School of System Change in Finance

Supporting a movement of people in finance to catalyse transformative change towards a resilient, just and regenerative economy.

6 months


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20-25 mins
Applications have closed

Join a movement for change

In the face of climate breakdown, biodiversity loss and rising inequalities, there is a need for deep transitions towards a resilient, just and regenerative economy. Finance is both part of the problem and a key part of the solution. 

Unless and until the financial system is realigned with the Paris Agreement targets and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it seems unlikely that those globally agreed targets will be realised. The consequences of this will not only be catastrophic for people and the planet but will significantly threaten the future of the financial system as we know it. Therefore, it is in the self-interest of those in the financial services sector to fulfil their duties as active stewards to uphold market integrity and to scrutinise the macro-environment, particularly the existing international financial architecture that shapes financial decision making so that it serves long-term resilience and prosperity for all.

Macro stewardship involves actively engaging governments, policymakers, regulators and supervisors of finance, as well as non-governmental organisations, academics and other key influencers to correct material market failures connected to sustainability issues. It involves using the latent influence of the finance sector on sustainability issues, going beyond change within individual organisations to build the enabling conditions that can deliver the Paris Agreement targets and the SDGs. It means changing the finance system and its underpinnings. This ambition depends on a sufficient number of banks and insurers and investors stepping up to drive change. It requires action on multiple levers and will depend on mobilisation of diverse change actors playing complementary roles. But financial sector players are not generally well-tooled in systems change and how to drive it. We will need to think differently, work with complexity and learn fast.

We want to catalyse a movement for change with the power to deliver this ambition, and we are inviting you to be part of it!

What you'll learn

We are inviting you to participate in the second cohort of the School of System Change in Finance, launched by Aviva Investors in partnership with Forum for the Future, School of System Change, and Edge Effects. With a cohort of other ambitious changemakers in finance, this is an opportunity to:

  • Develop your understanding of systems change and systems dynamics and how they apply to finance
  • Learn a selection of system change tools and frameworks, and practise applying them to complex macro finance challenges
  • Refine your own role as a changemaker, identifying where and how you and your organisation can exert influence for most impact
  • Meet amazing participants and guest speakers, and seed a movement with the power to make change possible

If you are interested in applying to the School of System Change in Finance course, please attend our Open Introductory Event on 16 October 2023 to find out more.

The first School of System Change in Finance cohort at an in-person/hybrid session


Rachel Phillips

Co-founder & Principal Consultant at Edge Effects

Rachel is a systemic leadership, strategy and learning facilitator and coach, with over...

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Roberta Iley

Co-Associate Director for Practice & Program Impact at Forum for the Future

Roberta is an experienced facilitator of collaborative processes. She is passionate abo...

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Raphaël Lachiver

Producer at the School of System Change
Enabling Team

Raphaël is an enthusiastic learner passionate about sociology, regenerative design, sys...

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Is the course for me?

We are looking for inspired and ambitious leaders from across the finance system who are keen to contribute to wider change in the finance sector and to build their own capacity to drive deep change for sustainability. We seek a mixed cohort of players involved in finance -  from banking, investment, insurance, regulation, policy, or advisory.  

We expect you will have a strategic role with decision-making capacity within your organisation and professional context so that you are well placed to directly and promptly apply your learning, and to feasibly implement strategic changes and influence.

We assume a strong level of understanding of the finance system - you work in it or on it. And a good understanding of sustainability (defined broadly as social and environmental issues in today’s world), as we do not include any introduction or specific knowledge on this as part of the course. We expect that our participants will have varied backgrounds and contexts and this is fine (and in fact desired), while sharing a curiosity about how systems change and  ambition  to use your position to make a difference within the finance system.

You must have a strong command of the English language, written and spoken, to participate.

Last but not least, participants must commit to participating in all of the sessions (European-friendly times) and contributing constructively to peer group learning. The course format includes online and in-person sessions (happening in and around London).

The first School of System Change in Finance cohort at an in-person/hybrid session

Equity & Diversity

We seek to create safe and brave spaces for participants from different backgrounds and lived experience to engage in learning together. We acknowledge the power and responsibility we hold in our role as a convenor and learning provider, placing multiple ways of knowing and awareness of difference as fundamental design principles in our programmes.

Read more about our commitment and journey around equity and difference here.

Accessibility needs

If you anticipate requiring additional support for your wellbeing, learning or access needs during the course, then please let the team know as soon as possible, so we can factor this into our session design. You can let us know in the application form or email us at [email protected]. We are happy to arrange a call to discuss how we can support your learning. Course producer Raphaël will also be on hand throughout the course if you have any questions or concerns to raise. 

Date & Time

Course dates & times

  • Open Introductory Event: 16 October 2023 (Join this open event to learn more about this deeper dive course.)
  • Application deadline: Thursday 16 November 2023, 13:00 GMT

First Intensive

  • Mon 22 & Tue 23 January 2024 (Two full days, in person)
  • Venue: The Royal Foundation of St Katharine, London (UK)

Online Sessions

All online sessions will take place 14:00-16:00 GMT/BST / 15:00-17:00 CEST.

  • Session 1: Wed 21 February 2024
  • Session 2: Wed 13 March 2024
  • Session 3: Wed 17 April 2024
  • Session 4: Wed 15 May 2024

Closing Event

  • Wed 12 June 2024 (Full day, in person)
  • Venue TBC (London, UK)

You can join from anywhere in the world, so long as you can attend all the dates and times listed above.

Check your timezone

A note about online sessions

To get the most out of this experience, we ask you to do everything you can to arrange your schedule so you can be fully present for all sessions. Please note that this is to support the learning experience of your fellow participants as well as your own. If it is impossible for you to join us for a part of or an entire session for any reason, please let the team know as soon as possible so that we can take this into account with our session design.

Course Fees

The fees for this course are subsidised thanks to the contribution of our programme partner, Aviva Investors. As places are limited, successful applicants will be asked to make a contribution of £500 each to secure their place on the programme.

We highly encourage you to apply if your organisation cannot afford the course as we are ready and willing to waive the fee. We are committed to accessibility and do not want the course fee to be a barrier to entry. If you have any questions about this, get in touch with producer Raphaël at [email protected].

Open Event

When? Monday 16 October, 14:00-17:30 BST / 15:00-18:30 CEST

Join this free Introduction to Systems Change in Finance event (online or in person in London) to learn how the finance sector can drive transformative change in our complex world through systems change and macro stewardship approaches.

You'll be supported to develop your understanding of systems change and systems dynamics and how they apply to finance. This event is also a great opportunity to meet the School of System Change in Finance deeper dive course team and discover if the course is right for you.

The fees for this event are subsidised thanks to the contribution of our programme partner, Aviva Investors.

Register to attend


Complete our application form by Thursday 16 November 2023 at 13:00 GMT. It usually takes about 20-25 minutes. You can save your progress as you go and will be emailed a copy of your answers at the end.

Apply today

The School of System Change in Finance is a partnership between Aviva Investors, Forum for the Future, School of System Change, and Edge Effects.

Contact Us

Are you interested in speaking with one of our team to answer any specific questions you may have? Please use the button below or just shoot us an email at [email protected]. We're looking forward to hearing from you!

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20-25 mins