The Think Forward Initiative

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We all like to see ourselves as sensible and logical decision-makers, but study after study shows that our decisions are driven by many other (often subconscious) factors. Why exactly do we make bad financial decisions? Is it because it’s too hard to imagine and consider our future needs over our current needs? Does the abundance of choice help us or hinder us?

That’s why ING, together with partners Deloitte, Dimension Data, CEPR (Centre for Economic Policy
Research), Dell/EMC and Amazon Web Services, started the Think Forward Initiative: to gain a deeper understanding of the behaviour behind financial decision-making and then harness those insights to help people make financial decisions that are better for them, and ultimately better for society.

This initiative is focused on using the knowledge we gain about financial decision-making as a springboard for action. Besides conducting research, it brings together experts from the financial industry, policymakers, academics, consumer groups and technology companies in a series of gatherings and working groups. TFI is developing actual tools that can help people — tools that are personal, relevant and timely.

For example, would you save more if you knew how much your peers saved? Researchers from TFI say yes, and are developing an app to help. It’ll compare how similar people save and guide them to start “unspending”. People will set a concrete savings goal, receive suggestions based on their data, and then be rewarded along the way. This is just one example.

Read more on the Think Forward Initiative website.

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