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In December, Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank he founded received the Nobel Peace Prize for their pioneering contributions to the development of microfinance. The Grameen Bank, and the microfinance movement as a whole, began with small-scale experiments some 30 years ago. Since then the field has grown and evolved remarkably. The awarding of the Prize is an opportune moment to reflect on what the future holds for financial services for the poor. What changes will technology bring? Which new products ought to be pursued, and for whom? How great is the threat of backlash against high interest rates?
Leading thinkers in the field--including Alex Counts, Founder, President, and CEO of Grameen Foundation, ElizabethLittlefield, CEO of Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, Elisabeth Rhyne, Senior Vice President of ACCION International andDamian von Stauffenberg,Founder and CEO of MicroRate--addressed these, and other timely issues. David Roodman,Research Fellow at Center for Global Development, served as moderator of this discussion.