Archive for August, 2010

As member of the Innovation Team of our company, I try to stay up-to-date on innovation thinking and therefore I try to read +/- one innovation book per month. I also read other stuff, and if you’re interested in my readings, please check-out my GoodReads Shelf. I found that sharing the books one reads is a good way for connecting with people. Interested to hearing what you read.

I just finished a fantastic new book on innovation. It’s called The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge (Harvard Business Review) by by Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble.



As the title suggests, this book goes way beyond the idea-generation phase of your innovation efforts. It’s about making ideas happen, especially if you are an Innovation Leader responsible for innovation WITHIN an existing organization.

Many models have been tried, but most stay stuck in idea generation:

The innovation = ideas + motivation formula can generate thousands of small initiatives, but does not support projects requiring resources beyond a few people and their spare time.

The innovation = ideas + process model can efficiently crank out innovation after innovation, as long as each initiative is mostly a repeat of prior efforts


The books goes in great detail into the causes for tension between the “castle” (in the book referred to as the Performance Engine) and the Innovation Team.

Business organizations are not built for innovation; they are built for efficiency.

The authors also offer many solutions to solve this tension. The basic premise is that the Castle is organized for efficiency: to create as many as possible predictable processed and make them as efficient as possible. That’s where initiatives like Lean and Six Sigma found their origins.

An innovation initiative is any project that is new to you and has an uncertain outcome

Indeed, every innovation project is an experiment, always based on not-so-precise assumptions, and with continuous learning in order to change those assumptions in more precise decision foundations.

By definition, innovation is neither repeatable nor predictable. It is exactly the opposite—nonroutine and uncertain. An innovation initiative, even a major one, is just an experiment.

The castle loves planning (basically building upon the planning models of previous years), and comparing past actuals vs. plans. Innovation is fundamentally different, as it is about comparing current assumptions with future potential. The comparison also happens much more frequently in a rapid learning context. It’s exactly what the Castle hates.

This tension often leads to frustration with the innovation leaders. At first sight, the job of an innovation leader seems like a dream job. It is not. The aspiring leader has been set up to fail. He just doesn’t recognize it yet. In frustration, he goes a step further, fashioning himself a rebel and a subversive. He fearlessly, or maybe even recklessly, flaunts authority. One person against “the system” is an extraordinarily bad bet. Why is it that innovation leaders so often feel that their biggest enemy is not the competition but their own company? There is a simple answer. Organizations are not designed for innovation. Quite the contrary, they are designed for ongoing operations. Innovation and ongoing operations are always and inevitably in conflict.

But the break-all-of-the-rule


while understandable

and widely shared

is poison

First, innovation leaders need the Performance Engine. Most obviously, it is profits from the Performance Engine that pay for innovation. Innovation leaders, take note: antagonizing the Performance Engine is a really bad idea.

This is nothing more

than youthful fantasy

at work

Another eye-opener for me was that the innovation team must be distinct from the Performance Engine, but that the innovation team must be just as disciplined as the Performance Engine.

The authors also propose that the Innovation Leader is NOT part of the execution team. The execution of each innovation project is trusted to a “Dedicated Team” and “Shared Staff”. The shared staff comes from the Castle. And this is done for EACH individual innovation project !

The split of work between the two teams is based on the work relationships required for the innovation project: these work relationships have three essential dimensions—depth, power balance, and operating rhythm.

For the Dedicated Team, the authors have a very clear recommendation:


hire outsiders !


There is no more powerful antidote to organizational memory than outside hires. If you want to change the culture, change the people.

At least 1/4 of your Dedicated Team should be made of people from outside your organization. If not, you easily fall into the trap of the The Risk of Organizational Memory.

Experience is usually an asset for advancement within the Performance Engine, but it can be a liability for a Dedicated Team. Innovation initiatives are, by nature, deliberate departures from the past. The lessons of experience are therefore less relevant.

If everyone on the Dedicated Team has been shaped by the same lessons learned from the same victories and defeats inside the Performance Engine, then the collective instinct will be even harder to escape.

A couple of words as well on the role of the Executive Sponsor – correction – the Supervising Executive:


By the way, we have deliberately chosen the term supervising executive instead of the more commonly used term sponsor. We dislike sponsor because it makes the job sound easy or even trivial. A sponsor just provides occasional support. But the supervising executive has a critical job. Few innovation initiatives succeed without a deeply engaged one.

