“Young Factor”: a project in pursuit of economic and financial literacy

Luis M. Linde speaks at the invitation of the Osservatorio Permanente Giovani-Editori
Another ‘Great Encounter’ was arranged by the Osservatorio Permanente Giovani-Editori to mark the inauguration of the 3rd edition of the ‘Young Factor’ initiative (for the 2016/17 academic year) in front of 800 Italian students who were themselves participants in the initiative. This meeting and discussion with the influential Governor of the Bank of Spain Luis M. Linde constituted part of the program started years ago by the Osservatorio which intended to tackle yet another social and civil challenge, the lack of economic and financial education offered to Italian students, with the help of Intesa Sanpaolo, Banca Monte dei Paschi Siena and UniCredit. This particular ‘encounter’ also witnessed a speech from the former President of the ECB Jean-Claude Trichet.
In previous iterations of this inaugural meeting, other speakers included the Governor of the Bank of Italy Ignazio Visco, the previous head of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet, the Governor of the German Bundesbank Jens Weidmann and the Governor of the Netherlands Central Bank Klass Knot.
‘Young Factor’ itself is currently the leading economic and financial literacy program in Italy by the number of high school students enrolled. A relatively new project, but one that has shown excellent growth and success.
In the course of his introductory speech the president of the Osservatorio Permanente Giovani-Editori Andrea Ceccherini underlined that “Ignorance always costs. And financial and economic ignorance costs dearly. With our ‘Young Factor’ initiative, we are seeking to introduce and educate the younger generations about these exact topics. The objective is to give young people a way of achieving greater mastery over themselves, making them less like subjects and more like citizens, less like an audience and more like actors. Not just in the context of our democracy, but also our markets”.
The meeting was moderated by the editor of Il Sole 24 Ore Roberto Napoletano, who along with the students asked the Governor of the Bank of Spain questions along a variety of themes including Europe, the Euro, the global financial crisis which affected countless countries in recent years, the outward image portrayed by both Italy and Italians, the economic situation in Spain and the reforms enacted to try and return the country onto a competitive footing, and finally the importance of improving the economic and financial education of younger generations.
“First of all, I would like to thank the Osservatorio and its president Andrea Ceccherini for this kind invitation. I am very impressed by the number of young people present,” said Governor Linde at the beginning of the meeting, “and I am very happy to be here to talk about the importance of the economic and financial education that the Osservatorio promotes and carries out excellently”.
Additionally, in the course of the meeting the former president of the ECB Jean-Claude Trichet, when interviewed by the former editor of the Corriere della Sera Feruccio de Bortoli, said “Thank you first of all to Andrea Ceccherini for having invited me back, I remain impressed by the wonderful discussion that I had two years ago with your peers and I’m more than prepared to field your no doubt very incisive questions”. Trichet had the opportunity to tackle the themes of the Euro, Europe and its future, and the students did indeed present the two distinguished guests with a barrage of interesting questions, making for a dynamic and engaging meeting.