Michael Izza, Chairman Chartered Accountants Worldwide and CEO Institute of Chartered Accountants England & Wales, welcomed participants and outlined their value and importance in the upcoming recovery.
“As finance and business professionals you are the trusted advisors, and we need you more than ever to rebuild a sustainable future. What we will learn about today is the difference and astonishing impact that smart, driven young people can have on effecting change. We must be prepared to challenge and work together to help the business world to rise to the transformation required for our future.”
Michael concluded by highlighting how the challenges faced by businesses are global and overcoming them will require collaboration. He pointed out that having global platforms and networks such as FinBiz2030, One Young World and Chartered Accountants Worldwide to facilitate and drive action will be vital in the rebuilding process.
Speaking from COP 26 in Scotland, Kate Robertson, Co-founder One Young World emphasised the urgency of climate change as the overarching context of the sustainable development goals.
“At One Young World we regard the accounting and auditing profession as one of the most important in the world in the fight against the impact of climate change and the fight for climate justice.”
Kate used the current example of COP 26 and the financial pledges and agreements given by governments and countries. “Who is doing the counting? Who is holding Governments to account for what they do?” Kate emphasised the importance now as ever for the financial profession to lead and be heard. “My message to activists I meet is ‘do the counting’. Do the counting, make sure that you are absolutely literate, in every single number. What is your government’s commitment, where is the pathway, how are they doing it and by when? And this is where I urge Chartered Accountants around the world, every single accountant; bring your professionalism, your training and your numerical literacy and skills to this party for all our sakes.”
The audience heard from three young leaders who are putting their skills and passions to work towards sustainable recovery.
Bimo Agung Listyanu, Co-founder of CarbonEthics and One Young World Ambassador.
Bimo opened by highlighting how One Young World was where the CarbonEthics founders first met back in 2018, re-affirming Michael Izza’s earlier point about the importance of networks and collaboration in the rebuilding process.
After the initial success of CarbonEthics, Bimo said the organisation looked to refocus, re-prioritise and rebuild to move towards even higher impact for the future and scaling up their business model for the next ten years.
Bimo’s Key Insights: Leadership was identified as key to any rebuilding phase, including CarbonEthics’.
“We need 3 types of leadership, the first is leadership focusing on empowering young people. The second is leadership that values collaboration, over competition e.g. for climate action- governments, NGOs, public sector, activists need to collaborate to make change happen. The third type of leadership is about driving the economic model. So, a finance and business mindset and skills are very important if we want to make sustainable change” according to Bimo.
Mutiara Hapsari, Head of Business Planning & Acct. Receivable Modern Trade with Coca Cola Euro Pacific and One Young World Ambassador.
Mutiara is based in Jakarta working as a finance professional within the Coca Cola corporation. She outlined the connections between her professional objectives and personal passion for women’s empowerment, which she also leads within the organisation. Mutiara described how her work focuses on the numbers but her relationships and connections with people are just as important to form the business cases when it comes to rebuilding.
Mutiara’s Key Insights: we need to make sure we are in a position to help organisatios to prioritise and make the right decisions based on the best information and data available.
“Be thirsty for knowledge, be thirsty for a challenge, be thirsty for any experience you can get so you can make an impact on your organisation and more importantly also, you need to be thirsty to challenge the status quo and make it a better place to work.”
Prakash Koirala, Founder Finlit Nepal and One Young World Ambassador.
Finlit Nepal is a not-for-profit working with governments, companies, and neighbourhood groups to boost financial literacy, personal finance awareness and community inclusion in the country’s financial system.
Prakash’s Key Insights: He spoke about the needs of a country after a crisis: to align with human capital and entrepreneurs, but also highlighting that SMEs are critical to a recovery strategy and need to support a creative economy.
“There are so many Chartered Accountants and aspiring Chartered Accountants here today and we have the opportunity to contribute not only to the financial system but to financial economic stability. It is crucial for us to invest in more responsible and meaningful financial activities. Let’s do our part.”
Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance of Indonesia, an economist and former Managing Director of the World Bank Group was the keynote speaker at the event.
“2021 is the year of the recovery but we also see unevenness in the global recovery. This is due to uneven vaccine progress and recurring Covid outbreaks” according to Minister Indrawati.
Minister Indrawati specifically highlighted the need for ethics and credibility to support her country’s development. “I would like to invite particularly the younger generation to continue to build your skills and professional ethics as an accountant. Your credibility is identical to the ability of any institution or country to be able to build good governance.”
Professor Maridiasmo, President of the Institute of Indonesia Chartered Accountants closed the event by thanking the participants and organisers. “We hope our profession will continue to be an excellent platform to encourage student engagement to embrace the future of the profession as a strong component in the future development of our economy of innovation.”