13 Feb 2024
The registration is closed.

Digital Finance Conference

Geneva, Switzerland
1 Days
Programme Area
Public Finance and Trade
Event Focal Point Email
Government of Japan
By application & selection
Mode of Delivery
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The United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR) will be holding a conference on February 15 and 16, 2024, in Geneva, Switzerland focusing on - Leveraging the Digital Economy for Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth: Strategies to Overcome Risks and Harness Opportunities.

Over the last decade, the digital economy and its volume and impact on the real economy have become a major focus of study. It continues to challenge us with its evolving nature, impact, and scale.

Some of the largest economic units on the planet are top digital firms. Apple, with USD2.88 trillion market capitalization (as of January 2024), and Microsoft (USD2.86 trillion) approach the 2023 GDP (in purchasing power parity) of the Republic of Korea, the world’s 14th largest national economy. Alphabet (USD1.79 trillion) is near the size of Egypt (18th largest economy), and Amazon (USD1.62 trillion) is similar to Taiwan, Province of China (22nd). 

According to the World Bank, the information and communications technology (ICT) sector accounted for over six per cent of global GDP in 2022. The Digital Cooperation Organization, a Saudi government-led initiative, estimates the digital economy will contribute 30 per cent of global GDP and create 30 million jobs by 2030. 

Technologies are also continuously evolving and new ones emerging. While technologies like cryptocurrencies and blockchain, central bank digital currencies, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning offer numerous benefits, deploying them responsibly and ethically is crucial to ensure that they have positive impacts on sustainable development. This requires addressing regulatory considerations, ethical concerns, and the potential for unintended consequences, among others.

The size and vigour of the digital economy make it a centre of convergence of what is good and bad in the world economy. This is the starting point of the discussion proposed by UNITAR. Together with digital technology innovators, regulators, experts, and practitioners from the financial sector, we will address the question: How can we embrace digital finance innovations to strengthen our efforts in achieving inclusive and sustainable development?

The presentations and panel discussions will also be broadcasted live. If you are unable to attend in-person, please register for the Zoom broadcasting: Link to Zoom registration

This portion of the conference will follow a Digital Finance Hackathon, which will take place on February 15 and the morning of February 16. If you are also interested in participating in the Hackathon, please be sure to register here (a separate registration is required): Hackathon registration.

The objective of this conference is to inspire attendees to act in addressing the opportunities and challenges in the digital economy to strengthen our efforts in achieving inclusive and sustainable development.

12:00 – 17:30 CET: Presentations and Digital Finance Panel Discussions


Welcome Address - Mihoko Kumamoto, Director Division for Prosperity

Join us as we kick off the afternoon with an address by the Director for Division for Prosperity, Mihoko Kumamoto, to introduce the key themes of the conference.


Innovation Showcase - Unveiling Solutions

Learn about the pressing challenges that were addressed during the digital finance hackathon through a series of short pitches, presented by hackathon groups to share their ideas and innovations on how these challenges can be addressed. Get inspired by the collaboration, creativity, and commitment in addressing these challenges.


Keynote Presentation - Gerrit Sindermann , Executive Director, Green Digital Finance Alliance (GDFA) and President, Green Fintech Network (GFN) 

A presentation with reflection on the impact of the digital economy


Panel 1 - Digital Transformation of the Global Economy: Balancing Innovation and Regulation 

Let's delve into the impact of digital transformation and reflect on what is needed to find an effective balance between fostering innovation and upholding financial stability, security, and fairness. In this discussion, experts will share their insights on the impact of digital transformation on sustainable development and the role regulation plays in shaping the digital finance landscape.

The session will be moderated by, Pio Wennubst, Senior Advisor to the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), with the following speakers:

  • Johanna Hill, Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • Gerrit Sindermann , Executive Director, Green Digital Finance Alliance (GDFA) and President, Green Fintech Network (GFN) 
  • Michael Kende, Chair of the Board of the Datasphere Initiative and Senior Advisor at Analysys Mason
  • Igor Litvinyuk, Economic Affairs Officer, Sustainable Energy Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

The set of possible questions includes:

  • In what ways do you see digital finance and emerging technologies influencing sustainable development?
  • What challenges and opportunities does the evolving nature of the digital economy present for regulatory frameworks?
  • How can regulators encourage digital innovation while maintaining the necessary oversight to prevent security risks and foster a stable financial environment?


Panel 2 – Navigating the Ethical Landscape of the Digital Economy

This panel brings together experts who will share their vision for how we can foster a responsible and trustworthy digital economy that benefits all. In this discussion, several challenges and opportunities will be addressed, including the Impacts of digital finance on inclusion and accessibility. 

The session will be moderated by, Pio Wennubst, Senior Advisor to the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), with the following speakers:

  • Francesca Bosco, Chief Strategy and Partnerships Officer, CyberPeace Institute 
  • Torbjörn Fredriksson, Head of E-commerce and Digital Economy Branch, UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  • Monique Morrow, President and Co-Founder, The Humanized Internet
  • Dr. Marta Ra, Head of Business Development & Public Relations, Radicant Bank

The set of possible questions includes:

  • What are the ethical considerations associated with digital finance, and how can we proactively address them?
  • How can we ensure that advancements in digital finance befit all and do not perpetuate existing inequalities?
  • What do you see as the most important considerations when creating policies and regulations to promote a responsible digital economy?


17:30 – 20:00 CET – Cocktail Reception and Showcase

The conference will close with a cocktail reception, which will be held in a showcase area, where the hackathon solutions will be on display.

With a combination of a hackathon, presentations, panel discussions, and networking opportunities, this conference aims to inspire attendees to act in addressing the opportunities and challenges in the digital economy to strengthen our efforts in achieving inclusive and sustainable development.

Reserved for those who register for the in-person conference.

With a thoughtful selection of panelists and moderator, each panel discussion will be facilitated for a comprehensive learning experience where panelists will have the opportunity to share their perspectives and contribute to a conversation on the topics presented.

The cocktail reception is reserved for those who attend in-person to network with one another and converse on the conference presentations and panel discussions.

The conference aims to engage government finance and trade officials, however participants from the private sector, academia, and international organizations are also encouraged to attend. The conference will be open to anyone interested in attending.

You do not need to be an expert in digital finance or economics to attend. This conference will serve as an opportunity to meet others, exchange ideas, and gain a deeper understanding of digital finance technologies, trends, and their implications on the economy.

Registration is required to attend the conference

Please note that because this is an in-person event, registrations will go through an approval process. 

  • If you are not able to attend in person and wish to view the presentations and panel discussions virtually, please register via this Zoom link: Link to Zoom Registration
  • If you also wish to also participate in the Digital Finance Hackathon, ahead of this conference on February 15 and morning of February 16, please register here: Link to Hackathon

Kindly Note -

The event organizer does not offer assistance with travel arrangements, accommodation, or visa-related matters for registered participants. 

UNITAR does not provide insurance for attendees of its events. Attendees are advised to arrange, if necessary, insurance at own expense (against sickness, accident, permanent or temporary disability, death and third party risk for the period of the meeting.

Health Insurance and Liability Waiver

By registering for this event, the participant hereby confirms that they, in their participation in the above-described activity, hold adequate medical insurance for the whole activity duration, including travel, and note that UNITAR will not cover any medical expenses for participants. 

For Speaking and Partnership Opportunities

Mr. Michael Adalla
Michael.Adalla [at] (Michael[dot]Adalla[at]unitar[dot]org)
United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
7 bis, Avenue de la Paix
CH-1202 Geneva 2