Financial markets are the primary directors of investment and economic activity in a capitalist global society, but they also have an important societal role of channeling capital to investment opportunities that are beneficial to natural and human ecosystems. In sustainable finance particularly, decision-making by many small market participants, rather than a few dominant players, is crucial to overcoming the high cost of information gathering, due diligence, and impact assessment.
The panel speakers will explore the value and limitations of using collaborative ecosystems to direct investment towards attaining social and environmental goals, while still preserving the discipline of metrics-based selection and quantitative evaluation. We will explore opportunities in using crowdsourced review platforms, risk management in companies with limited financial history, and the special challenges of estimating expected returns in companies that often operate in innovative and disruptive sectors related to social equity and environmental sustainability. Finally, the discussion will outline the importance of keeping the cost of evaluation and monitoring low and using environmental, social and governance metrics, where available, to enhance investment decision-making.