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Enabling education is key

To understand how important financial services are, firstly, people have to understand what money is

Photo of Tom Weischer
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Why do lottery winners so often lose all their money after a couple of time? I would argue that's because they don't think in a sustainable way. They want to spend their money now instead of use financial services to safe it, use it as a back-up or even try to make more money out of it. 

So imagine now you give a huge amount of money to a community that:

  • hadn't so much money before

  • never spent a lot of money before

  • and never got to know which financial services you can use.

I would argue that in many cases this community will lose all money as well without having implemented a sustainable solution for their problem.

But nobody could judge them for this because nobody told them what sustainability or even money means.

Considering money as just an instrument to make an exchange, I believe that communities should be empowered to understand the real value of money and all the services around it. But this means empowering people with knowledge (which already exists) all over the world in many different areas. As I know from a friend who worked as a volunteer in a school in Africa, teaching is very limited. Children and adolescens only learn basics of math, writing and reading.

Now the question is how to improve this way of teaching which means this understanding of the world. Thinking about this made me start to think about what changed my way of learning during the last several years. The answer was easy...the internet!

Think about all the different tools and possibilities to learn with in the internet. There are tutorials, free slides, tutors, online lectures, etc. So much content is already available via the internet, ready to educate those who need it the most.

Anyway, so many people have no access to the internet right now. The internet became to crucial for us and our society and verybody takes it for granted but so less think about the people who have no access. 2/3 of the world isn't connected to the internet.(http://internet.org)

But recently Facebook announced that they are testing an unmanned "aircraft that can beam internet access down to people from the sky." (Mark Zuckerberg Facebook post on the 27th of March) (More information here http://au.pcmag.com/social-networking/29440/news/facebook-shows-off-solar-powered-internet-drone)

This enables us to provide everybody with education and our existing knowledge. This could enable databases of best-practice sharing or networked communities to become more efficient when trading etc. etc. Possibilities are endless to implement a knowledge network which could provide these communities with the needed knowledge to understand the meaning of economic sustainability.

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Photo of André Fernandes

Hi Tom, great reflection about how knowledge about money issues is important! It made me remember an idea I posted about relating money to beliefs, attitudes and mindset, check here: https://openideo.com/challenge/financial-empowerment-challenge/research/how-do-see-money-issues-aligned-to-beliefs-spiritual-and-self-help-practices

Photo of Tom Weischer

Hey André, I think we both agree that the challenge is to enable people to think about money in the right way rather than just throw money after them and wait and see what is going to happen. Thank you for the link to your post!
Cheers

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