The supervising executive should not only be there when the yearly budget of the innovation team is approved. He should be deeply involved throughout the year to coach the team and help them overcome the tensions with the castle.

If not innovation initiatives are looked at as “second class”. In the overall picture the innovation budgets are a fraction of the budgets for technology renewal of the castle for example.


The importance of innovation

should not be based

on the size of the budget

but on the size of it’s potential


If not innovation will end up as 5 lines in your company strategy papers, CEO reports and Annual Reports. The innovation leader should NOT content himself with just a mention of the word innovation in these reports.

At the end of the book, the authors really make you re-check your assumptions by listing their


10 myths of innovation:


  • Myth 1: Innovation Is All About Ideas
  • Myth 2: The Great Leader Never Fails
  • Myth 3: Effective Innovation Leaders Are Subversives Fighting the System
  • Myth 4: Everyone Can Be an Innovator
  • Myth 5: Innovation Happens Organically
  • Myth 6: Innovation Can Be Embedded Inside an Established Organization
  • Myth 7: Catalyzing Innovation Requires Wholesale Organizational Change
  • Myth 8: Innovation Can Happen Only in Skunk Works
  • Myth 9: Innovation Is Unmanageable Chaos
  • Myth 10: Only Start-ups Can Innovate

The book also makes reference to some outdated books and consultants on innovation, that unfortunately are still used as the oracles in defining today’s modern innovation initiatives.

Chris Zook has recommended that companies take only small steps outside their existing business. Their conclusions, however, are based on studies of what organizations have accomplished in the past, not what organizations might deliver in the future. Their research is akin to someone studying all the aircraft built through the mid-1940s, collecting voluminous statistical data, and claiming, on the basis of all available evidence, that traveling faster than the speed of sound is impossible.

This is a great book on innovation. Doing away with a lot of the Bull Shiitake of Innovation.

Read it. Internalize it. Apply it.


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Check out this interesting company Recorded Future.

This is very relevant to my upcoming post on Digital Identity Tuner 7.0

Start thinking of this metaphor when looking at your digital footprint.

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Summer is coming to an end.

I had some good times off, disconnected with lots of reading, biking, and hanging around. Also the best way to let new ideas emerge.


Lately, i have been immersed in digital identity. First, I attended the EEMA European e-Identity Management Conference in London . The week after, I was the “tour guide” for a study week on the subject with 4 other colleagues.

We discovered a rich subject – in full (r)evolution – and we met really very smart people who were extremely knowledgeable about the subject.

Since then, I have been reading and thinking a lot about the subject.

This blog post – in different parts – is a detailed report of those conversations, reflections, interpreted in a very personal way. In other words, this is my very personal consolidation and internalization on the subject.

The subtitle of the blog is “the unpolished diamond”. Indeed, what I will present here is a multifaceted subject. It’s like a rough diamond, which still needs to be polished into a beautiful multifaceted shiny precious diamond.

The different facets of the diamond are organized in “chapters”. I feel like this can become the basis of a more in-depth whitepaper, or – time and ambition permitting – a book at some day. Please let me know and/or encourage me if you want me to go ahead with this crazy idea of a book.

I will come up with some other metaphores in subsequent posts. The one on “Digital Identity Tuner 7.0” is in the making, where I will really push the identity envelope.

Anyway, my identity story starts in 2001 or so. That’s when I got infected by the identity-virus: I was working for Microsoft (2001-2005) on the Belgian e-Identity Card (eID) project.


This was a once-in-a-life project, sponsored by Bill Gates himself, who saw the advent of 8 million eID citizen cards being distributed in a mandatory way to the Belgian citizens over a period of 5 years as a ideal test/pilot market. (BTW: Belgium is already renewing the first cards that were issued at the time; this means this has to be looked at as an infrastructure thing, that needs to be maintained for several generations)

We wanted to discover how citizens reacted to such eID card, assess what sort of applications were being build that consume this eID card, and what would be needed to support this sort of card in Microsoft products. This was far reaching, as we looked across the board at Windows OS, Microsoft Office, MSN (Safe chat for children), workflow, audit and regulatory requirements, and last but not least privacy.

My role was one of Business Development Manager, not so much in a sales mode, but rather in a research and discovery mode.

It was during this time that I met Kim Cameron (Microsoft’s Chief Architect Identity), just at a moment when Kim had published his seminal whitepapers “Laws of Identity” and “Towards an e-identity meta-system”.

