Archive for April, 2011

I would like to start with one of the slides of the innovation framework presented in “How to make babies?”.


The graphic and model is of course based on – but adapted to the specific SWIFT environment – the work of on Henry Chesbrough, the godfather of the concept of “Open Innovation”, and author of the 2003 book “Open Innovation: The new imperative for creating and profiting from technology” (Amazon Affiliates Link)


Chesbrough says:

Open innovation is a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as the firms look to advance their technology”. The boundaries between a firm and its environment have become more permeable; innovations can easily transfer inward and outward. The central idea behind open innovation is that in a world of widely distributed knowledge, companies cannot afford to rely entirely on their own research, but should instead buy or license processes or inventions (i.e. patents) from other companies. In addition, internal inventions not being used in a firm’s business should be taken outside the company (e.g., through licensing, joint ventures, spin-offs)

Innovation Framework

The graph above illustrates an innovation framework:

  • With lots of idea generation tools on the left side of the graph
  • An innovation funnel, progressing the ideas from left to right, and making healthy adults from incubated babies
  • A north and a south side, where “north” stands for a traditional gating process product evolution for the core activities of a company, and where “south” stands for any innovation that basically does not fit the blueprint of the core.

In my blog post “How to create deep sustainable change”, I discussed the “Why” and the “expected outcome” of deep change and innovation.

  • The “why” has to do with creating a more agile organization, waking up the entrepreneurial spirit, in other words to “un-trap” the creative juices. And to do so, work is needed at the foundations: the roots of a tree. It’s about making the organization healthy, fit and un-trapped. This has nothing to do with six-sigma, lean, or other way to improve the efficiency of the organization, the efficiency of the organizational “body”. What we are talking about here is the fitness of the organizational “mind”.
  • The expected outcome of pumping up the volume and the fitness of the organizational mind is a connected organization, connected teams, connected people, connected values, operating in a connected economy.

Pump up the Volume

What follows is a personal interpretation of a team brainstorm we did in February 2011. So, it’s collective wisdom that I happen to be able to put in a format that’s more or less readable. Thank you team !

In this blog post, I will talk about the “How”, the set of tools that an organization can use to achieve the why and the desired outcome.

“Tools” can be actual tools such as an idea generation portal, but it can be other techniques at the front-end of innovation (the ideation), as well as processes and governance for moving ideas from ideation, via proof-of-concept, incubation, acceleration, and scale to full fruition.

What follows is also a model that can be used to underpin a strategy of “shake the tree” or – what I prefer – to “Pump up the (innovation) Volume”.

The volume knob is another metaphor to help us gauge our innovation focus, efforts and investments. What is important? What is nice to have?




Turning the knob to the max is what I would call being serious about innovation. But you have to start somewhere.

The Rose of Innovation

So, let me introduce you to the “Rose of Innovation”. Somebody has to give the romantic spin in all of this.

And let me mix it with the epicenter of an earthquake.




Indeed, “Shaking the Tree” is like starting a quake from the middle, and the seismic innovation waves swarm to the edges of the system, where in the end they cause “Fault Lines”. You “feel” the move.


You know that inertia has been broken

You know you have crossed the chasm




And let’s segment the rose or the epicenter in different slices. Each slice is a cluster of innovation tools. You can have as many slices as you want, but I suggest to limit it to six in this case, merely to keep the overview and the focus.

For each slice, one has to decide how far to the right you want to turn the volume knob. Do you want to move from 2 this year to 8 next year? Probably, you want a multi-year perspective on this: from 2 to 4 next year, 4 to 6 in two years, towards 8 in 2015 ?

Let me walk you through the different slices.


We already do internal and sometimes external – with customers – innovation challenges. It’s a call for teams and ideas around a pre-defined topic. What could be our ambition level if we pump up the volume to 8 by 2015?

  • Our ambition should be to be seen as one of the Top-10 innovation companies in financial industry. Long way to go, but possible with focus and will.
  • Build a real “Exchange” of ideas, competences, teams,…
  • Make a real competition of if. Like Cisco’s X-Prize. And with real money, I mean indeed a 250K EUR price for the champ of the year to help her incubate the idea of the challenge.
  • Open up the Incubation Centre, not only for incubation projects, but also for challenges. The cocktail of innovators in Building 8 will be irresistible.
  • Start-up something like frequent flyer pass. A frequent innovator pass. Points gathered this way add to your annual appraisal points, and reward repetitive innovators.
  • We should become so good we are being “called”: by other companies, at conferences, etc So good that people see the value and want to pay us for this.
  • Launch internal SWIFT “bucks”. Innovators can invest “bucks” in their projects. Later, when the project incubates these “bucks” get converted in actual shares in the project-company. These ideas are not new: ideation tools like Spigit and Brightidea already implement this. We just have to turn on the feature.


This is more or less my shop today: let’s call it “Petervan Productions” Our events even more become “immersive experiences”. This unique mix of high-quality matter experts and speakers, together with our facilitation techniques. We could do much much more in this space. What about:

  • 8 Innovation events per year like Innotribe Mumbai ?
  • 1 Partner innovation event of 3 days
  • 1 Customer innovation event of 3 days
  • Deep conversations with: 3 days off-site with a guru on a topic and a select group of top-15 Heads of Innovations of banks
  • 4 hackatons per year where we ask developers to code/hack together an application in 2 days
  • More study tours, not only for the executive or L1/L2 level but accessible for all staff
  • The frequent innovator pass should help us identity who can go on such a tour
    • More gamification of our events: work with game experts such as Jane McGonical from Reality is Broken (latest book), Dave Gray from XPLANE and Gamestorming, and Verna Allee from Value Networks

Dave Gray author headshotVerna Allee

From left to right: Jane McGonical, Dave Gray, Verna Allee

  • Have a 3 day SWIFT employee festival? Like AMPlify.
  • Do sort of Woodstock at Sibos. Like Pirate Ship. With concerts
  • Sponsor other innovation events
  • Embed and sell our techniques to third-party event organizers

The overall objective is to create serendipity. To reach other audiences, bring other content, start exploring the edges, create brand recognition. For SWIFT. For Innotribe.


