Turning crisis into opportunity: How to finance a sustainable recovery

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This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Briony Harris, Senior Writer, Formative Content


  • The latest Great Reset virtual meeting looked at financing a sustainable recovery.
  • Speakers looked at the work already done, the challenges that remain and the opportunities that exist to ‘build back better.’

“Radical happens more often than we think.”

There were plenty of messages of hope in the World Economic Forum’s latest Great Reset virtual meeting, ‘Financing a Sustainable Recovery’.

Although significant challenges remain, there are opportunities to be sized upon, agreed the speakers, Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF); Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Minister of Finance, Economy and Planning at Ministry of Finance of Saudi Arabia; Anne Richards, Chief Executive Officer at Fidelity International; and Cameron Hepburn, Director and Professor of Environmental Economics at Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment (SSEE).

Here are some of the key quotes from the session, which looked at the work already done, those challenges still to be overcome, and the areas of hope or opportunity for the future.

You can watch it in full here.

We face a very serious risk of a tale of two cities. The part of the economy that is digital and moving and leaning forward does well and the rest does very poorly.

— Kristalina Georgieva

There is good momentum built, but it is not everywhere and not yet to a point of sustainability to make us all feel like the great reset is happening.

— Kristalina Georgieva

COVID-19, with its severity, spread and speed, shocked the world. It’s possibly the worst we’ve seen since the Great Depression in the 1930s. The pain has been felt all over.

— Mohammed Al-Jadaan

I think we, globally, need to feel the pain of the misfortunate more, whether countries, or communities within countries. We need to do more and try to come together as much as we can to support these countries and communities.

— Mohammed Al-Jadaan

Radical happens more often than we think, it’s just that we’re conditioned not to think that we can do it.

— Anne Richards

We have to be very careful that we don’t lose the opportunity to not just rebuild the past. We have to reinvent business models and what the future of work looks like within that. That gives us the opportunity to think about how we build in sustainability and resilience.

— Anne Richards

We can’t have a sensible economic response without thinking about the other crises coming down the line. This has been a wake-up call to all of us that these long-tail, black-swan events aren’t actually that unlikely.

— Cameron Hepburn

I think we have actually learned something post the last financial crisis. This is a terrible time, but you can’t waste the opportunity to send the economy off in the direction you want.

— Cameron Hepburn

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