On October 1 WINK kicked off Season Four with another successful launch event, this year graciously hosted by KPMG at their Bow Valley Square offices downtown Calgary. More than 70 guests came to enjoy after-work drinks and hors d’oeuvres while listening to an engaging presentation by keynote speakers Lydia Avery and Michelle Delisle from FrogskinU, a Calgary-based social enterprise that teaches kids how money works and how to be savvy consumers.
From their professional experience in the financial services sector, ongoing research review, and extensive work with children, the FrogskinU directors were able to speak beautifully about the powerful link between emotions and money that drives how we approach money and create our financial futures. FrogskinU reaches tweens and teens (along with their parents) who are already barraged with advertising and incredible pressures to spend. FrogskinU offers interactive programming that focusses on the emotional appeal marketers use and turn it around by spotting schemes, scams and fraud, and how to avoid money trouble.
Throughout the presentation, WINK guests had fun playing rounds of ‘Sink or Swim’, trying to guess the answers to questions and win FrogskinU Swampbucks. In three rounds of this game we learned that the term ‘frogskin’ means money and its etymology can be traced back to the 1930s when gangsters used it as a code word to hide their greenbacks. We learned that 49% of women fear becoming a bag lady in retirement, even those with salaries of over $200,000. We learned that 70 million dollars were lost to fraudsters in Canada in 2014, up from $53 million in 2013. And at the end of the presentation, guests got to exchange their hard-earned swamp bucks for swag, chocolate, candy, and other goodies!
But the subject matter was not all fun and games. FrogskinU made guests think hard about how intangible money is becoming, and how this affects kids (and their families) who might fail to make a connection to reality when all they see is a plastic buying tool going into a machine and money coming out. Attendees were also encouraged to think about some of the deep, uncomfortable financial fears women share that range from not being smart enough, to being swindled, to being a burden, to harming others by making a decision that might let others down.
While women are increasingly more involved in financial planning, they also tend to feel badly about not understanding or knowing about finances. As FrogskinU indicated, this hardly seems fair as there were no courses in school designed to teach managing money. In a call to action at the end of their presentation, guests to put their truths on the table, take a long hard look at their money-mind connection, and continue to expand their financial knowledge through WINK.
What a fantastic start to what will surely be an exciting and rewarding year! Hello, Season Four.