Kim has become a friend since then, and I highly recommend his blog www.identityblog.com.

I was permeated with the early concepts of claims based identities, and ever since, I felt a natural attraction towards anything that was related to identity, not only e-identity but also identity in it’s philosophical and existential sense “who am I really ?”

Already at that time (2001),

I felt that the eID card

(a smart card with certificates issued

by the Belgian government)

was an anachronism.


We seemed to use

concepts of a physical world,

and tried to use them

in an on-line world

fundamentally different because

hyper-distributed and

highly interconnected


In addition one can question today whether the government (or a bank, or another “trusted” party should be the originator of the identity).

It’s like maintaining a 2D view on a world that has since long moved to 3D. It’s like looking at the sunset in 2D: what you see is a circle that gets smaller and smaller until it’s a dot and then finally disappears.

But in this 2D view, one has lost the 3D dimension of our planetary system, and the highly dynamic and interdependent set of moving parts.

This view is shared by David Birch, who runs a very interest Digital Identity Blog when he says:

The analog-digital comparison does not work when thinking about 21st century e-identity

There are indeed some novel views that


instead of having “an e-identity

issued by the government

to offer value to the citizens”,

it would not be better to have “an e-identity

issued and managed by the citizens

to offer value to the government”


This view is highly related to a tectonic shift of power back to the owner of the data, or more in general the revolution from “Push to Pull” business models that are so well described in John Hagel’s seminal book “The Power of Pull”, in my opinion THE business book of 2010 (although not shortlisted in FT’s 2010 best business books –> FT is wrong 😉

In the next editions of the “unpolished digital identity series”, I will tackle following “chapters”:

  • Digital identity in Cloud computing
  • Digital Identity Tuner 7.0
  • Privacy
  • Business case/model
  • Architectural perspectives
  • The role of a registration authority (if any)
  • Claims based identity: more than PKI
  • Personal data sharing
  • The “pile” of standards
  • Vendor readiness
  • User comfort
  • Mental reference framework for SWIFT
  • Trust Frameworks
  • Form factors
  • Liability
  • Developer perspective
  • Digital identity and Digital footprint
  • Social currency
  • Semantic tagging of the WHO

Hmmm… it starts indeed looking like a book. Any input and suggestions welcome.

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A couple of weeks ago, I was taking a short break and chatting with a new young guy I never had seen before at the company.

We had some chit-chat discussions about the weather and other small talk, until i asked him in what group he was working. "I am a summer student and i am working in the A-department”.

"And what are you doing there ?", I asked.

Student: "I am filling spreadsheets. They document the discussions of the daily whiteboard discussions, and that is needed to report back to the different management layers in the company."

Me: "And that keeps you busy for the whole day ?" I replied.

S: "Yep, sort of"

"And do you think that’s useful ?"

S: "No, not at all, but it is just a summer student job for a month, but

it pays well

and with the money I will be able to afford a holiday trip to Australia."

A couple of observations here:

  • how many times do you/we do things we profoundly think are useless, but still do them as "it pays well" and we are not prepared to go through the pain of challenging THAT status-quo ?
  • how many of these useless things have anything to do with adding value to the customer, and have all to do with internal policies ?
  • when is the last time you did something that really made a positive difference to your customer ?

We can have all sorts of theoretical debates about company culture, but as long as we don’t start focusing exclusively on the value zone – there where value is created at the interfaces of our company – all these efforts will only continue to add to the numerous sets of policies and initiatives.

These keep on existing and having a life of their own, even long after the crowdsourced intelligence of your company has acknowledged they have been bypassed by the events and only are alive because some senior manager identified him/herself so much with the initiative that giving-in would cause irreparable damage to his/her ego.

When are we going to stop and refuse doing things that don’t make sense anymore, only because the circumstances when these practices were created have changed dramatically ? Or even worse, have proven to have has counterproductive effect ?

Keep on searching for meaning and sense in everything you do. Refuse to do useless tasks.

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Here is your deejay with the brainwave helmet again: look at the wide open eyes of Sam from Sam The Sham and the Pharaos with their 60’ies monster hit “Wooly Bully”. His eyes wide open. Uno, Duo, Très, Quatro ! Let’s have some fun here. And be a bit crazy !


I recently got somewhat involved in the People & Culture thinking of our company. Already at our first attempt during our fantastic off-site in April, we identified excitement as one of the components that need to be part of our culture.

