The Radical Old Idea is a platform inspired by the historic Scottish enlightenment that seeks to inform a new and better financial paradigm. The periodic intellectual gathering of financial services stakeholders will explore innovative (radical) ideas that deliver positive financial and economic outcomes for the benefit of society.

As economic growth continues to polarise and place greater demands on the world’s natural resources, policy makers and economic thinkers from across the globe are now re-examining the historic belief that only unfettered financial markets deliver the best outcomes for all society.  The Radical Old Idea will focus on exploring areas of systemic change within the economy through world leading experts sharing insights and engaging in an informed and thoughtful debate.

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The world is changing, people are rethinking.

Scotland - A Proud Heritage

From Adam Smith, renowned as the father of modern economics, to the Reverend Henry Duncan, founder of the world’s first commercial savings bank, Scotland has been a pioneer in financial innovation and the development of professional standards.

Francis Hutcheson - Impact Investing

David Hume - Advanced Analytics

David Hume - Advanced Analytics

Adam Smith - Inclusive Growth

Adam Smith - Inclusive Growth

Rev. Henry Duncan - Financial Inclusion


Enlightened Edinburgh

The Radical Old Idea encourages brave, innovative concepts reinforcing Edinburgh’s position as a global facilitator and HQ for ethical finance.

In convening senior financial practitioners, business leaders, economists and academics 2-3 times a year in Edinburgh The Radical Old Idea restores the city’s rightful place as a hothouse of global economic and social debate.

To encourage an inclusive international approach, we are open to occasionally hosting events elsewhere.

Upcoming Event

Interview with Keith Skeoch

Sign up now to hear from Keith Skeoch, interim Chair of the Financial Reporting Council, Non-executive Chairman of the Aberdeen Standard Investments Research Institute and former CEO of Standard Life Aberdeen, on Wednesday 24th March at 14:00 GMT for the latest in our Radical Old Idea series. A highly respected former asset manager and economist, Keith will draw upon his experiences with asset management, and his upcoming review of banking regulation to examine the ‘ESG enlightenment’.

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Previous Events

Responsible Business at a Time of Crisis with Alex Edmans

We were delighted to launch the Radical Old Idea series on 23 June with a virtual presentation from Professor Alex Edmans of London Business School who explained the business case for responsibility in normal times as well as those of crisis, and how companies can ensure that responsibility is consistent with long-term shareholder value. Alex drew on rigorous academic research, real-world examples, and his new book, Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit. Watch the highlights now, or read the event summary.

About us

At GEFI we convene financial services stakeholders who share a collective desire to create a financial system that delivers for people and the planet. In shaping this vision, GEFI takes inspiration from the Scottish enlightenment – one of the most important intellectual eras when received wisdom was questioned and new ideas, discussions and debates were encouraged.

Supporting partner

If you are interested in attending, speaking, sponsoring or promoting The Radical Old Idea please get in touch by email.

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