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Plenary 1 | The Merchant of Venice

22nd June - 10.15 - 11.15 / Plenary room


Major thinkers throughout history—Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes, to name just a few—considered moneylending, at least under certain conditions, to be a major vice. Dante, Shakespeare, Dickens, Dostoyevsky, and modern and popular novelists depict moneylenders as villains. […] Moneylending has been and is condemned by practically everyone. But what exactly is being condemned here? And what are its consequences? […] It seems that every generation has its Shylock — a despised financier blamed for the economic problems of his day."

“The Morality of Moneylending: A Short History” - Yaron Brook | Economics, History From The Objective Standard, Vol. 2, No. 3.

This first plenary will focus on the themes of moneylending and financial education, borrowing some techniques from the Theatre of the Oppressed, where theatre is a means of promoting social and political change. In such theatre the audience becomes active, such that as "spect-actors" they explore, show, analyse and transform the reality in which they are living. The session will be based upon some extracts from “The Merchant of Venice” by William Shakespeare.

Definitely not an academic lecture… be ready to get involved!


Plenary 2 | The Venice Declaration

23rd June - 09.45 - 11.00 / Plenary room

This Plenary Session will be a moment to reflect on what the sector has done since the beginning of our activities. Microfinance in Europe accounts for around 2.5 bn EUR Gross Microloan Portfolio Outstanding given to those who are considered "unbankable". In addition, Ethical Finance, banks which are fully socially oriented, account for around 30 bn euros in loans to associations, NGOs and social cooperatives. We are talking about those organisations who deal with people who are considered too weak to be financially included in the mainstream sector.

In this session, we will analyse together with important EU and Italian policy makers what we have achieved so far and, more importantly, what we could and should do in the future to create bigger impact. The practitioners want to do a better job than in the past and consider they could do it if a greater cooperation with relevant policy makers was given.

Read the final Venice Declaration here!


Closing Ceremony | Keynote Speech

Laure Foschi - ADA Microfinance ~ Download the closing speech presentation

Laura Foschi ADA MF




Additional information