We should all re-read that blog post titled “Get a Life and Get Alive”, as we seem to loose lots of the sharpness of our ideas when we start putting them through committees, and the whole thing seems to get watered down.

So, for 4 months+, we kept ongoing and had a good solid understream of ideas, depicted by different people in different ways, depending on their left or right brain orientations.

After a couple of weeks, this was my best effort:



It was a combination of keeping the best, improving drastically the mediocre, and getting rid of the worst. The most important in this slide were the


“quality lenses”


They reflect the deeper purpose that guides our transformation process and choices, and these lenses can be used as a compass to be sure we still navigate in the right direction.

The direction was an ambitious one, a radical one.

But most executives do not like the words “radical” or “disruptive”.

  • Does that mean we should adapt our packaging, our wording or worse our meaning and purpose to please our audience ?
  • What happens with ambition when filtered through endless reviews ?

By the end of last week, we had our seventh or so iteration of the slide deck to be presented to the executive committee.

I though we had quite an “acceptable” outcome in a culture of consensus.

As I write this, I notice how polluted I have become myself by the consensus-virus. In the end, one compromises so much that all you end up with is a grey mouse. 

Herman Van Rompuy arrives at the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday evening.   Photo AP

So, to hell with outcomes that are “acceptable”. We don’t want grey mouse. They don’t inspire.

Nevertheless, I was surprised that version seven still included our famous words “Open Mind, Open Heart, Open Will”. You had to search for them (see the big fat arrow above), but they were there.

Too optimistic though.

Throughout the week, folks kept on saying this was “too wooly”

So we tried to put different words. In version eight, we ended up with some things like “Intrinsically motivated people” and “Co-creation with Customers”, etc. Not bad, but “acceptable” in my opinion.

What made me write this post was the following comment on exactly this part of that version:

This part is a bit too vague

and b-school jargonistic

for my taste

Can we turn that into our

company terminology ?

(the other parts already were in company-speak)


My answer: NO, absolutely NO !


As I wrote in back in April, the real root cause (to use some Lean terminology) was about the openness of our minds, hearts, and minds.


Some indeed call this “wooly” or “b-school”. I don’t know what is meant here.

There seems to be some negative connotation here:

  • “b-school” could mean several things. In the most optimistic case is stands for Business School, and then the wording may be perceived as too academic. In the worst case, it means b-grade school or even worst kindergarten or naivety. But I believe that many of our corporations would thrive well if they would resource themselves with some naivety of better

freshness and purity

like a young child

discover with eyes wide open

and without prejudices

  • “wooly” has something to do with a certain form of “softness”. I sense all sorts of touch points with New-Agism, or the Hippies 2.0 movementExecutives seem to have e a natural aversion to topics related to softness, philosophy, emotion, feeling, sensing, or anything that has to do with mind, heart, and will. It is probably exactly this that needs to change in many company cultures if we want to make our companies more “human”. Or as Jeff Bezos so eloquently said: “It’s harder to be kind than to be clever” Read every word and sentence of his Princeton speech here. Listen to the emotion in his voice. You sense here stands a man who embodies and believes what he says. You want to follow him. Maybe he is Hippies 2.0 ? Maybe. But he’s inspiring.

Leaders will be followed, not because they have dictated so or by hierarchical power, but because they are authentic in everything they do, because they are inspirational, because they are charismatic, because they are truly “at service” and not “in command”.

The new game is about new hierarchies, not based on ranks and power but based on true service value.


The hierarchical PYRAMID changes

into a collaboration and service SPHERE

where there is no upper or lower level

where the value comes

from the strong interdependency and

100% service mind to make the OTHER win

What we need is a culture based on a fundamental shift from Old Game thinking to New Game thinking. We will not succeed if we stay “acceptable”.

Our ambition level in this should be nothing but an extreme makeover, respecting our company’s financial, operational and reputational integrity.

You can use whatever words for it, but the messages and its wording must be fresh, inspiring, ambitious, rejuvenating. Not only on its messaging surface but especially in its deep culture core.

I don’t believe that you can capture your “culture” in one word. Culture is a complex thing. It’s a combination of tacit, implicit and explicit values, attitudes, and knowledge. Is combines the good positive heritage of the past with the vibrant youth-ness of the future. So, here are some words that “capture” that culture.



