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Forum: 'Opening the Economy': Debates about Financial Inclusion - between Profitability and Over-indebtedness

A space of academic reflection about the technological, social and economic conditions that would make financial inclusion sustainable for both financial entities and the population thus included.

Date: May 4, 2017
Location: Auditorio Varela Edificio D- Universidad Icesi
Contact information: Edgar Benítez, ebenitezcesi.edu.co tel. 5552334 ext. 4034

In Colombia, financial inclusion has been promoted by government agencies, NGOs, banks and other financial institutions, yet is still subject to debate on account of its sustainability on two fronts. On the one hand, the sustainability of the infrastructure required by financial organizations to reach out in geographic and demographic terms. On the other hand, the sustainability in terms of the finances of those included given situations such as overindebtedness. This event brings together academics, government functionaries and practitioners to discuss the benefits but also the tensions, complementarities and contradictions surrounding financial inclusion and debt.

Supported by the University of California Irvine's Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (IMTFI), this project is one among several that IMTFI has supported since 2008 towards its goals of understanding the everyday uses and meanings of money, as well as the technological infrastructures being developed as carriers of mainstream and alternative currencies worldwide.

Read compelling initial findings from Colombia in Maria Balen's  blogposts: "Can I try again? Working with research participants as they map their networks" and "The Mobile Money Revolution That Has Not Come: Report on Displaced Peasant Families in Rural Colombia"

Workshop Schedule
0800-0900 Registration and opening
0900-1015 Conference 1: Strategies of Financial Inclusion: Their Nature and Considerations for Success
Speaker: Carlos Moya, Coordinator for Latin America of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI)
1015-1045 Break
1045-1200 Conference 2: Challenges of Financial Inclusion: Tensions and Dilemmas
Speaker: Magdalena Villarreal, Coordinator of the regional node for Latin America of the Institute of Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (IMTFI)
1400-1530 Panel 1: Material Rails of the Digital Visions, Moderator: Maria Elisa Balen, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
1. Banco Agrario (Ricardo Gómez) Cali
2. Movilred (Hernando Rubio) Bogotá
3. Cooperativa Financiera Confiar (Andrés Velásquez) Medellín
1530-1550 Coffee
1550-1720 Panel 2: Financial Inclusion and Indebtedness: Perspectives and Tensions, Moderator: Edgar Benítez (Universidad ICESI)
1. Bank of the Republic (Nidia García), Bogotá
2. Fundación WWB Colombia (Daniela Konietzko) Cali
3. Fundación Paz y Bien (Alicia Meneses) Cali


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