"Money is changing from paper to digital form and becoming more abstract. How does this affect our concept of value? Is wealth limited to financial possessions alone? Or do the tangible and intangible outweigh each other? What is of value when the lines between tangible and intangible become increasingly blurred? Vote, let us know your opinion!"
With this introductory text, the participatory exhibition "Of value?" greeted visitors directly upon entering the entrance hall of the Swiss Finance Museum. At a total of seven stations, we invited people to reflect on the concept of value by means of a ballot, on scales, or by writing down their own thoughts, and to share their own opinions with us.
THE QUESTIONS AND RESULTS
Ballot box: Do you have cash with you today?
The use of cash is declining, other forms of payment such as credit/debit card or mobile payment solutions are gaining in importance.
Nevertheless, significantly more visitors had cash on them:
Will digital values be more important than material values in the future?
There are now purely digital works of art, services and products. We wanted to know whether these will become even more valuable in the future. The visitors were able to use a sticky dot on the scale to freely choose whether they tended toward a clear "yes" or "no" or were more in the middle.
The answers on the scale are very distributed, with a slight tendency towards yes.
From which grade should the topic of "money" be taught in school?
Various studies show that financial education should start at an early age. However, especially in countries with highly developed financial markets, such as Switzerland, the topics of "money and finance" are often neglected in the curriculum.
At this station, too, visitors were able to express their own opinions using sticky dots.
The majority of the visitors share the opinion that the topic of "money" should already play a role at an early stage in school: a large proportion of the dots can be found in the classes of the lower school.
Ballot box: Can you still get rich by working today?
The gap between the richest and the poorest is wider than ever. Do you still have a chance to become rich through work, or only by winning the lottery if you were not born into a rich family? Our audience felt that work still pays:
How much money do you need...?
This station consisted of three questions, which in turn had to be answered on a scale from CHF 25,000 to CHF 175,000 using a sticky dot:
- How much money do you need in a year to live?
- How much money do you need per year to be happy?
- How much money do you need per year in retirement?
The answers vary widely, and there are some individual items that were placed well above the high end of the scale. There seems to be no limit to the amount. Clusters can be seen in the range between CHF 50,000 and CHF 100,000 for all three questions.
It is not entirely clear whether more money per year is actually needed to be happy.
Interestingly, the information on how much money is needed for retirement only starts at CHF 50,000. The respondents agree that a certain standard is important in old age - and that this is apparently more expensive than in the current situation.
Ballot box: Will purely digital money suffice in the future?
The importance of cash is declining, digital payment methods are taking over. But can digital payment solutions survive without cash? What happens, for example, in the event of power failures or IT disruptions? Who will have access to digital money at all and who will be excluded at best? For example, people without ID or a fixed residential address. A majority of the visitors think that purely digital money is not enough.
What makes you rich? What makes you happy?
The final question of our participatory exhibition was formulated openly and allowed for exciting and diverse answers: The answers of our visitors ranged from "love" to "food (good)" to "dividends".
Friends and family, travel, health - but also money - were also frequently mentioned.
What would you have left us at this point? What makes you happy?
Many thanks to all our visitors for taking part! We received exciting insights and hope to have stimulated something the other way around as well.