That’s also why Talent and Culture are so closely interwoven. Because culture is the result of the people you have on board. If you want to change the culture, there are basically two things you can do:

  • Try to change the people you have on board. Although this is very difficult, I believe we have enough cultural creatives to at least inspire more than 50% of the company to change gears. For the others, we’ll have to wait till the Hippie 1.0 generation is retired and made room for the new generation.
  • Bring on board new young people with fresh insights. We should be extremely aggressive about this. Hire “en-masse” young people. If possible younger than 20 years, as even some 25+ “don’t get it”

Both generations where shaped by different time and historical contexts:



With courtesy: NASA Generation-Y Perspectives. Full slidedeck here.

Of course, when implementing such aggressive plans, we need to make sure that these programs do not become the exclusivity labs for personal and professional development for the young only, and that everybody gets her chance to fully realize their potential, so that they don’t have to ask us


“and where do I play ?”


Like many things, I think you recognize an inspiring culture when you see it. When you see the people of that culture. They have sparkles in their eyes. When you interact with them. They go the extra mile.

We need word and spirit that reflects:

  • Excitement
  • Intrinsically motivated people, as mean by Daniel Pink in “Drive”
  • Extreme Management Make-Over and Employees First, as meant and intended by Vineet Nayar in his latest book, considered now as THE reference for modern HR

I was lucky to see Vineet deliver his message in person to the audience at Techonomy last week. The story goes like this:

  • The goal of our company is to deliver value to our customers
  • Where is that value created ? At the interfaces of our company.
  • Who is at those interfaces ? Our employees
  • Therefore the whole company should be organized to be “at the service” of the employees.

This is about a management extreme make-over.

  • From managers giving instructions to employees and measuring their efficiency
  • To managers at the service of employees

When I spoke to HR, my contact said: “Oh, that is what is called Service Management, I know about that”. When I asked whether he already proposed this as a management culture to the executives, he said


“Oh no !

That would be too radical

that’s a revolution !”


But I am afraid many of our corporations need nothing less than such a revolution, a fundamental make-over.

In the end

Culture = Company = People


People with a Life and Alive. Not wooly sheep following the dress code and complacent in being “acceptable”. People who share the “wooliness” of “kindness” vs. “cleverness”.

Our culture has to be provoking and inspiring. You should be able to rally your troops behind it. As soon as it becomes “acceptable” that won’t work.

In the song Sam sings about a “wooly saw”. What we need now is a very sharp saw.

To give the sharpness back to the Wooly Bully !

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Cross-posted on Swiftcommunity.net




Imagine understanding thousands of data-sources in real-time and do market correlations; or leveraging deep unstructured data analytics in order to derive financial intelligence from unstructured data; and render all of this rich information to your users in rich user interfaces such as iPhone/iPAD or even gesture based user interfaces to do slicing and dicing of massive data sets.

Imagine unleashing the power of SWIFT semantics and standards knowledge on structured and non-structured information, and what could happen then. That is what our “Smart Data” theme in Innotribe at Sibos2010 (25 – 29 Oct 2010 in Amsterdam) is all about. We decided to call it “Smart Data” , as – at least in our industry – the words “semantic web” have – ironically – little meaning.

The ability to understand the semantic meaning of data will improve business intelligence for financial services. In essence, today SWIFT already tags semantically the fields of the standard SWIFT messages. Tomorrow, we could tag ANY information, including non-structured information hidden in PDF’s or Word documents or other information streams, overlay that information with existing other structured data sources, and offer pattern recognition services leading to deeper intelligence about those data sets. If you’re interested, I have prepared a more detailed write-up on my personal blog here .

As always in Innotribe @ Sibos, also this Smart Data theme is supported by Keynotes, Face-to-Face discussions, interactive workshops (Innotribe Labs) and R&D demonstrations.

Smart Data keynotes: “Towards more financial intelligence through semantics”
on Wednesday 27 October, from 09:00 – 10:30 in the Interactive workspace.

As for the other themes, we have a great line of speakers. All presentations will focus on what is the possible value of applying semantic technologies with a high relevance for financial services. So, these are not theoretical presentations, but examples of applied semantics. With demos so that you get a real feel of what happens when you start overlaying different data sources.

