The Digital Finance Future: Inclusive and Global Economic Growth is Meridian International Center’s newest convening series providing Washington, D.C.’s diplomatic corps and influential decision makers with cutting-edge data on digital financial services, and how these services can help eradicate poverty and boost economic growth around the world.
With over 2.5 billion adults worldwide lacking an account at a financial institution and a majority of people in developing nations relying on the cash economy, many individuals are left outside the global financial system. The underprivileged are not benefiting from traditional financial systems, which elongates their economic disadvantage in society. These individuals need a better mechanism for saving, sending and borrowing money. As governments and business leaders confront these issues, digital financial services have emerged as tools for growing a more inclusive global economy, improving global ties, and building sustainable futures for all.
The Digital Finance Future was launched at the Meridian Global Leadership Summit on October 14, 2016. The series includes several convenings among diplomats from Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean, along with the media covering these regions and the digital finance sector. It will also involve Meridian’s Rising Leaders Council and Corporate Council, as well as a larger influencer network of international business, policy and technology leaders, all of whom can serve as change catalysts by unlocking the potential of digital finance to help the underprivileged in all nations.
In order to accelerate this universal transition to the digital economy, government and policy makers need to establish policies and regulations that facilitate these developments and provide oversight and accountability. Through The Digital Finance Future series, Meridian aims to foster collaborative environments to drive policy discussion and cross-cultural exchanges around digital financial services within and beyond Washington’s diplomatic community.
According to Meridian’s President Ambassador Stuart Holliday: “This project connects strongly with Meridian’s mission of advancing effective global leadership to promote a more secure and prosperous world. Meridian routinely focuses on global economic development issues, principally through the scores of public and private sector exchange and leadership development programs that we implement across the United States and around the world each month. The initiative also reinforces Meridian’s longstanding relationship with the diplomatic corps in Washington.”
The Digital Finance Future is made possible through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.