Final Task Force Newsletter

Jay Owen Green Prosperity, Reforming Global Finance, SRI/ESG News, Beyond GDP

“Ethical Markets has welcomed our collaboration with this important Task Force, as well as the UNEP Inquiry on Design of Sustainable Finance and the papers we contributed:

“Perspectives on Reforming Electronic Markets and Trading“ (2014) and “FINTECH: Good and Bad News for Sustainable Finance“.  There is still much work to do, and we continue to help promote mandatory disclosure of climate risks and TCFD’s work and that of many of our Partners.

See our upcoming article ”FIXING THE MONEY MEME” on Wall Street International magazine, and our previous one “The Politics of Production: MINING IN THE CROSSHAIRS”, Oct, 2020.

It’s all hands on deck now to  meet IPCCC’s window for flattening CO2 emission and capturing ambient CO2 by restoring soils, biodiversity and shifting to plant-based diets and regenerative agriculture and halophytes.

~Hazel Henderson, Editor“

October 30, 2020


A publication of the UN Task Force on Digital Financing of the SDGs


Dear colleagues and friends,


The UN Secretary General’s Task Force on Digital Financing of the Sustainable Development Goals will close its doors on 31st October after a hugely energetic life of 705 days.


It has been my privilege to serve as Sherpa to its two co-Chairs, Maria Ramos and Achim Steiner.



And to support the leadership of the task force, as wells as an amazingly hardworking secretariat.



It has been an extraordinary journey, as the Task Force has powerfully addressed its mandate to recommend and catalyse ways to harness digitalisation in financing the SDGs.


The Task Force’s path has been punctuated most obviously by the pandemic, which has been a tragedy that has accelerated the take up of digital in all its uses, including finance. In this context, the Task Force’s work has become far more relevant, and led us to frame our recommendations as being in the context of an unprecedented crisis and historic opportunity.


We have been busy and produced a lot. But measuring success remains a tricky business. In reflecting beyond the journey travelled to the matter of impact, I would offer for your consideration six possible views of success.


Convention would start with its products, notably its keystone, final report,

‘People’s Money’. It scores high on its depth of analysis, breadth of experiences described, concreteness of recommendations, and relevance of its call for a ‘citizen- centric finance’.



Media coverage provides a second touch point, measured in terms of column inches, or maybe better these days in webinar minutes and social media mentions.By these measures the Task Force has done well, with coverage worldwide, building on a continuous flow of presentations and podcasts being made of the Task Force’s messages and recommendations (see below for more on the recent launch of the Task Force report in Geneva).


A third measure of success is its outreach. Over its short life the Task Force has engaged with thousands of people, businesses and public bodies, and hosted and participated in hundreds of events in dozens of countries. It has commissioned leading-edge research, published wide-ranging material through many communication channels.


Fourth, is the impact of the Task Force’s creation of a ‘narrative’ about the nexus of digitalisation, finance and the SDGs. The central message of a ‘citizen centric financial system’ highlights the central importance of people being empowered as savers, lenders, investors, taxpayers and voters if we want digitalisation to drive an improved alignment of finance with the SDGs. It is too early to know how impactful this narrative might be, but there is no doubt that it has resonated well with participants in the many post-launch events that we have contributed to.



Fifth, is the take-up of the Task Force’s Action Plan, including the five catalytic opportunities, the need to build national, sustainable digital ecosystems, and to forge a more inclusive, expansive governance of BigFintech. This is set out as a series of recommendations for different actors. There has been considerable interest in all aspects of this Agenda, notably the catalytic opportunity concerning domestic savings and the international governance innovations.




And sixth, concerns the impact of the Task Force’s game-changing set of Pathfinder Initiatives that exemplify ambitious progress on aspects of the Action Agenda.


These range from channelling Bangladesh’s micro-domestic savings into long-term development finance, to using Zimbabwean payments data to underpin due diligence for high-potential, fast growth companies seeking equity and debt, to building a more inclusive, SDG-focused, international governance approach to BigFintech (see below for more details of the launch of the Dialogue on Global Digital Finance).


Finally, I return to where I began, the amazing people who have made the TaskForce a success. Beyond its members, there have been many people who have contributed to our work.


And then there has been the Secretariat itself, and I want to thank,

many times over, the unstinting contributions made by Secretariat members Vera Bersudskaya, Duygu Celik, Maya Forstater, Mimo He, Aiaze Mitha, Arti Singh, Amil Aneja, Deena Austin, Tillman Bruett, Ralph Chow, Anne Folan, Imelda Panguito and interns Chen Bi, Yi Chen, Yuxin Huang. 


Last and by no means least is my thanks to you all, the wider community of practice that we have tapped into and learnt from, and that we hope we have contributed to energizing and expanding. Ultimately, it is your actions, individually and collectively, that will harness digitalisation with, and opportunity to challenge of financing the



We hope that our work has, and will continue to support your actions going



All the best