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  • Tania Ellis
  • May 9, 2019
eight mental models for wisdom leadership


Financial crises, ethical banking scandals, and corporate cases of greed are some of the dark sides of the financial sector. But what is even worse: too much capital continues to finance unsustainable development.

In other words, the current global financial system is not fit for purpose, and too little capital flows to meet the financing needs in support of sustainable development.

But this can be changed – and the use of new technologies is key.


The use of smartphones for mobile banking, investing services and blockchain-based cryptocurrency are examples of so-called fintech (financial technology) solutions that many existing financial institutions are implementing in order to improve and develop their services to remain competitive.

But what if these innovative tech efforts were applied for the greater good? What if digital finance, including the use of big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT), were applied in order to fund and accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

This is exactly what the international Sustainable Digital Finance Alliance is working for.


Financing sustainable development is one of the greatest challenges of our times, and annual investments of US$5-7 trillion will be needed over the next fifteen years to achieve the SDGs.

So aligning the global financial system with sustainable development, and reshaping it to mobilize and deploy these kinds of investments by applying digital finance and fintech-powered business innovations is a key objective for the international initiative, Sustainable Digital Finance Alliance (SDFA)

In order to achieve this objective, SDFA focuses on driving change in the following three outcome areas:

  • Policy engagement: Improving the knowledge-base through research and analysis of leading sustainable digital finance practice and potential. The SDFA has been knowledge partner to the G20 working group on green finance and is currently knowledge partner to the UN SG’s Task Force for Digital Financing of the SDGs.
  • Community: Creating a network of fintechs, financial players, policy makers and other stakeholders that collaborate and promote sustainable digital finance practices at national and international levels.
  • Country: Supporting action at the country level to pilot innovative approaches and take successes to scale.

No one company can address systemic sustainability challenges on their own. In sustainable digital finance, an eco-system approach is required as regulation plays a decisive important role in enabling scaling. It requires a joint effort across public and private actors. This is the reason why we’re right now seeing the emergence of a wide range of system-wide alliances in support of the SDGs,” explains Director of the Alliance, Marianne Haahr, who has worked in the intersection of sustainability and technology as well as building inclusive value chains over the past decade.

Sustainable fintech


Marianne Haahr was one of the key note speakers at the miniconference on “Sustainability & Tech” in The Social Business Club.

At the miniconference, Marianne Haahr gave insights into how Sustainable Digital Finance Alliance works to advance financing for sustainable development through digital technologies & innovations.

Marianne also shared her experience and advice on how other sectors can apply technology to drive sustainable markets in their own industry.

Get key advice and insights into how the SDFA is linking sustainability and tech in this video interview:

During the miniconference participants and key note speakers exchanged their experience and ideas on how technology can drive sustainable business solutions.

Get more insights and concrete inspiration from the other key note speakers:


The Social Business Club is an open international network forum for professionals from around the world with an interest in innovative and sustainable business practices that create value for society and the bottom line – from CSR and social entrepreneurship to social innovation and shared value. The network is hosted by Tania Ellis, founder of The Social Business Company. 

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