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Research Colloquium: From Financial Literacy to Financial Capability

Research Colloquium: From Financial Literacy to Financial Capability

What is the difference between financial literacy and financial capability, and why should credit unions care? Where is financial capability lacking and what are the consequences of low financial literacy? What approaches and methods can better suppport credit unions’ efforts to promote financial literacy and capability? Which groups are the best targets for credit unions’s efforts?

From Financial Literacy to Financial Capability

Presented by the Filene Research Institute at George Washington University

Save the Date: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 | Washington DC

Credit unions have long focused on financial literacy and capability as a key part of their mission. In many cases it has become the fulfillment of the original charge to “promote thrift.” But cultural changes around money management and the proliferation of educational tools and distribution channels mean that traditional methods may not be as effective. It’s essential that credit unions align their focus and their spending with ventures that strategically support credit unions’ mission. But it is equally important that efforts support effective service to members, effectively promote good behavior and simultaneously promote credit unions’ business goals.

Participating Experts

  • Annamaria Lusardi, George Washington University – Financial illiteracy is not only widespread, but particularly severe among some important and large demographic groups, such as middle income families, women, and the older population. There is a critical role credit unions can play in rebuilding household balance sheets. Helping families rebuild assets and manage debt will improve the financial conditions of families and also gain their trust. This session will show that, when discussing financial capability, it is important to take the long view. Most importantly, the sesssion will provide information on specific programs and best practices that have contributed to improve financial capability.
  • Jean Chatzky, author, Today Show contributor, and director of education at SavvyMoneyWhat Truly Changes Financial Behavior?
  • Lois Kitsch, National Credit Union Foundation – Credit unions have spent countless hours and dollars to provide financial education opportunities for members and consumers across our nation. In an effort to build both consumer capability and knowledge, credit unions are turning to experiential tools and resources to provide students and adults opportunities to learn by doing. Reality Fairs, Retirement Fairs, Learning Maps and Simulations are the new teaching tools that provide a rounded educational experience that many are calling “edu-tainment” where education and entertainment meet for a satisfying an educational experience.
  • Piyush Tantia & Alex Fiorillo, ideas42, Harvard University – How can we make financial literacy training more effective? Can we do more than financial literacy to help people make better financial decisions? This session will answer the first question by introducing the idea of “financial heuristics” as an improvement on traditional financial literacy curricula and sharing recent field test results. The speakers will also discuss psychologies that get in the way of financially beneficial actions, and share additional ideas stemming from behavioral economics that answer the second question.
  • Ron Borzekowski, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – One of the CFPB’s lead economists details its research pipeline and answers questions about how the new bureau will measure progress in its mission to improve the nation’s financial capability.
  • Nick Maynard, Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund – Can vampire video games improve retirement security? Learn about the award winning financial capability innovation, financial entertainment and how cool, casual games mixed with effective social marketing strategies has reached over 350,000 players and generated over 95,000 hours of financial education. In addition, hear about the cutting edge work being done around game customization that links play to positive financial actions in the real world.


Because of the generous support of CO-OP Financial Services and the National Credit Union Foundation, Filene is offering this colloquium free of charge.

If you would like to support the administrative and logistical costs of this colloquium and further the work of Filene, we would welcome a donation of any size ($250 recommended). You may make a donation on the registration form.

Because seating is limited, we ask that each Filene member registers only the CEO OR one senior-level executive. We also ask that your registration represent a firm commitment to attend.

Travel Plans:

The meeting is being held at:

George Washington University School of Business

Duques Hall | Room 651 | 2201 G Street NW

Washington, DC

Washington DC is served by all major airlines through Reagan National Airport (DCA) and Dulles International Airport (IAD). Filene is not establishing a room block, but a range of lodging options are available nearby.

Categorized: 'Events' 'Operations' 'Strategy'

Tagged: 'filene news' 'savingsthrift'

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