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How To Teach About Money? In Italy, Follow the Ants

Annamaria Lusardi, director of the Global Center for Financial Literacy and GWSB Denit Trust Professor of Economics and Accountancy, helped unveil the new Museum of Saving in Turin, Italy, last month – a project whose focus is teaching people how to manage and save money.

The ants "For" and "Mica" are the mascots guiding visitors through the new Museum of Saving in Turin, Italy.

Lusardi, an academic advisor to the museum, attended the museum’s ribbon-cutting on May 24 and toured the site with Italy’s Welfare Minister, Elsa Fornero, who was instrumental in adding a financial education component to pension reform law in Italy.

“This is a big idea for financial education and a fantastic one,” said Lusardi, who said the museum was the brainchild of Andrea Beltratti and Giovanna Paladino, two Italian professors who are also executives at Intesa Sanpaolo, the bank which provided support for the museum.

“Many Italians and tourists visit Italian museums every day to appreciate and learn about art throughout centuries of history,” said Lusardi, a native of Italy.  “Now they can do the same to learn about economics and the workings of money and finance throughout the centuries, starting from the advent of money (around the seventh century B.C.) and continuing to the collapse of Lehman Brothers … And they can do so in a very engaging way.”

The museum’s mascots are two little ants (formichine in Italian) named “For” and “Mica” who guide visitors through the museum’s five rooms and describe the importance of saving money.

The museum employs various media to teach about money and savings, including movies; financial literacy video games for children; cards that describe financial instruments such as stocks, bonds and derivatives; comments and quotes from economic studies; and the appearance of virtual historical figures such as the writers Dante Alighieri, William Shakespeare and Moliere, who describe society’s relationship with money during their lifetimes.

Visit the museum’s web site here.

Read Lusardi’s blog entry about the museum’s opening here.

Posted by gwsb on June 19, 2012 | Filed under: GWSB News.


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