  • Nova Spivack, CEO, Lucid Ventures. We are very excited to have Nova Spivack with us. Nova is in my opinion a worldwide visionary on semantic web. Nova will give a vision presentation showing how semantic web applies to financial services. He will be assisted by somebody from the financial business.
  • Stephen Mongulla, Associate Partner, Financial Performance Management & Analytics, IBM (www.ibm.com ). In this talk, Stephen will describe a joint effort between IBM’s financial services research and software solution teams to leverage deep unstructured data analytics in order to derive financial intelligence from unstructured data. He will describe the various data sources available (such as SEC filings and social media), we show some interesting entities to be extracted (such as ownership structures, lending activity or consumer sentiment). He will briefly touch on the system aspects of our data extraction and analytics infrastructure and will conclude our presentation with a demo.
  • Gary Thompson, Co-Founder and President, CLOUD Inc (http://www.cloudinc.org ) will present a compelling story on how transactions (the what) and the participants to those transactions (the who’s) can be semantically tagged, and how that results in powerful iPhone/iPAD applications. For once and for all, you will understand there is no “where” on the Internet.
  • Mary Ann de Lares Norris, General Manager, Oblong Industries, Inc, Europe (www.oblong.com ). Mary Ann will give a video-demo of Oblong’s gesture-based user interface, slicing and dicing massive sets of semantic data sets. This is Minority Report becoming real. Not to be missed ! Here is the TED video on that subject:

Smart Data Face-to-Face discussion: “Which semantic evolutions will transform financial intelligence? “
on Wednesday 27 October from 12:30 – 14:00 in the Interactive workspace
The Face-to-Face discussion will be kicked-off by a 20 min thought provoking presentation by Rob Usey, CEO of www.Psydex.com , who will give a mind-blowing demo of their PsyngFX application: this application listens in real-time to thousand of structured and unstructured information feeds, does semantic tagging on the fly, and correlates this with marketdata. Whether your topic of interest is Oil Refinery Explosions, Apple Computer or Mergers & Acquisitions, Psyng can instantly alert you to key news events, delivering correlations and projected impacts as the news happens.

After this scene setting presentation, Eghosa D. Omoigui will moderate a panel of smart data specialists:

Currently confirmed are:

  • Nova Spivack, CEO, Lucid Ventures
  • Gary Thompson, Co-Founder and President, CLOUD Inc
  • Rob Usey, CEO Psydex
  • As we speak, we have 3-4 additional invitations to representatives of financial institutions using smart data technologies. Follow our Innotribe tweet to stay up-to-date on speaker confirmations in real-time.

Smart Data Lab

We are repeating the highly successful format of Innotribe Labs. One or more Smart Data Idea generation teams will be formed on the spot, and over the course of the 3 days they will prepare a professional pitch to be delivered on Thursday during the “Pitch your Lab competition, in front of the public and a very skilled Buyer’s Panel.

The Smart Data Innotribe Lab team will be supported by following professionals:

  • Innotribe Leader Business: to be advised
  • Innotribe Leader Technology: Nova Spivack, CEO, Lucid Ventures
  • VC-Coach: Eghosa Omoigui, investor in Semantic Web start-ups
  • Professional facilitators from The Value Web
  • Your’s truly, as SWIFT representative

R&D Demonstrations:

We’ll have this year a beautiful Innotribe corner integrated in the main SWIFT Stand. We’ll have a packed program here as well. We are still looking at the many candidates, and will do a separate blog on all the presentations scheduled throughout the week.

Educational Resources:

I am a big believer of Semantic Web, and always on the look for good educational material to help me explain what it is and why it is important.Please find below some great resources:
– Video made by Cisco, by their IBSG group (Internet Business Solutions Group).

– One single link with many other educational resources here .
– If you want to get somebody interested enough to do some more research, this 14 minute film by Kate Ray is the perfect thing to give you the appetite for the subject: Web 3.0 from Kate Ray on Vimeo.

Web 3.0 from Kate Ray on Vimeo.

Let’s start the conversation:

Innotribe is organised by SWIFT Innovation with the support of financial institutions, vendors and innovation leaders.

We just opened a Web-Storm on Innotribe.com to collect your idea on this Smart Data theme and the other 3 themes as we build up towards October. We will feed-back these ideas to the Innotribe Leaders before the actual Labs in Amsterdam. Check out www.innotribe.com

In the true spirit of less push and more pull, we encourage you to engage in a true dialogue with the Innotribe team. We look forward to seeing you in Amsterdam.

The Innotribe team

Twitter: http://twitter.com/innotribe

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Last week, I had the privilege to attend the first edition of Techonomy, a fantastic new conference blurring technology and economy with an optimistic balance that technology in its broadest sense (not only IT, but also gnome sequencing, bio-fuels, big history, etc) can be the driving force for a better world.

