Better futures - one question at a time
25 Jan 2019
My standout favourite topic at university was business ethics.
I particularly loved the ideas of John Rawls. He talked about the original position, which is, described in my own fuzzy words: when faced with a tough decision that impacts others, imagine you don’t know who you are. Then ask what feels right? I found it a helpful way to stand apart as best I could from gender, religion, social status and so on.
Fast forward two decades and we live in a world increasingly alive to the vivid benefits of diversity and inclusion. Yet it’s ironic that we face growing challenges to achieving it. Not least with developments in AI raising new ethical challenges. And so it feels like John Rawls way of thinking is hugely relevant. As one simple lens through which to forge a better future. To answer the tough questions. To leave behind a legacy to be proud of.
And so a thoughtful person (Mr Cooperrider, not Mr Cooper) once said that we live in the world our questions create. So if we want a better future, we have to ask great questions. And more importantly, I think, we must also start to answer them and to act. One question at a time.
I have the privilege of chairing Hymans Robertson’s Better Futures conference on the 12th February. We have some exciting and challenging questions lined up to explore. To begin to answer. To create a better financial future for the next generation. Questions like how do we…
- Ensure that AI is developed ethically and without bias?
- Enable the benefits of innovation to be felt equally across society and between the generations?
- Guide our people and the financial services industry from here to an even better place; realistically and responsibly?
- Realise the potential of institutional money in forging a more sustainable future for our special corner of the universe?
All against a broad backdrop of climate change, AI, wellbeing, shifts in wealth distribution and natural resource constraints.
You will have ideas. We have ideas. I’m confident we’ll come up with even better ideas and actions together. And to that end I’m delighted to be chairing, and looking forward to hearing a diverse range of views and to sharing our collective thinking, ideas and actions. To begin forging a better future on the 12th and thereafter.
I do hope you can join us to play our part in making financial services better. I absolutely promise not to talk about philosophy on the day. Unless you ask me to. And then please, one question at a time.