This past year, I have had the privilege of working on a couple initiatives, which I consider to be relevant to the future we wish to create. The first is curating, hosting, and facilitating and discussion on Black Finance Matters: Uncovering the Dark Side of the Finance Industry. The second, a first for me, is writing a policy piece for titled Metrics that Matter: Figures That Foster Multilateral Prosperity for the Values 20, a new group focused on creating human centered. And finally, external to me, the announcement at COP26 on the creation of the ISSB with a few reflections on that specifically as it relates to the previous two initiatives.
Fun fact, my debut on the NSFM Bright Talk ESG Channel was hosting our first all-black panel.
A privilege which I am thrilled to hold. This conversation covered a plethora of topics ranging from reparations to unconscious bias to how we can create a more inclusive financial system. And whether we need to reconsider how our financial systems fundamental operate! A stellar conversation, which I would highly encourage you all to check out. Here were a few of my key takeaways:
1. Financial inclusion is imperative at the individual, venture capital, and global financial levels
2. Unconscious bias exists in organizations, training on these biases can be a significant first step
3. Creating an inclusive financial system should start from the inside out
My next adventure involved a world I never really thought I would end up in—policy.
By chance, I stumbled across the V20 and submitted a proposal titled Metrics that Matter. The proposal resonated and fortunately, a couple coauthors kindly joined me on this journey. We discussed, debated, wrote, edited, re-wrote, and co-created this piece which petitions G20 policymakers to champion the use of metrics that matter when it comes to measuring people, planet, and prosperity. Our recommendations included:
1. specific metrics which we believe will more fully account for externalities at the national and supra-national levels in addition to expanding ESG disclosures at the business levels
2. partnering with multinational organizations to better understand how global capital flows and philanthropic dollars are being distributed
3. leveraging new technological advances to support and simplify the collection, measuring, and use of metrics
Based on the information above, you could only imagine how elated I was when I heard the announcement of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) at COP26. The advancement of ESG Disclosures is something I think is critical to creating a better future. Additionally, I think inclusivity is also critical to creating a better future as well. While I agree this is a step in the right direction, what concerns me most with the ISSB is the governing structure. In the IFRS Constitution section 46, sub-points A, B, C, and D—there is already a geographic imbalance embedded in the standards.
It is time we raise our standards.