I had the honour and privilege of attending the G7 Symposium, an invitation-only half-day event on May 31, 2018 that preceded the G7 Ministerial Meeting in Whistler, BC. The meeting leads up to the G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec that is being hosted on June 8 and 9. As noted on the G7 Summit website, the Ministerial Meeting in Whistler “provides an opportunity for Finance and Development Ministers to advance solutions to issues of shared priority, including women’s economic empowerment and mobilizing increased financing for development.”
The theme of the Ministerial Meeting was “Investing in Growth that Works for Everyone” and the Symposium gave attendees a flavour of what would be discussed by the G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.
Being an ex-investment banker and now entrepreneur and investor, I found it particularly interesting to hear what was on the minds of G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, for these are all topics that are on my mind too:
- Energy security and sustainability
- Investment in renewables, addressing climate change
- Stability in the financial system
- Role of investment banks
- The need for diverse perspectives on matters of finance, investment, and the economy
- Turning our attention towards export in services and not just products and technology
- The impact of this and trade opportunities for small- and medium-sized enterprises
- Quoting, the Right Honourable Paul Martin, “can’t let technology get ahead of education”
- Inclusive economy
- Attention to all forms of inequity, but currently there is particular attention to gender equality
- Accessible and affordable child care to enable full participation from global citizens and the impact on economic outcomes or growth
- Crypto-currencies: the rise of peer to peer transactions and the role of regulation
- Need same level of investor protection as we have in the conventional capital markets
There wasn’t a lot of opportunity for Q&A and dialogue with the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors and so my key takeaways were this:
- Investors like Pique Fund and entrepreneurs like the leaders in which we invest are doing the work on the ground. Pique is investing in ventures that are addressing some of these issues in some way in their business models and the G7 Symposium was further validation for continuing this work.
- We could do a better job of connecting with government and policy makers and informing them of our impact and outcomes. Since inception, Pique Fund has been engaging with government and policy makers at the municipal, provincial, and federal level, but it’s something that we can continue to improve, to make even more of a positive difference for our investor and entrepreneur community.
A summary of the Ministerial Meeting was provided by the Chair, Canadian Finane Minister Bill Morneau:
- Skills development and training, as reflected by the distribution of educational attainment across populations and the employment to population ratio by skill level.
- Support for children and families, as reflected by the child poverty rate and access to affordable, high quality early learning and benefits for families.
- Opportunity for all citizens to get ahead, as reflected by the incomes and educational attainment within families across generations.
- Full economic participation, as reflected by the employment to population ratio; the participation of women and men; the incidence of involuntary part-time work; and the gender wage gap.
- Broader sharing of the benefits of growth, as reflected by the level and growth of incomes by women and men.
- Adapting to technological change and the impact of education.
- Investor protection and market protection regarding crypto-currencies.
It was wonderful to see colleagues Laurel Douglas, CEO of the Women’s Enterprise Centre and Madeleine Shaw, Founder and Chief Community Officer of Nestworks (representing SheEO) at the G7 Symposium as well. These are also two leaders in Canada that are doing the work on the ground, supporting, mentoring, financing, and providing resources to entrepreneurs and businesswomen to enable full participation in the economy.
Panel sessions hosted and moderated by BNN Bloomberg host Amanda Lang:
- Session 1: Economic Resilience and Stability, speakers (L to R): the Right Honourable Paul Martin, Tiff Macklem, Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney, IMF Managing Director Mme Christine Lagarde
- Session 2: Economic Growth for Everyone, speakers (L to R): CEO World Bank Kristalina Georgieva, former adviser to the UK Treasury Diane Coyle, Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Roberta Jamieson
- Session 3: Women’s Economic Empowerment, speakers (L to R): Kristalina Georgieva, Co-Chair of G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council and Ambassador Isabelle Hudon, Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima, Mme Christine Lagarde