The digital revolution has transformed the world’s financial systems. This is true not only for the customer experience (how hundreds of millions of people now manage their financial lives), but for the system at every level: how financial institutions manage their operations, how investors analyze risk and make decisions, how capital markets move, and how policymakers approach their work. To be sure, digitalization has affected every area of life, not just financing. The rate of acceleration is staggering: to take just one oft-cited statistic,90% of the data in existence today was created in the past two years.
But what might digitalization have to do with sustainable development? But most of the creative thinking remains to be done about how the upstream effects of the digital revolution, especially on capital markets, can advance the SDGs. Creative thinking is also currently lacking about those SDGs – for example, biodiversity and ocean health – that to-date remain untouched by the digital revolution in financing.