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The International Workshop on Financial System Architecture and Stability (IWFSAS) provides a forum for academic researchers, practitioners and policy makers to discuss current issues related to the structure and design of financial systems and their impact on macro-financial stability and sustainable economic development. While the specific theme of the workshop varies from year to year, the overall objective of this annual event is to stimulate discussion of high quality and policy relevant cutting-edge research that informs our understanding of how various financial sector issues can affect the stability of the financial system and the overall economy, nationally, regionally and globally. Further information on past IWFSAS meetings and featured themes can be found at


IWFSAS 2021 organizers:

This year’s IWFSAS meeting will be hosted virtually by Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria in collaboration with The Business School (formerly Cass), and the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA).


Keynote Speaker

Andrew Karolyi

Andrew Karolyi is Professor of Finance and holder of the Harold Bierman Jr. Distinguished Professorship in Management at Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business where he currently serves as Dean. His research specializes in the area of investment management with a focus on the study of international financial markets. Professor Karolyi served as Editor and then Executive Editor of the Review of Financial Studies from 2011 to 2018, one of the top tier journals in Finance. He is a past president of the Western Finance Association, past president and trustee of the Financial Management Association, and currently a member of board of directors of the American Finance Association. For more on Prof. Karolyi, continue reading here.

Aim and Topics

The Sixth IWFSAS conference offers leading academics, practitioners and policymakers the opportunity to discuss innovative research on a range of topics related to the post- COVID-19 pandemic recovery and climate-related financial issues.

As the world emerges from a global pandemic, calls for a resilient and sustainable recovery have intensified.  The COVID-19 pandemic has led governments to introduce unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus packages. While similar measures were used to fight past crises such as the Global Financial Crisis of 2008/09, the scale of current interventions are unprecedented. Their size raises concerns of sovereign debt sustainability and increased risks of corporate default. Meanwhile, exceptionally low and negative real interest rates in many developed countries are encouraging risk taking by investors leading to overvaluation in equity markets.

The pandemic has also resulted in a sense of urgency to deal with climate change and climate-related financial risks. Net-zero commitments by companies and investors have gained momentum despite the economic downturn. Many countries, feeling the urgency of delivering on their commitments to the Paris Agreement, are likely to take more decisive policy actions – what the UN PRI calls the “Inevitable Policy Response”. Such responses could take the form of higher carbon taxes, outright bans on certain industries such as coal, or simply increased regulatory pressures on high emissions industries.  Any policy response will create a significant transition risk for companies and investors alike. Delayed policy responses in some countries will result in higher future disruptions creating more financial stability risks that central banks and other financial sector participants are trying to assess and monitor using climate scenarios and climate stress testing.

On the opportunity side, the pandemic year has seen a significant rise in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) funds.  Issues of green, sustainability and social bonds reached an all-time high in 2020, driven by more awareness of social and environmental issues as well as the rise of the green economy. This welcome trend could support an accelerated transition to a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient economy. However, increased regulatory scrutiny, higher disclosure requirements for corporations and investors, and the adoption of ESG taxonomies around the world are introducing new challenges for asset managers.

This call for papers invites submissions of high-quality unpublished manuscripts on topics related to the impact on the financial sector of the COVID-19 pandemic and the transition to net zero, including, but not limited to:

  • Climate risk and asset pricing
  • Green bonds and transition-linked financial instruments
  • Climate scenarios and impact on institutional investors
  • Climate stress testing of the financial system
  • Integrated Assessment Models and asset valuation
  • Stranded assets and carbon bubble risks
  • Climate-related financial disclosures, reporting and other regulatory issues
  • Central banks and the greening of the financial sector
  • COVID-19 recovery and green stimulus policies
  • Monetary policy in the age of COVID
  • ESG risks and sovereign and corporate credit spreads
  • Debt sustainability and international cooperation for debt relief
  • Insurance, banking & pension funds exposure to climate risks
  • Impact investing and other sustainable finance trends
  • Biodiversity and other environmental finance innovation
  • Corporate strategies towards transition and physical risks of climate change
  • Corporate social responsibility in the post-pandemic world
  • Financial innovation and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Financial inclusion, Indigenous finance, Indigenous worldviews on ESG issues
  • Gender, race and the role of financial institutions and markets in post-COVID recovery
  • Carbon markets and carbon as an asset class
  • Shareholder engagement on ESG issues
  • Sustainability and stability of financial systems

We welcome both theoretical and empirical contributions on the above topics, in addition to other more general topics that relate to the structure and stability of the financial system, the green recovery, and climate risk.

Program Co-chairs

Rym Ayadi

Bayes Business School & CBR, City University of London

Michael R. King

Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria

Basma Majerbi

Gustavson School of Business & CSSI, University of Victoria


Christie Stephenson

UBC Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia

Organizing Committee

Kevin Andrew

Gustavson School of Business University of Victoria

Kristy Faccer

Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, University of Victoria

Paul Schure

Department of Economics University of Victoria

Sandra Challita

Research Fellow, EMEA and ESDES