How will Financial Education in Austria look like by 2030?
Sommersemester 2020 - Erste Group
Education is one of the issues that is gradually becoming a tangible reality in the age of digitalization. The paradigm shift from analogue to digital seems to have already reached the process of education. By offering tailored services to its international customer base, Erste Group intends to be a leading institution in the financial sector in the future. Erste Group therefore recognizes the importance of identifying, analyzing and exploiting the opportunities that come along with such change.
In a rapidly changing world, it is essential for companies to prepare themselves for the challenges of the future in an appropriate manner. If it is true that the future is unpredictable, it is also undeniable that it would be naive for any company to ignore trends that could indeed impact and lead to diverse and partly contradictory futures. Erste Group is well aware of this, and in light of the fast-changing world and unclear progress of education, it was able to ask a fundamental question:
"How will individuals educate themselves on personal finances by the year 2030?”
By following the Scenario Planning approach, we were able to discover unknown unknowns. The aim of the project has been to create a projection of the present into the future, by creating possible and plausible future scenarios upon which strategic implications are drawn.
Through extensive literature research we were able to determine diverse trends shaping the present on a large scale. Moreover, by combining the literature research with expert interviews, we combined theory and practice and thereby derived critical insights for the determination of relevant trends that will be indeed shaping the future of financial education. The results of this exhaustive research are 121 trends that will directly or indirectly have an impact on the future of financial education. To identify the most relevant ones for the future develop of financial education, the following comprehensive selection has been adopted.
By narrowing down the most relevant and crucial trends to our project, we examined the 28 selected trends more in detail by assessing their predictability score and impact. Furthermore, we represented the connections between these trends in a graphic visualization, the casual loop diagram, to simplify the identification of the driving influencing trends among the group.
With the completion of the present trend analysis we were able to develop two scenario variables, upon which all the different trends can be ordered and analyzed. These two scenario variables were crucial for the realization of the scenarios, because they dictate the terms under which the scenario will be developed.
These variables are trust in centralized institutions and the motivation to gain and consume financial education. Especially in times of economic and social crisis, these variables play a decisive role, as they bring fundamental questions about social and economic structures back into discussion and into the perception of society. The combination of different extreme forms of the respective variables generated the four scenarios, which reflect the future developments as well as possible. Through the creation of four different future scenarios, we were able to identify and spot early warning signals relevant to Erste Group in the present. Through these early signals Erste Group is provided with the expertise about possible future development of a present trend or change in the system. Moreover, by deriving 16 different strategic recommendations, four for each scenario, Erste Group is equipped to master the challenges of these future scenarios both preventively and acutely.
Am Belvedere 1
Armin D. Blassnig, MBA
Caroline Fabian, M.Sc.