Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen Will Teach You About The Economy – For Free

[H]ave you ever sat and wondered about “the economy?” What is it? How does it work? Don’t feel alone if you have ever thought about this. According to 2013’s Consumer Financial Literacy Survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 40% of Americans gave themselves a C, D or F, when it comes to their knowledge of personal finances. A whopping four in five adults said they could use additional advice about everyday financial issues from a professional.

A new film series being funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen aims to up the awareness and educate the public about economic issues and policies.

The new short film series titled “WE THE ECONOMY: 20 Short Films You Can’t Afford to Miss” connects famous filmmakers with a variety of economic advisers. The experts discuss the global economy and how it impacts you as an individual every day.

Paul Allen, along with Morgan Spurlock’s Cinelan, are rolling out a massive campaign that includes a curriculum to go along with the series, for educators from grade school through college.

We The Economy
“WE THE ECONOMY” is a new 20-part documentary series aimed at educating the public on the global economy.

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has already partnered to create a pilot project for its teachers to incorporate “WE THE ECONOMY” into the curriculums for 8th to 12th-grade students.

Thanks to a distribution agreement with Films Media Group, the series will also be available to thousands of schools, colleges, and public libraries. Apps for iPhones and Androids offer the series as well as the companion materials for download, free of cost.

“Learning about the economy doesn’t need to be boring,” said executive producer Morgan Spurlock. “WE THE ECONOMY uses the power of film and storytelling to make a dense topic more entertaining and understandable, and packages it up into a short format that’s easy for any of us to consume.”

Allen and Spurlock tapped some of Hollywood’s best-known directors to shoot the documentary. Albert Hughes, Adrian Grenier, Catherine Hardwicke, Shola Lynch, Jon M. Chu and others discuss economic issues with author John Steele, The Economist editor Greg Ip, NPR’s “Planet Money” and host Adam Davidson .

“When I was first approached to be involved with this project, I wasn’t quite sure what to think or how to tackle it. Anything having to do with money or the economy has always been totally foreign to a person like me,” said Albert Hughes, who has shot movies like “Menace II Society,” “Dead Presidents,” “American Pimp” and others. “I don’t even live in the U.S. anymore and rarely carry more than 20 bucks in my pocket! I kept thinking about it but just wasn’t able to wrap my head around such an abstract subject. And then it finally hit me… Detroit, the place I was born. A place that would be the perfect case study for what can happen to a society when the bottom falls out — whether it be from the effects of globalization or automation eliminating countless manufacturing jobs. The whole story was suddenly there for me — and hit home in a very personal way as my father was once an auto worker, as well as many family members.”

Carole Tomko, General Manager and Creative Director of Vulcan Productions said she hopes the 20-part series will help the next generation of young adults develop a deeper understanding of their connection to the global economy.

“If we can empower the next generation of young adults who will be shaping the U.S. economy by giving them both deeper understanding and practical knowledge about the subject, we’ll be providing an enormous public service, and that’s our hope,” Tomko said.

Check out more of “WE THE ECONOMY: 20 Short Films You Can’t Afford to Miss” at WeAreTheEconomy.com.

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