First enjoy the announcing video below.

The conference was bringing together 3/4 of Silicon Valley’s leadership, including Eric Schmidt, Jeff Bezos, Bill Joy, Bill Gates, Steward Brand, Kevin Kelly, John Hagel, Deborah Hopkins (Chairman of Venture Capital Initiatives and Chief Innovation Officer Citi), Nicolas Negroponte, Sean Parker, Padmassree Warrior CTO Cisco), Jeff Weiner (CEO LinkedIn), and the list goes on, and only a couple of non-US leaders such as Nobuyuki Idea (Founder of CEO of Quantum Leaps Corporation, working on innovation, and previous CEO of Sony Corporation), Nellie Kroes (European Commissioner for Digital Agenda), Vineet Nayar (CEO HCL Technologies, India), and Ory Okolloh (Founder/Executive Director Ushahidi, South Africa).

How to describe Techonomy conference ? I would say “a super-TED with a technology focus and with an agenda”.

The agenda is “a new philosophy for progress”.

It’s a movement

Somebody asked “a movement against which enemy, against which barriers ?”.

I believe it is a movement FOR something.

For a better world. Finding techonomic solutions to tackle the global climate challenges, feeding the world, a better health for everybody, a new value kit for the current and next generation, not based on greed but on the concepts of creative capitalism as formulated some years ago by Bill Gates in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foudation.

In that sense, it should not surprise the regular reader of this blog how much this resonated with myself. Not only the personal inspiration, but especially how we with on organization like SWIFT can adopt and promote the techonomist values and objectives.

I also came across some leaders that could be subject of SWIFT’s CSR initiatives. Take Bill Drayton, Leadership Group Member Chair and CEO of Ashoka, the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, men and women with system changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems, encouraging everybody to be a changemaker.

It’s impossible to describe the intensity of the content and contacts of these 3 Techonomy days.

Some highlights:

  • Evolution is incremental. Revolution is disruptive movement
  • Collective learning is what makes us human
  • The physical economy is sensoring a second economy of conversational plumbing
  • As long as we draw boundaries (for ex US vs. China, we against them, etc) we will not be able to solve the world’s problems.
  • The economy is NOT recovering, consumer is running out of money
  • Governments do not understand globalisation, businesses do.
  • Employees first, customers second.
  • Promote younger people must faster
  • Building and tapping from tacit knowledge will become core skill
  • Markets are like gardens: they need tending
  • Innovation happens outside the regulated markets
  • Banks make money on spread and opacity. They are by definition against transparency
  • Currency is “the instrument of trust in a transaction”. Unfortunately the debate focused solely on the payment transaction and money as the trust element.
  • Health agenda: from illness fixing to personal health prediction and coaching
  • Some technomists are skeptical optimists that do not take progress for granted. One has to make progress. It does not happen.
  • Recalibrating our assumption that form our perceptions. For ex we learned that world population will NOT grow indefinitely and probably max around 9 billion, and then go down.
  • Innovation at Cisco: Looking at 30 ! adjacencies as a “portfolio” like a Venture Capitalist does.
  • Computer Associates CTO: “a lot of leading edge innovation comes from financial services”
  • Innovation requires a culture of taking risk and celebrating failure
  • Change happens when the DESIRE not to change is greater than the desire to change. The power struggle to make this balance change is based on societal needs.
  • Innovation requires 1) Money, 2) Desire, 3) Need
  • There is no value in the idea, there is value in its commercialization
  • We have a moral obligation of bringing less developed regions up.
  • Cities are “intensities” that have a critical mass of people
  • In a city-“OS”, no one single company can dominate. It has to be open source by definition.
  • Generation-Y or whatever: you need the backing of 18 year olds. That’s “youth”. 25 years+ does not quite get it.
  • Companies scale like biology, and in the end they die. Cities scale like networks, and do not die. The city is the framework model for the future.
  • In the developed world, a disruptive innovation is something that can create the biggest disruption. In the developing world, innovation is a technology that is simple, reliable, and that can function as an integrated unit.
  • Success in mobile in Afghanistan is because there was no legacy. They are willing to take the risk to jump to the next curve.
  • The future is for (techonomist) entrepreneurs that are willing to work together.

The conference is so good. It cries for a European and an Asian chapter. Any European Leader should not hesitate a second to be associated with and sponsor it.

I was dreaming of hosting a European chapter of Techonomy at the fantastic SWIFT Headquarters south of Brussels.

