The origins of FinGeo go back to the Geographies of Finance and Post-Socialist Transformations Research Network, organised by Martin Sokol, Zoltan Gál, Tim Heinemann and Dariusz Wójcik in 2010-13 and funded by the Regional Studies Association. Three international seminars were held during that period:
- Finance, Crisis and Post-Socialism: Critical Perspectives, London, 2011
- Crisis in Europe, Europe in Crisis: Financial Markets, Regions, Cities and Uneven Development, Hamburg, 2012
- Finance in Transition: Lessons for the Future, Bratislava, 2013
These events led to many fruitful research collaborations and resulted in an email-list with over 100 members, which continued to grow and function as a basis for a newsletter, led by Martin Sokol throughout 2014.
In 2015, the idea was born to create the Global Network on Financial Geography (FinGeo) as an umbrella network that could build on, support, and transcend individual, often regionally focused, research networks with fixed-term funding. The FinGeo concept was launched publicly by a group of financial geographers led by Dariusz Wójcik and Martin Sokol on 20 August 2015 during the Fourth Global Conference on Economic Geography in Oxford.
FinGeo Launch in Oxford, 2015
The first funds for FinGeo were secured in 2015 from Regional Studies Association, in the form of the Research Network on Financial Geographies, organised by Martin Sokol, Zoltan Gál, Dariusz Wójcik and David Bassens. Additional funding came from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, through the European Financial Geography Network (EUFINGEO) led by David Bassens and Manuel Aalbers, and established in 2016. Further funding was secured by Dariusz Wójcik from University of Oxford and Ewald Engelen from the University of Amsterdam.
Following the launch in Oxford, an International Working Group was constituted to develop specific plans for FinGeo’s operations. The Group included Manuel Aalbers, David Bassens, Fabio Contel, Sabine Dörry, Gary Dymski, Ewald Engelen, Zoltan Gál, Michael Grote, Sarah Hall, Janelle Knox-Hayes, Karen Lai, Fenghua Pan, Thomas Sigler, Martin Sokol, Simon Zhao, and was chaired by Dariusz Wójcik. Following an open consultation with members of the FinGeo email-list, the mission, governance structure and a strategic plan were agreed. In August 2016, the inaugural Executive Committee was elected to lead FinGeo for the first two years of its operation.