A new phase of Nordic Finance and the Good Society will launch in September 2019. The project will have an even stronger Nordic focus given the latest political waves in Southern Europe, UK and France. The project will contribute to existing literature with 8 new research areas on the topic.
As the work on each research area progressed and articles were produced, the question of future research directions was raised. The regular interactions and dialogue with partners and other stakeholders at meetings, seminars, and conferences, shed light on areas the first phase of the research had not focused on, but which proves to be of high importance to the financial sector.
The topic of risk and regulation in the financial sector is still an important area of focus for further research, as the market is constantly changing and developing, forcing regulations and the need for compliance to follow. The real impact on the financial sector and its opportunities and challenges have been touched upon in NFGS I, but many questions are yet to be answered, which will be addressed in the research of NFGS II.
Financial institutions are working hard on incorporating sustainable processes and products, but the fundamental role and importance of financial institutions in economic, environmental, and social development still requires more research. We need a sustainable financial sector if the challenges of our time are to be addressed in a successful way. Regardless if one is starting with the UN Sustainability Development Goals, has a desire to have a more circular economy, or is concerned about investment challenges in the area of longevity or an aging population, they all call for new financial models and solutions.
These overriding macro-economic challenges are coming on top of a period where the cornerstones of the entire financial system are shaking due to technology changes, global competition and an entirely different set of regulatory requirements. Even the heart of any financial system, our money, might be moving into crypto- or smart currencies, and transaction costs, as seen in many other sectors, could be moving towards zero.
At the same time, many citizens and smaller Nordic companies are left with a feeling that there is no equal access to financing. That financial products are not matching their expectations, are based on the wrong values, and that the actors in the financial sector are not willing or capable to contribute to the challenges in a modern and global society.
The NFGS II aims to contribute to these questions and challenges through the 8 research focus areas and a strong team of Nordic and international researchers.