IMF Seminar: Digital Public Infrastructure: Stacking up the Benefits

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DATE: April 14, 2023

DAY: Friday

1:00 PM - 2:15 PM

LOCATION: IMF HQ1 Atrium (HQ1-1-700)

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Digital public infrastructure (DPI) can enable economic activities in the digital age and has the potential to transform economies and support inclusive growth. It can be harnessed to foster innovation and competition, expand markets, close gaps in financial inclusion, and help make financial transfers to the vulnerable. India’s journey in developing world-class DPIs (commonly known as India Stack) consisting of identification, payments system and data exchange highlights powerful lessons for other countries embarking on their own digital transformation.

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IMF Seminar: Digital Public Infrastructure: Stacking up the Benefits


Opening Remarks: Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands

Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands has served as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) since 2009. As Special Advocate, she is a leading global voice on advancing universal access to and responsible usage of affordable, effective, and safe financial services for positive outcomes. The UNSGSA raises awareness, serves as a convener, encourages leaders, and supports actions to expand financial inclusion at a global and country level, all in close collaboration with partners from the public and private sector.

Opening Remarks: Nirmala Sitharaman

Nirmala Sitharaman

Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman has been the minister of finance and minister of corporate affairs since May 2019. Prior to this (2014-19), she was minister of defense, and separately, minister of state (independent charge) of commerce and industry, finance, and corporate affairs. She entered politics in 2008 with joining the BJP and was elected to Rajya Sabha (upper house) in 2014 and subsequently in 2016.

Prior to entering politics, she worked as senior manager (Research and Development) for PricewaterhouseCoopers and at the BBC World Service. She holds a Master and M. Phil in economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Panelist: Kristalina Georgieva

Kristalina Georgieva is the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). She is the first person from an emerging market economy to lead the IMF since its inception in 1944. Before joining the Fund, Ms. Georgieva was Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank and also served as Interim President for a time. Previously, she served at the European Commission as Vice President for Budget and Human Resources – and as Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. She was named “European of the Year” and “Commissioner of the Year” by European Voice for her leadership in the European Union’s humanitarian response to crises.

Panelist: Melinda French Gates

Melinda French Gates is a philanthropist, businesswoman, and global advocate for women and girls.

As the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda sets the direction and priorities of the world’s largest philanthropy. She is also the founder of Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company working to drive social progress for women and families in the United States, and the author of the bestselling book The Moment of Lift.

Melinda grew up in Dallas, Texas. She received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Duke University and an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School. Melinda spent the first decade of her career developing multimedia products at Microsoft before leaving the company to focus on her family and philanthropic work. She has three children, Jenn, Rory, and Phoebe, and lives in Seattle, Washington.

Panelist: Nandan Nilekani

Mr. Nandan M. Nilekani is the co-founder and chairman of Infosys Technologies, India’s leading information technology company. He was the founding chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) in the rank of a cabinet minister from 2009-2014.

He was conferred with “Asia’s Businessman of the year by the Fortune Magazine in 2003; awarded the Joseph Schumpeter prize for innovative services in economy, economic sciences, and politics in 2005; named Businessman of the year by Forbes Asia. Time magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2006 & 2009 and Foreign Policy magazine listed him as one of the Top 100 Global thinkers in 2010.

Nandan Nilekani is the author of “Imagining India”, co- authored two books “Rebooting India: Realizing a Billion Aspirations” and “The Art of Bitfulness: Keeping calm in the digital world”. Mr. Nilekani received his bachelor’s degree from IIT, Bombay.

Panelist: Dan Schulman

As President and CEO of PayPal, Dan Schulman is focused on democratizing financial services and e-commerce to improve the financial health of people, families and businesses around the world. Previously, Dan served in various leadership roles at American Express, Virgin Mobile USA, Priceline Group, and AT&T.

Dan was ranked third on Fortune's 2021 list of the World's Greatest Leaders. Dan is involved in the World Economic Forum and serves on the Board of Directors of the Business Roundtable. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an International Advisory Council member of the Singapore Economic Development Board. Dan is a Director of Verizon Communications and Cleveland Clinic and serves on the board of The Economic Club of New York.

Dan earned a BA from Middlebury College and an MBA from New York University. He holds honorary Doctor of Letters degrees from Rutgers University and Middlebury College.

Moderator: Julia Chatterley

Julia Chatterley is an anchor and correspondent for CNN International based in New York. She anchors First Move with Julia Chatterley weekdays at 9am ET on CNN International.

Chatterley has been instrumental in CNN's coverage of many major global business stories including the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on businesses, industries and economies around the world. She's also reported on the US-China trade relations, Brexit and from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

She also covers transformative technologies within the financial sector including global payments, the use of blockchain technology and digital assets like cryptocurrencies. She has interviewed key players like Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse, Calibra's chief economist Christian Catalini and Mu Changchun, the head of the digital currency research institute at the People's Bank of China, to discuss the impact of new technology and the need for better regulation.

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