Financial Ecosystems for Systemic Transformation

...creating coherence and impact in a chaotic world of financial transformation.


The FEST (Financial Ecosystems for Systemic Transformation) community is accelerating development of the field of financing systemic transformation. This field comprises all those working for financial transformation to greatly increase the flow of, and ease of access to, finance to address today's polycrises. This includes private, public and foundation finance. 

Financing Systemic Transformation (FST) is integral if we are to address structural social inequality, environmental, and economic crises. However, the field of FST is currently underdeveloped in the scale and depth that is required. 

The FEST field grows out of three years of activity of Catalyst 2030's Working Group 11. It represents a broadening effort to develop an enabling ecosystem for financing transformation. An early product is the "Investigation into Financing Transformation", which can be viewed below. 

Key Insights

Work leading up to the creation of FEST produced two major insights:


Transformation/systemic finance" (see table below) is newly emerging field, distinct from "progressive finance".


Those developing the field of Financing Systemic Transformation (FST) are developing systems rather than individual adjustments to the traditional system, like creating funds/new pots of money, new deal flows and measurement approaches.

The distinctions outlined in the above were reinforced by others, whose work can be seen in the following sections.

Defining This New Field

The FEST community has identified these four components as definitional for the field of Financing Systemic Transformation (FST). They are:

  1. Resolutely committing to systems change and transformation, rather than modest adjustments to conventional systems.   
  2. Holding a shared vision of the transformational direction - holistically focusing on societal and natural environmental flourishing and well-being that includes values such as equity and human-nature harmony. 
  3. Organizing financing systems, rather than just a fund, or pipeline innovations, or new measurement approaches, or new capacities. The entrepreneurs are developing all of these elements and the relationships between them to catalyze comprehensive new systems that supersede innovations within the convention financing system. 
  4. Allocating investment to develop and amplify the relationships among actions/projects to realize the scale, scope and complexity of the systemic transformations. 

Influential Reports 

The FEST community includes and has been influenced by a number of Thought Leaders on the subject of Financing Systemic Transformation. The key influential reports can be found below: 

An Investigation into Financing Transformation 

Bounce Beyond, Catalyst 2030, Cattail Strategy

Approaching the Tipping Point: Recommendations for building the marketplace for system-level investing. 

The Investment Integration Project (TIIP)

Funding Governance for Systemic Transformation


Design Foundations for Systems Capital 

Griffiths University, Yunus Centre

Transformation Capital - Systemic Investing for Sustainability

TransCap Initiative

Investing in System Innovation 

The Rockwool Foundation 

Systems Change: An Emerging Practice in Impact Investing


Transformative Investment: New rules for investing in sustainability transitions

Penna, Schot and Steinmueller

Financing Transformation: A look at the emerging field. 

The FEST Proposal

The FEST community has initiated a powerful proposal for action to develop the field of FST. To view the proposal, click the button below.  

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