In July of 1944, a small group of selected leaders gathered at Bretton Woods to lay the foundation for a new world economic order. Three quarters of a century later, despite decades of unprecedented growth, consumers worldwide are excluded from participating in the formal banking economy and civil society.
The financial services industry and the rules that regulate it are rapidly evolving. Advancements in financial technology hold great promise for easing barriers to access, but many challenges still lie in the way of achieving domestic and global financial inclusion. We host this summit in the spirit of the original Bretton Woods Conference to tackle these issues collectively.
- Kyle Burgess, Executive Director of Consumers' Research
Technology for Financial Inclusion
"It's expensive to be poor," explains Neha Narula, Director of the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab. Billions of people suffer systematic exclusion from formal networks of productivity and exchange. But new innovations in financial technologies fintech such as blockchain provide a special opportunity to democratize access to the economy around the world.
The Digital Currency Initiative is a group at MIT focusing on cryptocurrency and its underlying technologies. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin enable open, trustless digital payments and contracts. In the spirit of the Internet's wide reach, this technology, and the people behind it, have the potential to impact billions of people and become a crucial part of daily life. We seek to push the envelope on the development of this technology with fundamental research, while shedding light on the associated benefits, risks, and ethical quandaries.
Publications & Press
While the summit operates under Chatham House rules, each year we produce a paper or framework developed out of our collective learning to be shared as a tool for relevant stakeholders.