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Experts Converge at the Kogod-Hosted Third Conference on Islamic Finance

Conference attendees discussed the growing role of Islamic finance as a notable alternative in financial spaces.



The Third Conference on Alternative (Islamic) Finance, hosted at the Kogod School of Business, emerged as a beacon of intellectual exchange and innovation in the realm of finance. Under the adept stewardship of Dr. Ghiyath Nakhsbendi, the conference convened a distinguished cohort of thought leaders and practitioners. Dr. Ghiath Shabsigh, the Secretary-General Secretary-General of The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) – an international standard-setting organization for the global Islamic financial services industry – and former Assistant Director at the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Monetary and Capital Markets, graced the event with insights garnered from extensive experience in global financial dynamics. Alongside him stood Dr. Martyn Oliver, a prominent figure from AU Core, lending academic rigor and institutional perspective to the discourse. 

Ishmam Ahmed, from Sanctuary AP3, brought to the table a wealth of practical knowledge, enriching discussions with real-world applications of alternative finance principles. Complementing these perspectives were the contributions of Zoe Siegel and John Cassidy from American University, whose interdisciplinary insights added depth and breadth to the dialogue. 

Ahmet Aytekin, also from American University, contributed significantly to the discourse, offering unique insights and expertise to enrich the conversation. 

Throughout the conference, a central theme emerged – the burgeoning significance of Islamic Finance as a formidable alternative within the financial landscape. Delving into its principles and mechanisms, speakers elucidated how Islamic Finance offers a compelling paradigm shift, grounded in ethical considerations and risk-sharing mechanisms. Its compatibility with sustainability goals and resilience to economic shocks further underscored its relevance in today's volatile financial environment. 

As the discussions unfolded, it became evident that Islamic Finance transcends mere financial transactions; it embodies a holistic approach to economic activity, aligning with principles of social justice and equitable wealth distribution. This resonance with broader societal values positions Islamic Finance as not just an alternative, but a catalyst for systemic change in the financial sector. 

Crucially, the conference didn't merely dwell on theoretical frameworks; it actively explored opportunities for growth and innovation within Islamic Finance. Panelists deliberated on emerging trends, such as fintech integration and green financing, highlighting avenues for expansion and adaptation within the Islamic Finance ecosystem. 

Moreover, the event served as a platform or former students in Islamic Finance to share their experiences and reflections on the field, in addition to networking and collaboration, fostering connections among academia, industry, and regulatory bodies. These interactions sparked synergies and partnerships that have the potential to drive forward the evolution of Islamic Finance and alternative finance more broadly. 

In essence, the Third Conference on Alternative (Islamic) Finance at AU was not just a gathering of minds; it was a convergence of visionaries charting the course for a more inclusive, ethical, and resilient financial future. As the momentum continues to build, propelled by insights shared and connections forged, the impact of this conference reverberates far beyond its duration, shaping the trajectory of finance for years to come.