PARIS –(Business Wire)–
Expanding on his role in last year's annual forum, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría invited John Hope Bryant, the founder, chairman and CEO of global financial literacy nonprofit Operation HOPE (HOPE) to speak at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) 50th Anniversary Forum "Better Policies for Better Lives". The event brings together 1400 representatives from 36 member countries from May 24 – 25, 2011.
Bryant's session "Restoring Trust in the System" included keynote remarks from Iveta Radicová, Prime Minister, Slovakia and moderator Soumitra Dutta, Roland Berger Chaired Professor of Business and Technology, INSEAD, France.
Bryant, who is also a member of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for President Barack Obama, joined world financial leaders in a panel discussion on Financial Regulation and Consumer Protection. He spoke to the global economic crisis and explained how it is not a recession but a "reset"; asserting that financial literacy empowerment is key to recovery for the restructuring of the global economy.
"In the 20th Century, democracy and the right to vote was the main empowerment tool for individuals. In this global economic age, financial literacy empowerment has become the single most important civil rights issue," said Bryant. "To restore faith in the system, we have to further 'silver rights' – the access to economic opportunity. Helping individuals understand the rules of the game gives them the ability to realize their individual aspirations."
Expanding on the basic concepts of his business bestseller LOVE LEADERSHIP: The N
ew Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World, Bryant noted the importance for economic leaders to understand that focusing on what they have to give instead of what they can get is the first step to "restoring trust in the system".
Sharing efforts to further financial literacy empowerment on the national and world stage, Bryant elaborated on a few of HOPE's successes:
- HOPE has created the Gallup-Operation HOPE Financial Literacy Index and the HOPE Office of Research, Innovation and Assessment which track student success, best practices and study the co-relation between financial literacy and future aspiration. The partnership with Gallup has developed a first-of-its-kind index that measures youth understanding of basic financial matters and how that understanding relates to his or her hope for the future, engagement with school, and wellbeing.
- Aligned with the Obama Administration in recognizing financial literacy as an important part of the U.S. government's federal policy, HOPE created a department of Consumer Financial Protection division. The department was created to restore faith in the system, help educate consumers on financial matters and support the efforts of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- Through HOPE Global Initiatives, the organization delivers financial literacy empowerment internationally. In South Africa, financial literacy empowerment is delivered to women and youth through the Banking on Our Future program, and in Haiti, where HOPE participates in the Clinton Global Initiative.
- With the support of the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders program, HOPE facilitates Global Dignity – an international movement encouraging mutual respect and understanding. Co-Founded by Bryant, HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Professor Pekka Himanen, Global Dignity Day has enlightened youth in 45 countries since 2008.
- HOPE in partnership with the Casablanca Stock Exchange, recently introduced the Wikia-Operation HOPE Global Money Initiative (Global Money). This online financial literacy tool launched in March 2011 is designed to help equalize the economic playing field by providing translated, contextualized and culturally relevant financial literacy curriculum to communities worldwide. Currently the program is offered in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish with the goal to include 50 of the world's top languages in the next year. HOPE recently presented Global Money at the IMF and The World Bank Spring Meetings in April 2011 in conjunction and with the support of The World Bank's Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy Global Program.
Focused on Financial Regulation and Consumer Protection, Bryant's panel involved: Ted Menzies, Minister of State, Finance, Canada; Federico Ghizzoni, CEO, UniCredit SpA; Marilena Lazzarini, Member of the Council of Directors, Instituto Brasileiro de Defesa do Consumidor, Brazil; Steingrimur J. Sigfússon, Minister of Finance, Iceland. The discussant for the panel was Renato Flores, Professor, Fundação Getulio Vargas/ EPGE, Brazil, Education International.
U.S Secretary of State Hilary Clinton also attended and spoke at the OECD 50th Anniversary Forum in Paris, representing President Obama and the Obama Administration.
The OECD was established in 1961 and includes 31 member countries. Their mission is to bring together the governments of countries committed to democracy and the market economy from around the world to support sustainable economic growth, boost employment, raise living standards, maintain financial stability, assist other countries' economic development and contribute to growth in world trade. The organization provides a setting where governments compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practice and coordinate domestic and international policies.
About Operation HOPE, Inc.
Founded in 1992, social empowerment nonprofit Operation HOPE's mission is to expand economic opportunity in under-resourced communities through financial literacy education. HOPE promotes "silver rights" – making free enterprise and capitalism relevant and effective for the underserved. Raising more than $500 million and directing and restructuring nearly $500 million more in mortgages and economic support from the private sector, for a total of approximately $1 billion in economic activity, HOPE seeks dignity and empowerment for all. Follow Operation HOPE atwww.operationhope.org, www.twitter.com/operationhope, andwww.facebook.com/operationhope.
HOPE Global Initiatives is the international division of Operation HOPE dedicated to promoting and advocating the benefits of economic empowerment as a tool for vastly improving the quality of life in developing countries. With a particular focus on developing countries on the African continent, their role has expanded to serve low-wealth communities throughout the world. For more about HOPE and its programs to empower the underserved, visit www.operationhope.org.
About John Hope Bryant
John Hope Bryant is the founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc., author of Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business book LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), and a Member of the U.S. President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability. He is a member of USA Today's CEO panel and a regular contributor to the Huffington Post (News - Alert). Bryant has received over 400 awards and citations for his advocacy work, including Oprah Winfrey's Use Your Life Award. An internationally-recognized leader in empowering low-wealth communities in America and across the world, Bryant has empowered more than 1.5 million individuals worldwide. Raised in Compton and South Central Los Angeles, he had been homeless for six months by the age of 18. Finding his way out of poverty, he has dedicated his life to leading the way for others. Follow his blog at on his website.