaSpace in Cambridge – a similar sort of space in ‘Silicone Fen’. There’s a wall of male faces representing the founders that use these offices. I can only pick out two women.Read more
The gulf between rich and poor in post-Thatcher Britain is shocking. Vast cuts to public services, runaway privatisation, relaxed financial regulation, and the cutting of the top income tax from 83% to 60% (later to 40%), have turned the UK into one of the most unequal nations in the western world.Read more
On January 28th, the Young Fabian Finance Network played host to a lively panel discussion and floor debate at Portcullis House on socially responsible investment (SRI) and the role it should play in pension scheme allocation of their stakeholder assets.
Vice Chair of the Finance Network, Sophia Morrell, chaired the session of representatives from industry and government:
Dame Anne Begg MP, the Labour MP for Aberdeen South since 1997, who currently chairs the Work and Pensions Select Committee, of which she has been a member since 2001,
David Clarke, Policy Adviser, Share Action, the movement for responsible investing
Will Andrews Tipper, head of sustainable business for the Green Alliance, an influential environmental think tank.
Phineas Glover, Policy Adviser in the Investment Affairs directorate, Association of British Insurers,
Will Pomroy, Lead Policy Adviser on corporate governance at the National Association of Pensions Funds.
The discussion covered multiple aspects of how SRI has evolved in recent years and the appetite for a new generation of stakeholders to take greater interest in the ethical credibility of their pension provisions. For a fuller exploration of the issues raised, click here to read a blog on the debate.
Once again, thanks to all our speakers for attending and contributing their thoughts and insight.
If you are interested in joining the Young Fabian Finance Network or would like to hear more about our events and activities, please email Sophie Robson, Chair, at [email protected].