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Occupy Financial Education

 

IMG_6578We have said it before and we will say it again: financial literacy needs a lot of different parts to work. Parents, education, charities, financial services, media etc. But what about protest?

Government spending, connecting the micro to macro economics and tax are covered extensively in our financial education sessions. It causes many debates and helps young people understand the money maze they will soon step into. Our friends at Bite the Ballot also do this with the aim of registering young people to vote.

Much is made of the youth vote, yet data suggests few exercise their right to use it – however, logic suggests the more informed they are, the more likely they are to take part. This is why we were intrigued by the Occupy movement’s new educational programme which explains the financial crisis by taking you to the very places where it happened. We recently took our Youth Advisory Panel along to see what it was all about

Max from Occupy explains:

Occupy London Tours – Opening up the Financial Crisis

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When was the last time you saw the inside of an investment bank, or poked your head round the door of a credit ratings agency? (what even is a ‘credit ratings agency’?!). When was the last time the news told you about the City of London Corporation, its Lord Mayor, and secret dealings with the government on behalf of the ‘Square Mile’ – home of the UK’s financial services industry?

Our guess is never – or at best, a long while ago.

But the truth is, if you want to understand money, power and the financial crisis (and you need to if you want to change the world), then getting under the skin of the banks, insurers, mutual’s, private equity firms, hedge funds, lobby groups, accountants, regulators and credit ratings agencies – to name a few! – that make up the covert world of high-finance, is a must.

Luckily (perhaps), global finance has its global HQ here, in London. And that’s where we come in.

Occupy London Tours began after a teacher named Liam, and his friend Duncan, got involved in the Occupy movement that burst onto the world stage in autumn 2011. Camps occupying locations in hundreds of world cities brought together hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of people united in opposition to a political and economic system they saw as corrupt, unrepresentative, unfair and untenable. A simple slogan summed up their message:

“We are the 99%”. The rule of a tiny elite – the 1% – was in the firing line.

Liam and Duncan decided to design free, alternative walking tours of London’s three financial districts: the City of London (the UK’s smallest city) at the heart of London’s story of money and power; Canary Wharf, the cluster of towers that now houses most of the UK’s bankers; and Mayfair, the West End quarter that secretly houses hedge funds, private equity firms and traders who toss billions round the globe.

Each tour lifts the lid on the inner workings of the companies pulling the strings beyond the public gaze, shifting the future prospects of young people the world over – with little or no accountability. Through stories, games – and hard facts – we throw open the secretive world of finance and politics for all to see.

It’s never been more important for young people to understand the world they’ll shape – what better place to begin than with a free trip into the beating heart of money and power.

For more info – http://occupytours.org/book-a-place/

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