I have gotten very involved in this exciting project, for which a lot of momentum is building right now. Many individuals and institutions are putting their weight behind it, the first session will be 27 and 28 September. Visit this page for more information, or read on below.
The Spring Project is a not-for-profit initiative of ‘Caring Influentials’ and their sponsoring organizations in the financial sector who are committed to co-create a more sustainable future for the financial industry. The Spring Project is initiated and supported by Executive Learning Partnership and the Foundation“Encounter of World Views”, with support of The Duisenberg School of Finance, Deloitte, European Leadership Platform, the Stewardship Foundation and VODW.
No one inside (or outside) the financial industry will easily forget 2008 and 2009. Huge write-downs, decades-old banks disappearing in a matter of days, financial institutions were kept alive by governments. In 2011, we are living through the aftershocks with the Euro-crisis. The crisis that unfolded was not just a financial or economic crisis, but also a breakdown of trust, values and ethics.
Getting on top of this crisis was the first step. It was followed by a sense of individual and collective reflection: “where did we go wrong”; “how do we prevent this from happening again?” “is this a failure on institutional and system level, and/or a failure of our individual values and behaviours”?
Questions like these formed the basis of The Spring Project. The ‘Caring Influentials’ - participating executives and stakeholders - share the view that the near financial meltdown should not be followed by a return to the relative comfort of “business as usual”.
A changing regulatory framework is only part of the answer. The crisis in the financial system is not only a crisis of the system as well as a crisis of ethics, culture and behaviour as well as management principles and practices. A changing regulatory framework is only as strong as the values and behaviour of the people inside the framework. A clear guiding compass, a values-based aspiration, is needed to chart course towards a desirable destination.
This aspiration and its applied consequences will be created by participants and “other voices” from outside the sector in a series of six interactive, participatory meetings and online interaction. The outcomes and findings of the Spring Project will be shared with and valued by a wider audience through the Internet and amplified through media-partners. All findings and results will be summarized in a collectively created “white paper”. The Spring Project will be concluded with The Spring Project Conference in Amsterdam in the spring of 2012. Also the Duisenberg School of Finance will incorporate the outcomes of the project into its Curriculum, helping to shape the next generation financial leaders.