The future of doing good

I felt the need to include in my Sibos journal a separate post about Innotribe‘s session The Future of Doing Good. A session that I found to be really inspirational.

An elite panel tried to “enforce” social responsibility into the banking industry players present.

Julius O. Akinyemi, Entrepreneur-In-Residence, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Kartik Kaushik, Managing Director, Global Head of Business Development, Citi
Carolyn Stephens, Professor (PhD, FFPH, IFRSM) , Universidad Nacional de Tucuman/UCL
Prof. Muhammad Yunus, Chairman, Yunus Centre

Where is the bridge between banking and social business? was the question that Mateo Rizzi, MOC of this session, asked the panel and the audience. Maybe another important thing to find answers to  is how to really have traffic on this bridge, and which way banking industry players are willing to cross it.

The panelists’ pitches and the topics debated should really challenge the thinking of today’s banking sector. They should give all of us something to think about. They surely made me think. Think about how to “build a world that is socially and environmentally sustainable” as Professor Carolyn Stephens said.
Former medic, she also made a funny parallel between medicine and banking: “Medicine has its own investment bankers. We just call them plastic surgeons.”

Mr. Kartik Kaushik’s speech raised a very interesting aspect: “charity exists only when creativity fails.” True, as social business is not about charity, but about expanding business models in order to actually solve social problems. About finding ways to maximize your profit while doing also something good.
Doing good… Maybe not such a familiar concept for banks these days, you might think when you listen to Prof. Yunus speaking about the “paradox” of “banks landing money to those who already have money, instead of those who really need it”. His speech made you feel the need for a more human centered banking approach. Instead of banks judging if people are credit worthy, people should judge if banks are people worthy.

At end of the panel talk, followed the social entrepreneur pitches – ideas, projects that need sustaining in doing good. I kind of  liked one of the entrepreneurs’ idea that the bank of the future is a social business with a banking license. But I also smiled when hearing it.
Nevertheless, what I believe it is true, is that social and financial innovators should collaborate in order to solve real social problems. And maybe not only them. Maybe social responsibility should be of more concern also at an individual level, hoping that this is leading to a larger social business inclination in general and in the banking industry in particular.

I would like to end this post with something I caught up in a tweet: “this session has brought a human face to the entire event.” It was nice to see exactly what I felt put into words by another person.

Congratulations to the Innotribe team for such an inspirational session.

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