Financial markets resemble a form of ecosystem, comprised of multiple groups of individuals and firms interacting. Financial system outcomes ultimately result from the behaviour of individuals. However, the groups those individuals belong to and the interaction between groups affects their behaviour so that it is possible to talk about group outcomes as well as individual behavioural outcomes. Most obviously, the behavioural outcome of a group of people organised through a financial firm is entirely different from the same number of people acting individually. Because of this complex ecosystem, attempts to change financial market behaviour, for example, to make markets more resilient by tackling core sustainability challenges, need to be system-wide, with each part of the system adjusting in relationship with the others. It encompasses the entire financial market ecosystem and its components, offering the potential to bring about coordinated change. It represents a step towards a desired outcome, articulating a vision for what financial markets could become. It holds the power to transform the nature of financial market relationships by addressing the motivations and values that drive them. Furthermore, it can foster positive reciprocity, with just objectives pursued through just means in financial markets. Every decision or practice carries implications and is not neutral; it either advances or hinders these objectives.
Greater recognition that markets operate subject to a social licence provides a framework for just that. It concerns the financial market ecosystem as a whole and each of its parts, with the potential to have a coordinating effect throughout. It reaches towards an end goal. It expresses an aspiration for what financial markets could be. It has the potential to alter the substance of financial market relationships, because it concerns the desires and meanings that animate them. And it can be a source of positive reciprocity: just ends pursued by just means in financial markets. No behavioural decision or habit is neutral. It either advances that end, or detracts from it.