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How Can Futures Literacy Support the Future of Cash?

Categories : Cash is universal
March 4, 2020
Tags : Future of Cash, Innovation
The future of cash is of obvious and critical importance for all stakeholders in the cash cycle but how do we actually anticipate the future? What tools, processes and models do we use?
Guillaume Lepecq

This post is also available in: Spanish

The agenda of the Future of Cash conference, 21-22 April in Madrid, covers all of the topics that one might hope for from a range of outstanding speakers. The organisers have gone further though, and for the first time at an industry conference, are partnering with international expert futurists to support delegates to design their own approach and strategy for the future of cash.


What is Futures Literacy?

UNESCO is one organisation that is pioneering a powerful change in why and how organisations and people are anticipating the future. Since 2012, it has been championing the concept of futures literacy, as a skillset that enables organisations to better understand the role that the future plays and develop the tools and methods to use the future to solve a particular challenge

Riel Miller, Head of Futures Literacy at UNESCO, will give an introduction to Futures Literacy and how it applies to the future of cash. Riel is one of the world’s leading authorities on the theory and practice of using the future to change what people see and do. He is recognised as an innovative and globally experienced project initiator, designer and manager, and is widely published in academic journals and other media on a range of topics, including money. In 2002, Riel co-authored the OECD paperThe Future of Money’ and in 2006, he co-authored ‘The Future of Smart Payments’ with Guillaume Lepecq. The Future of Money still remains topical today; for instance, it describes Singapore’s bold move to introduce digital money that is universally accessible, clears in real-time, and allows for peer-to-peer transactions among all economic agents.

Riel Miller, Head of Futures Literacy at UNESCO


The Future Maker’s Workshop

Following Riels’ introduction to futures literacy, delegates will be invited to imagine the future during the ‘Future Makers Workshop’. This is a co-creation session in which participants will look at the changing strategic landscape by practicing futures literacy methods.

The workshop will be facilitated by Demos Helsinki, an independent global think tank working on the transformation of post-industrial societies. It specialises in working with public and private sectors organisations to help them think and co-operate together in entirely new ways.

The Future Makers’ mindset is that without foresight it is not possible to be an active agent for change. In the workshop, participants will work together on an exercise that scans and considers the landscape from the immediate out to the horizon. Based on this, participants will create a vision of a desirable future as well as a roadmap to achieve that vision.

The aim of this unique approach is to  allow the conference to move from change happening to us, to being part of the change, shaping and influencing it. This is an enormous opportunity, but it requires co-operation and participation from everybody. As Demos Helsinki says: ‘we know the world changes only when people and organisations come together.’


CashTech: When Cash meets Fintech

Another new initiative at the conference is the so-called CashTech Forum, bringing together innovators, start-ups and scale-ups which are working to keep cash accessible, accepted, easy to use and cost competitive.   In particular, the  panel discussion entitled ‘Introducing CashTech: When Cash Encounters Fintech’ will gather companies which make use of software and modern technology to provide cash services –  including access to cash and acceptance of cash payments –  as well as enhancing the efficiency of the cash cycle to share their experience and vision for how technology will shape the future of cash.



This post is also available in: Spanish