Conference Reports

Killing Cash 2011: Pros and Cons of Mobile Money for the World’s Poor: A Look at Both Sides of the Coin
On April 22, 2011, leaders in the field of financial inclusion gathered at The Fletcher School to take a closer look at mobile payment systems and their implications for the world’s poor. The day featured presentations and panels led by experts from Bankable Frontier Associates, the Bank of New York Mellon, Boston University, CGAP, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and the Feinstein International Center, as well as conference cosponsors the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Center for Emerging Market Enterprises, and The Fletcher School. The day included an Oxford-style debate on the pros and cons of mobile money versus tangible cash, a panel on how e-cash affects anti-terrorism/anti-money laundering efforts, a presentation on Mexico’s decision to end cash-based pensions and welfare by 2012, and a lively discussion on the future of mobile money.


Managing Political Risk 2009: A Cross-Sector Conference on Political Risk Management and Mitigation  
On October 23, 2009, professionals from more than 100 organizations and graduate students from academic institutions throughout the northeastern United States gathered at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University for its inaugural political risk conference. Hosted by The Fletcher School’s Political Risk Forum (FPRF) and Center for Emerging Market Enterprises (CEME), the Managing Political Risk conference fostered a range of discussions on timely political risk measurement and mitigation trends and techniques from the international investment and business perspective. This report provides a number of highlights from the four panel discussions and two keynote presentations given during the daylong event.

M-Banking 2009: Balancing Innovation and Regulation
In May 2009, the Center for Emerging Market Enterprises and the Kenya School of Monetary Studies in Nairobi coproduced M-Banking 2009: Balance Innovation and Regulation. A Fletcher student-led initiative, the two-day conference brought together 300 government, business, NGO, and academic leaders from throughout the region. Facilitating in-depth discussions between disparate stakeholders on the current status of mobile and branchless banking, the conference aimed to identify current challenges as well as future opportunities for innovation within the m-banking industry. This conference report reflects a number of key highlights and takeaways from the important discussions that took place during the two-day event.

Debating the Future of Savings-Led Microfinance: A Summary Paper of the Microfinance From Below Conference  
Drawing from the arguments made at CEME’s March 2009 conference, Microfinance from Below: The Power of Savings and Savings Groups in Frontier Economies, this summary presents opinions and insights from experts in the field of microfinance and reviews debates concerning the linking of communities to banks and other financial institutions, the continued need to regulate microfinance, and role of technology in savings-led initiatives.

Microfinance From Below Conference: One Student’s Perspective  
This paper summarizes memorable moments and important lessons of CEME’s March 2009 conference, “Microfinance from Below: The Power of Savings and Savings Groups in Frontier Economies” through the perspective of one student attendee.

The Global Financial Crisis: Implications for Emerging Local Capital Markets—a seminar summary report (October 2008)
A report summarizing a seminar held at The Fletcher School on October 31, 2008 focusing on the impact of the global sub-prime and financial crisis on the development of local capital markets in emerging market countries. Featured panelists included: CEME Senior Fellow Eliot Kalter; Allison Holland of the IMF; Anne Milne of Deutsche Bank Securities; Anderson Silva of The World Bank Group; and Lawrence Krohn and Patrick Schena of The Fletcher School.

Scaling Alternative Energy: The Role of Emerging Markets—a dialogue synthesis report (April 2008)
On April 11, 2008, CEME and the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy (CIERP) at The Fletcher School co-hosted a dialogue exploring key issues in sustainable energy, with a focus on the emerging markets. The dialogue brought together leading manufacturers and investors in alternative energy products and technologies, as well as practitioners and policy-makers, to discuss initiatives that enterprises and governments in the emerging markets (e.g. Brazil, China, India, and the Middle East) are taking to address both climate change concerns and the energy needs they believe are necessary to improve living standards.

Deepening Local Capital Markets in Emerging Market Countries—a seminar summary report (April 2008)
A report summarizing a half-day seminar on April 23, 2008 exploring the development of local capital markets in emerging markets, particularly in the Latin American and Asian regions. The event featured CEME Senior Fellows Eliot Kalter and Neil Allen; Fletcher professor Patrick Schena; and practitioner Ignacio Sosa.

Microfinance Dialogue: The Next Decade—a dialogue synthesis report (November 2007)
On November 2, 2007, CEME hosted a timely conference on the future of microfinance, with support from the Feinstein International Center, and the Institute for Human Security at The Fletcher School, Tufts University. Panelists included leaders from the public, private, and NGO sectors, including ACCION International, MicroRate, Compartamos, the Omidyar Network, AIG, and CAF. Critical microfinance topics explored include capital markets access, use of soft money, and key issues facing microfinance industry growth and impact in the next decade.

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