Social programmes are carried out by the Bank Millennium Foundation („the Foundation”) and in 2020 they concentrated on financial education of children at preschool age and on preparing guides for parents wanting to deliver the training themselves.
The Bank Millennium Foundation has been running the proprietary “Financial ABCs” kids financial education programme since 2016. In 2020 despite the pandemic the Foundation continued the Financial ABCs programme with a new format. Due to the epidemic situation the classes held so far in kindergartens were suspended until recall; however the Foundation made sure the educational materials, which may be used by kindergarten staff as well as parents, are available online. The Foundation created a series of modern online educational materials.
In 2020 Bank Millennium Foundation commissioned and analysed results of an opinion survey of parents of kids of preschool age about financial education (the survey was carried out by GfK institute for Bank Millennium Foundation in May 2020 on a national sample of 1 000 parents of children aged 3-7, with use of CAWI methodology). The survey results confirm that the Foundation’s focus on financial education of youngest children is a good decision. In the survey 65% parents of pre-schoolers said that the earlier financial education of children begins, the better they cope in adult life in crisis situations, such as the crisis caused by the coronavirus. With a view to the aforementioned survey results, Bank Millennium Foundation introduced a new guide series for parents about financial education of kindergarten kids called – Parents’ Guide “How to teach finances to children”. The programme objective is to teach good habits related to savings, respect for work and for money. The materials were prepared by the Bank’s experts in cooperation with an expert in psychology and pedagogics.
Bank Millennium for more than 30 years has been supporting cultural projects on both national and local outreach. It is a 360° sponsor of culture, because it promotes art in almost all its forms, including: music, painting, sculpture, film, theatre, photography, literature and performance. Bank Millennium reaches for niche and popular culture. It is by design a long-term partner.
The most important cultural project of 2020 sponsored by the Bank is the Millennium Docs Against Gravity Film Festival. This is Poland’s biggest world documentary film festival and an important festival worldwide. Bank Millennium has been a partner of the festival for 15 years now and in 2016 it became its naming rights sponsor. Due to the current pandemic, last year’s 17th edition of the festival was postponed to autumn of 2020, nevertheless still in May, during the lockdown, a special event was organised DOCS AGAINST ISOLATION, when viewers could see 50 films online from the previous editions, half of them with free access. In September 2020 the 17th edition of the Millennium Docs Against Gravity festival was held in hybrid format for the first time in history. Bank Millennium together with its organiser faced-up to the needs and expectations of the entire culture audience, offering them access to 150 documentary films from the entire world in cinemas in seven cities and in virtual space. There was also no shortage of accompanying events. The hybrid edition of the Festival attracted a record-high audience of 170 000 viewers. Director of the festival was awarded with a prestigious prize Paszport “Polityki” for hybrid form of the event.
Another cultural project, which Bank Millennium has been supporting for many years, is the Sacrum Profanum contemporary music festival. The Bank has been working with its organiser – Kraków Festival Bureau (KBF) since 2012. In 2020 KBF and Bank Millennium paved new roads as regards the form and formula, taking the entire event online. The 18th edition of the festival for the first time in its history took place online – on the Play Kraków platform.
In its social activity Bank Millennium S.A. analyses trends concerning innovation in the market environment. Every year the Bank’s experts prepare the “Millennium Index – Regional Innovation Potential”, which describes disparities in development of innovation in Polish Voivodships. The “Millennium Index – Regional Innovation Potential” is the Bank’s contribution to the public debate concerning regional development drivers in Poland and reducing inequalities that exist between them. In 2020 the fifth edition of the report was published. The main theme of this edition of the survey, apart from statistical data, were the limitations but also opportunities resulting from the crisis involved with the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditionally experts and practitioners in business, science, government and non-governmental institutions were invited to comment on results in particular regions. They shared their experience about what helps and what obstructs development of innovative projects, in what way the pandemic changed the approach to innovation and how to support its development in the second half of 2020. Thus the Report is a valuable source of knowledge for local government authorities on how to level the playing field for regions in Poland.
Supporting university education
In 2020, the Bank continued cooperation with respectable universities including, inter alia, SGH Warsaw School of Economics and the University of Warsaw supporting the universities in improving their infrastructure and changing their operational models at times of the pandemic, as well as students and graduates in developing their competences. The co-working centre created by Bank Millennium and SGH provide an example of such cooperation. It is a place of real life and virtual meetings, networking, consultations with business theoreticians and practitioners from the university and the bank. The co-working centre supports students and graduates, who established or are planning to establish a start-up and want to clash their ideas with the business reality. Due to the pandemic most of the activities were carried out online.
Another example of cooperation is provided by scholarship programme of the University of Warsaw, Camões Institute and Bank Millennium. The Bank sponsored a scholarship for the best BA student of Portuguese Studies at the University of Warsaw. The Bank has been sponsoring scholarships since 2013.