E.U. Planting Its Own Tech Cash Crop


Ray Myers

Mobiles for Education – U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

USAID created the mEducation Alliance over six years ago in order to capitalize on the increased availability of mobile devices in the developing world. The use of these new portable communication tools can become powerful forces in establishing twenty-first century educational systems no longer bound to legacy systems from the past. The mEducation Alliance is committed to reducing barriers to access appropriate, scalable, and low-cost mobile technologies to help improve learning outcomes in formal and non-formal education across all levels, especially in low-resource and developing country contexts.

The Alliance is working to empower evidence-based decision making through an explicit focus on the evaluation of education technology interventions. Our community is full of enthusiasm and innovative ideas, the Alliance serves to refocus our collective efforts towards impact.
Representatives from around the developing world (Asia, Africa, Central and South America) will be gathering in Washington, D.C. next week, October 18th-20th. To find out more about the full agenda for the week, please visit http://www.meducationalliance.org/

Ray Myers

Don’t Bank on It – “FinTech” is Here!

Digital disruption strikes again!  FinTech may actually result in a thirty percent reduction of the banking workforce.  What exactly in FinTech after all.  Sorry to make this so melodramatic, but I think the term itself, FinTech, conjures up images of sea monsters invading the mainland and seeking out victims on the streets of big and small cities around the world.  Those victims may actually be the current workers in the banking industry in the U.S.   FinTech has already had some great success in Asia, particularly in China, but what exactly is it?

It’s the technology, my friend.  In this case, let’s call it “digital disruption.”  It has been predicted that the number of employees in American banks will drop to 1.8 million people in the year 2025, down from 2.8 million last year and 2.9 million before the financial crisis.  An even sharper drop of 37 percent is predicted for Europen banks.  Tech start-ups will be taking the place of thes institutional giants.  So far most of this activity has been in the areas of online lending and payment transactions.

So goodbye, Mr. Pennington, our family’s friendly and helpful banker at Riverside Trust.  He would give us free candy when we actually walked into his bank, and we were proud to have his bank’s name emblazoned on our Little League uniforms.  I guess you could still put “FinTech” on those same uniforms, but I am not sure anyone would know what it was, and we would have to find those places in America where they still play Little League baseball.

Ray Myers