“The power of men is not determined by the individual but by a collective, because human beings alone are weak creatures.” – Yuval Noah Harari
Financial literacy is a fundamental cornerstone not only for the social well-being of a country but also for the growth of a conscious civil society and therefore a driving force behind its economic and financial stability.
For these reasons, financial literacy is fundamental to help individuals achieve adequate security, before starting work, during their working life and after retirement.
For generations between the ages of 20 and 35, this situation seems to be better, but only in certain areas of the country and for socially more affluent environments, which are familiar with digital payments and basic banking activities.
During 2020, according to the Svimez 2020 Report, the pandemic’s effect on the country’s economy were substantial. During the first wave, even if the epicenter was the North, the economic crisis soon spread to the South, where it “translated into a social emergency, crossing a weaker productive fabric, a more fragmented world of work and a society more fragile “. The second wave, on the other hand, directly hit the South. According to Svimez forecasts, “in 2020 the Italian GDP will contract by 9.6%. The most marked decline in the Center-North, with a decline of 9.8%, in the southern regions will be 9%. In the southern regions the second lockdown has increased the difficulties of activities and pieces of employment in a marginal position (underground, black, irregular). Hence the fall in household disposable income of -6.3% which is transmitted to private consumption, with a contraction in the South equal to -9.9% higher than that of the Center-North (-9%). While the southern production base has not yet recovered the levels prior to the “long crisis”, especially in the industrial sector. “According to Svimez projections, GDP will grow in the South by 1.2% in 2021 and 1.4% in 2022, while in the Center-North we will have growth rates of 4.5% in 2021 and 5.3% in 2022.
What is much more serious is the level of female employment in the South: at only 35.4% compared to 62.7% in the Centre-North and 67.4% in the EU.
With regard to the above, we have implemented, as Global Thinking Foundation, a series of free digital initiatives and projects available to adult citizens, with the aim of making families and women more aware of their economic and financial potential and supporting them in the conscious planning of their life projects.
Promote and support the emancipation of vulnerable groups of the society in order to avoid relapses in public welfare, thus increasing a widespread feeling of individual responsibility and awareness of the investment choices of their savings, avoiding the widespread problem of over-indebtedness and combating financial illiteracy.
The commitment of foundations and private associations of civil society, such as GLT Foundation, in Italy as well as in other G20 countries, consists in a strengthened role of active citizenship alongside municipalities and on the territory in order to be able to support the efforts expected from the Government, which has launched a national strategy for financial education, already present in more than 60 countries, which is responsible for a broad and widespread function in the numbers and quality of actions implemented.
This is an important opportunity for Global Thinking Foundation to combat situations of educational poverty by promoting empowerment, seen as strengthening and awareness, to reduce the knowledge gap in economic and financial skills that is still widespread in our country, especially in the South.
Widespread financial inclusion needs an important element to achieve effects on the economic development of the country: adequate economic-financial knowledge and a basic level of “economic citizenship” skills, currently lacking in Italy.
The FOCUS SUD 2019-2021 Programme was born on 5 October 2018 in Catania during the event: “How much and what financial education? A behavioural analysis for Italy.”
The event took place as part of the initiatives for the World Investor Week 2018 sponsored by IOSCO (International Organization of Securities Commission) – an association which includes the supervisory authorities of a hundred countries, established in 1983 to regulate the world markets of securities and futures – and with the patronage of the Sicilian Region, the City of Catania and the Presidency of the Chambers of Commerce of Eastern Sicily.
FOCUS SUD 2019-2021 brings together a series of activities that will take place in Puglia, Basilicata, Abruzzo, Molise, Calabria, Campania, Sicily and Sardinia thanks to the support of memoranda of understanding already active in some municipalities of the aforementioned regions and with the regions themselves, and will embrace the issues of Financial Education included in the objectives of economic sustainability of Agenda 2030, (SDGs), in particular for the goals 4,5,8,11, and 12, and addressed to adults from 18+ to 65+ using paper and digital materials of Global Thinking Foundation and AIEF (Italian Association of Financial Educators) certified voluntary teachers of the Women Squared Task Force.
The Project will also make use of the strategic collaboration with local stakeholders for school “work programme” and the experience related to the participation in the working groups of ASVIS and INFE/OECD, International Network for Financial Education.
An educational experience focused on the theme of Politics as a social service for citizenship aimed at Young Women, which saw its first edition take place at the Farm Cultural Park in Favara (Agrigento) and which is now embracing several other realities throughout the national territory. Global Thinking Foundation has decided to support the school from the first edition by giving some scholarships, as the aim is to inspire a new generation of women by introducing them to the themes of politics, understood as civil commitment and the “art” of interpreting and guiding society, discussing democracy, social justice, international relations, female leadership, universal values and civil rights together with highly experienced and passionate testimonials active in various professional fields and across all currents of thought with a focus on countries and their international experiences. Find out for more:
An initiative dedicated to the Sicilian region that has developed into 6 digital meetings, due to the global pandemic, open to all and completely free, to address the central issues of business in the digital age. A training course that aims to increase economic literacy in the field of professional planning at the time of the sharing economy. The project is promoted by Global Thinking Foundation in collaboration with Marisa Bellisario Foundation – Sicily Delegation and Palermo and Enna Chamber of Commerce. Find out for more: https://www.gltfoundation.com/en/womenforsociety/