El Jefe, do you hear me ?

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Cross-posted at swiftcommunity.net


Last time, we shared our high-level Innotribe program for the Sibos week (25-29 October 2010) . This week we’ll zoom into the details of our Cloud program, one of the 4 themes of this year’s Innotribe.

Cloud was already on the program last year. Our main ambition then was to introduce you to some basic concepts of Cloud Computing, such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

This year we want to go beyond that basic definition stage. Following last year’s Labs, which were focused on the economics of cloud computing, this year focuses on the practical implementation, user experiences, and why it’s important for the financial industry. There will be a specific focus on hybrid cloud models and APIs.

As always in Innotribe @ Sibos, also this Cloud theme is supported by Keynotes, Face-to-Face discussions, interactive workshops (Innotribe Labs) and R&D demonstrations.

Cloud computing keynotes: “Towards new models and APIs”
on Monday 25 October from 11:00 – 12:30 in the Interactive Workspace
We have a great line of speakers. Confirmed at the time of this writing are:

  • Sean Kelly, Global CIO for Deutsche Asset Management, Deutsche Bank. Sean is also elected Chairman of ECLC (Enterprise Cloud Leadership Council) a key banking cloud initiative including participation of Bank of America and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
  • Subhra Bose, CTO for alternative investments, Credit Suisse. He will share the experiences of Credit Suisse in implementing cloud in alternative investments.
  • Jacqui Taylor, Founder of Flying Binary. In a previous life, Jacqui was Design Manager at BACS. She will talk about a Google Apps application supporting the Payments Services Directive.
  • Paula Richards, Cloud Computing Initiatives Executive, IBM
  • Oren Michels, CEO, Mashery. He will give an amazing speech on how API’s are now offered as-a-Service, including a compelling demo of their developer’s portal. Oren is sharing his enthusiasm for the Cloud theme in following YouTube video

Face-to-Face discussion: “Appstore for financial services – dream or reality?”
on Monday 25 October from 12:30 – 14:00 in the Interactive Workspace, right after the Cloud keynotes.

The Face-to-Face discussion will be kicked-off by a provoking presentation by Sean Park (CEO, Nauiokaspark) on the need for a neutral platform for cloud applications for the financial services.

Peter Hinssen, CEO, A-Cross Technologies will again be our skilled moderator for the Cloud Face-to-Face discussions. Last year he managed a panel of 11 participants. The feedback indicated that such a big panel was maybe a bit over the top. So this year, we have a slightly smaller panel. Confirmed so far are:

  • All the Cloud keynote presenters above, complemented with
  • Amir Halfon, Senior Director & Global Lead Architecture and Technology, Oracle
  • Sean Park, CEO, Nauiokaspark
  • Abbie Barbir, VP Senior Architect, Bank of America
  • Keith Saxton, Director, of Banking & Financial Markets IBM Global Financial Services
  • Mary Knox, Research Director, Banking and Investment Services, Gartner Research

Innotribe Labs

We are repeating the highly successful format of Innotribe Labs. One or more Cloud Idea generation teams will be formed on the spot, and over the course of the 3 days they will prepare a professional pitch to be delivered on Thursday during the “Pitch your Lab competition, in front of the public and a very skilled Buyer’s Panel.

The Cloud Innotribe Lab team will be supported by following professionals:

  • Innotribe Leaders Business: Jacqui Taylor (ex-BACS) and now Founder of FlyingBinary
  • Innotribe Leader Technology: Sungard (to be advised)
  • VC-Coach: Sean Park
  • Professional facilitators from The Value Web
  • Your’s truly, as SWIFT representative

R&D Demonstrations:

We’ll have this year a beautiful Innotribe corner integrated in the main SWIFT Stand. We’ll have a packed program here as well. We are still looking at the many candidates, and will do a separate blog on all the presentations scheduled throughout the week.

Let’s start the conversation:

We just opened a Web-Storm on Innotribe.com to collect your idea on this Cloud theme and the other 3 themes as we build up towards October. We will feed-back these ideas to the Innotribe Leaders before the actual Labs in Amsterdam. Check out www.innotribe.com

Innotribe is organised by SWIFT Innovation with the support of financial institutions, vendors and innovation leaders.

In the true spirit of less push and more pull, we encourage you to engage in a true dialogue with the Innotribe team. We look forward to seeing you in Amsterdam.

The Innotribe team


Twitter: http://twitter.com/innotribe

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