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Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs

Global Working Groups

Working Groups are designed to support up to two years of collaborative activities, including intensive research and active measures to influence policy, distribute solutions, and mitigate the impact of the challenge on target countries/communities.

Contact emory.erkerlynch@northwestern.edu with for more information.

Banking and Finance Global Working Group

The Banking and Finance Global Working Group addresses the question: What regulatory, institutional, social and technological innovations can address the public’s loss of trust in the existing financial instruments and institutions in a transformative digital environment? Lack of interoperability and poorly regulated digital payment service providers have eroded public trust in and use of conventional financial instruments. As societies become more digitized, policymakers must promote the more efficient digital banks and currencies while also ensuring consumer security. If this progress and balance is not achieved, there will be greater social disruption, instability, and inequality in the world.

Over a two- to three-year period, and through a series of online discussions and intensive meetings, the members will develop a comprehensive plan for further research and advocacy. The goal is to produce publications, international standards, and nuanced recommendations for stakeholders such as bankers, regulators, and industry tech experts.

Gender Justice and Digital Life Global Working Group

The Gender Justice and Digital Life Global Working Group seeks to increase awareness about gender inequity, harassment, and abuse online, and create a future community centered around gender-equitable technology and practices by addressing the following challenges:

  • Normalization of gender-based violence and inequalities
  • Apathy and inertia around gender justice in general, but especially in the digital realm
  • The problem of private ownership of technology and data
  • A legal environment in which neither individuals nor companies are held accountable 

Over a two- to three-year period, and through a series of online discussions and intensive meetings, the members will develop an open-source clearinghouse of best practices for gender in Information and Communication Technology education and gender harassment/violence resources.