Jay Owen Reforming Global Finance

September Newsletter

Welcome to our September newsletter

This month we launch our community engagement programme and give you the opportunity to “Turn Up Your Voice”Pauline interviews Lab community member Rafael Gomes, we invite you to come along to our upcoming Lab Drinks as well as sharing an exclusive event “The Business Value of Nature”.

We hope you enjoy this issue.

Before you start reading, make sure you get these dates in your diary:


Don’t panic or anything, but this is just a gentle reminder that the extended application deadline forCampaign Lab is fast approaching.
And if you’re not applying but know someone who should, now’s the time to remind them! Click  on the picture to go the application page

Community Engagement

                     Turn up your voice

As you are aware we collaborate for systemic change in finance, which we do partly by building communities. We recently began to reflect on why community is so important to the Lab and the change-makers who are part of it. We also want to tell a richer story about our community and the diversity that is in it.  And for that, we need you!

We want to get your stories, your views and understand your motivations and values for being part of the community. We want to tell the world more about our community and why it is so important for creating sustainable change in the 21st century. To do that we need to hear from you, so turn up your voice and tell us.

Turn Up Your Voice! is an invitation to our entire community to give us your insights about how you feel about the Finance Innovation Lab and your personal motivations for being involved in a community like this. We want to know how our Finance Lab Community can further enable you to take action towards bringing about positive change in finance, to better serve people and planet.

How will we do it? 

Online Survey – Coming Soon 
We will be distributing an online survey to the community, which we hope you will offer your feedback, your stories, and your insights on why the Lab community is important to you and what you value most about it. Additionally, we want to know if the Lab community has influenced and empowered your work for change and  how you see the community thriving in the future.

Dialogue Interviews
We are also looking for people to participate in 1-on-1 interviews. If you would like to be interviewed and talk to the team please email [email protected]

Inspiring Stories
Do you have a great story to tell about your personal journey or about the exciting work you are putting all your energy into? Maybe you have a great story showing the importance of community and their power in creating positive change in society. If you do we would love to hear from you. Please send any stories you have to[email protected]

We’ll be getting in touch soon with more information soon. So, stay tuned!  Turn up your voice, tell your stories and shape the future of our community.

What’s the buzz?

Everything starts with a conversation. Chilling, chatting, connecting, maybe changing the world! That’s what it’s like at the Finance Innovation Lab drinks.  Join us at the next event on 25thSeptember and join in the conversation.

We host these informal drinks so that our community can come together and talk about anything they want, from crowdfunding to alternative currencies, from activism and economic justice to the value of money. Basically, creating buzz around exciting things the community is involved in. You can read about the last event here

To help stimulate conversations, two of the pioneers working to build a better financial system share their experience on the role of communities:

Faisel Rahman, Managing Director at FairFinance, will talk about how communities are affected by access (or lack of access) to finance.  What is happening at the ground level to change finance to make it more inclusive?

Emma Vartolomei, founder of tells the story of how building a community of change around P2P finance is helping to drive growth, spread knowledge and support people working in that arena

What does community mean to you? Come and join the conversation.

Wednesday 25th September at 18.00

Charterhouse Bar,
38 Charterhouse Street, London,

Let us know you’re coming, register on ourEventbrite page

Invitation to The Business Value of Nature

Understanding the business value of the natural environment is a fast-developing field, presenting both challenges and opportunities to finance andenvironment professionals alike. At the same time as the importance of nature is being incorporated into decision making, developments in leading edge practice mean that there is a growing focus around our economic dependence upon the natural environment.

To provide a forum where we can debate such issues together, we would like to invite you to a forthcoming free event, co-hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), Leading the Way: The Business Value of Nature, which will be held between 4 and 7:30pm on Tuesday 1 October 2013in Chartered Accountants’ Hall, Moorgate Place, London.

This event provides the opportunity to engage with other leading names from the fields of both finance and environment. By coming along to the event, you will learn about new developments and leading examples from business and have the opportunity to share your experiences with those who understand and are concerned with the same principles as you.

The programme for the event features six speakers, including:
Dorothy Maxwell of the TEEB for Business Coalition;
Mark Gough of Crown Estates;
Pat Snowdon from The Forestry Commission; and
Nick Blyth from IEMA.

Cutting across key natural environment and business issues, there will be a round-table session where you can enjoy a group discussion.  The evening includes time for drinks and networking. The full timetable is almost finalised and will be sent out nearer the date with directions to the venue.

To reserve one of the limited spaces for yourself at this exclusive event, please click here  As the number of places is capped, we encourage you to save the date  in your diary and book your place as soon as possible before the delegate list fills up.

In conversation

This month Pauline from the Lab team  talks with Rafael Gomes.

It’s wonderful to meet people from the Lab community, to put a face to a name and find out more about their projects and passions.  It’s especially nice when that meeting is unexpected.  So it was a couple of months ago when I bumped into Rafael Gomes at the WIRED Money event.  Rafael had only recently joined the Lab community so that moment of serendipity gave me the chance to find out more about him.

Rafael’s day job is as a risk and sustainability consultant, where he’s often re-imagining how people, processes or systems work to help create new solutions for business challenges.  Recently, he worked with a British Olympic sport team on risk-based strategy.

Social finance is Rafael’s other passion, exploring social business models in finance, and financial activism (of the kind explored by Brett Scott in The Heretics Guide to Global Finance).  He regularly invests in or through platforms that facilitate P2P lending, crowdfunding, ad hoc currencies, financial activism, or sharing.  He often goes to talks on these topics, and always happy to have a geek-out over a drink.  Which probably explains why only a couple of weeks later Rafael joined us at the Summer Lab Drinks to do just that.

I met Rafael recently for a coffee and thought it would be too good an opportunity to miss to get ideas around community.  So after we’d finished talking social finance I asked him a few questions:

What does community mean to you?
When I think of community, I imagine people coming together around themes of common interest.  You can feel like a member of a community where you know that you belong, even though you don’t know others well. You are with people who may not be your closest friends but who you trust to recommend to others.

And for me, an online platform like the Lab’s membership site is really useful to help a community to take shape.  But it’s not the community itself.

To read the full interview where we talk about trust, why Rafael chose the Lab community and how he wants to see the community evolve go here

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