The 2016 Challenge topic of the Financial Solutions Lab is Helping Americans Weather Financial Shocks. This issue brief introduces the topic, the reasons it is an important problem to solve, and some innovative approaches to doing so. The examples and ideas included are not prescriptive, but rather a handful among thousands of potential solutions we would welcome from applicants.

“Financial shocks” may sound like a stroke of bad luck that happens to the unfortunate few, taking them from comfort to despair, and wiping out hard-earned savings. But financial shocks are not limited to a hapless minority. In fact, sixty percent of Americans experienced a financial shock in the past year.

Download the brief below, and visit FinLab’s website for more about this and future challenges and how to apply.