Think Forward Initiative


Think Forward Initiative

How do people make financial decisions?

The Think Forward Initiative (TFI) is a multi-year movement that brings together a range of experts and research to find out how and why we make financial choices, then use the lessons learned as a springboard to design solutions for the customer. Together with ING, Dell EMC, Microsoft, Dimension Data and the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) we use insights of cutting-edge academic research to create practical tools.

Join the conversation on LinkedIn: @Think Forward Inititative

It’s just over a month since the second annual Think Forward Summit took place, and a lot has been happening. In the TFI Summit Report 2017 you can read a recap of the progress made since the first Summit in 2016, info about the speakers at the 2017 Summit, and mindmaps that show the results of the break-out sessions. 

How can we empower people to make better financial decisions? Today a, at the Think Forward Initiative summit in Munich, we launch our newest report! The report contains the latest outcomes of our research and the innovations that we are bringing to consumers across Europe. Download the report.

Keynote speaker Michael Norton on 'how to buy happiness?'

They say that money can’t buy happiness. Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton says it can, if you spend it right. His tips are outlined in the book “Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending” and TEDx talk “How to buy happiness”, which has been viewed more than three million times. Here, he answers some the questions ahead of his keynote speech at the Think Forward Summit this week.

Setting out lines for the future

At the first Think Forward Summit last year, participants defined three areas where people experience challenges in their financial decision-making. These challenges gave birth to five projects, which participants were busy working on throughout the past year. With this year’s Think Forward Summit approaching quickly, here’s an overview of what each project researched and a description of the practical solution being developed based on that research. Some videos will give you an impression of what went on behind the scenes. Read on.

Personal finance choices that pay

An international survey on financial behaviour for the Think Forward Initiative explores the reasons why nearly a third of young people in Europe feel their finances are in a poor condition. Research findings indicate that there is barely money for out of pocket emergencies, decisions on non-essentials are hard to make, retirement saving choices are difficult, and managing wealth is seen as less pleasant than budgeting. It is therefore increasingly important for young people to learn how to manage money. Read or download TFI's publication here.

How can a future selfie save you a fortune?

Many people fail to save what they will need for retirement. Research on excessive discounting of the future suggests that removing the lure of immediate rewards by precommitting to decisions or elaborating the value of future rewards both can make decisions more future oriented. The authors explore a third and complementary route, one that deals not with present and future rewards but with present and future selves. In line with research that shows that people may fail, because of a lack of belief or imagination, to identify with their future selves, the authors propose that allowing people to interact with age-progressed renderings of themselves will cause them to allocate more resources to the future. Read or download TFI's publication here.

How to empower people to make better financial decisions?

What kind of mortgage is right for you? What are the potential pitfalls of a student loan? When should you start planning your pension? Making financial decisions is not easy, however unavoidable. So how do people make financial decisions and why? Understanding why people make certain financial decisions, such as saving, investment and retirement and borrowing, spending and budgeting but also financial literacy. With these insights from research, more personal, instant and relevant solutions can be designed to adhere to consumer needs and to drive sustainable progress in society at large. Read about the Think Forward Initiative and the three themes.

Deloitte is knowledge and innovation partner of the Think Forward Initiative

Deloitte and Think Forward Initiative, founded by ING, have announced their intention to cooperate closely on several projects to find out how and why we make financial choices. The goal is to use this to help consumers improve their financial decision making and to create solutions for society. In the Think Forward Initiative, Deloitte will share research, subject matter experts and will participate in working groups and discussions. By facilitating the in-dept discussions with top- academics, policymakers, consumer organizations and leaders from the financial and technology sectors we try to address the specific issues to focus on in the near future in order to improve interaction with consumers. Read on about the partnership.

Want to know more on the Think Forward Initiative?

Would you like to stay up-to-date and informed on the Think Forward Initiative. Please join the network via the Think Forward website or contact Peter van Loon at Join the discussion @ThinkForward.

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