We also should more and more look at our events as something that is the middle of the process, not the end-game. Usually we come out of an event, exhausted, as we build up all the energy towards that one day, one week. But then it only starts: the event is only the place where the connected community meets for the first time, gets initially built.


Again, we already do this. We have a yearly budget that lets us invest moderate amounts of money in proof-of-concepts: these can be prototypes, animations, whitepapers, etc

  • Turning up the volume in this space is merely doing more: more prototypes, hence more budget and resources


We just started this year. See also the “Babies” presentation. Initiated by Matteo, and now with the help from Cathal as program manager, this is our “Mathal Productions”. Their projects are located in Building 8.

Turning up the volume would mean:

  • Team with Silicon Valley incubators
  • Team with Incubators in Eastern Europe, APAC, South America. The example of Solkovo in Russia comes to mind
  • We could do much much more in bringing young entrepreneurs and start-ups together. You can create a marketplace of start-ups, accessible by the SWIFT community.
  • You could create – together with the 9,000+ banks on SWIFT – an alternative start-up funding and loan model. With better rates for those who have a good standardize Innotribe quality score.


This is what Mariela and team already do. For fun, let’s call it “Mela Productions”. Why for fun? Or “Innotribe Facilitation Studios”

  • Mela should make a business out of it. Think big. A worldwide team of 50-60 facilitators. Why not. If we were able to deploy similar numbers of lean navigators for cost reduction and efficiency, why can’t we do something like this for value creation?
  • This is also something we could start selling. This is an area where we are being “called”. Internal business units, but also banks from our ecosystem already now ask Mela to run facilitated workshops. Even from outside or our industry. We should charge for it.

Office Space

This is about having a critical look at our office space and the – communication – tools we have. On one hand we are spoiled. If you have ever been to the SWIFT HQ, you will for sure have been impressed by the main building and campus surroundings.

But the main building inside sometimes feels like a temple or a castle, with long corridors and closed doors that not really incentivize for cross-collaboration and sharing. I know there is a big project started to look deeply into this.

But also office-tools should be looked at. Today we have something called “Internet on the desktop”. It is a Citrix implementation of your browser.

  • We should turn it 100% upside down. Internet should be the default, and we should have a “SWIFT on the desktop” for the couple of apps that require tighter security or access control. It’s inevitable. It’s part of the movement towards cloud.
  • Skype, Drop-Box, Google Docs, etc should be our standard tools. Complemented by Salesforce, Chatter, Twitter, Quora. We should all be equipped with iPADs, Androids, etc. We never should have to use a PC anymore.
  • This modernization will also have a major impact in image and brand.


I have been quite deeply involved in an effort to look at company culture, and those who follow my blog know that I have something to say in this space.

  • Lately, the culture team was re-organized, and volunteers from GEN-Y and GEN-X were called upon. I applied for GEN-X (those born in 1961 and beyond)
  • Great was my astonishment that I was considered “too old to innovate”. I am born in 1957 so indeed, strictly to the letter, I am not GEN-X anymore. But I am lucky, I still get “copied” on the stuff (sic)

Any pump-up-the-volume in his space

will be worthless

as long as we do not

apply a strategy of “seed and infect”

  • If not, what we will end-up with are loads of powerpoint slides, processes etc. It will show great in an annual report or so, and it’s a bit the same as “how real is your innovation?”. Ask yourself the question “How real is your culture change”.

What we need is

a viral infection of the company


  • 40 people in 2011 should get the chance to follow a personal discovery journey like Leading by Being, so that they lead from their open mind, open heart, and open will.
  • In 2012 another 100 people. And in 2013 another 100.
  • That’s 240 folks. Deeply passionate about changing the company. That’s more than 10% of the workforce. That will change the culture for sure.

And have a look what companies like J&J do. They have in a couple of years a group of more than 750 change agents. They can be flown-in or video-conferenced at any moment to form tiger teams.

Banks for a better world

This is a big bad new idea. It must be possible to have a deep merge between Innovation, Talent Management and CSR.

Think big, really big

I think it must be possible to create

a 1 Billion $ Fund

that invests in financial inclusion

  • I know that some of our banks have invested big time in some of the above examples.

Why can’t we pool together

funds and resources as an industry?

Would that not be

immensely more powerful?

  • That would be quite a different story than what you hear/read these days about “too big to fail”, greed, lack of trust, etc

It would also lead and propel the community into a modern thinking about capitalism, rethinking value, and waste that we produce for the next one in the value chain (for ex bail outs) or even pushing debt towards future generations.

Studios and Production Houses

I am getting convinced that for each of these slices, we have to start thinking in terms of independent and complementary “Studios”. Like the studios of Pixar, Dreamworks, etc




Or in terms of <name> “productions”. For example for facilitation, you could pitch the “SWIFT Facilitation Studios” or “Mela Productions”. Events could be “Petervan Productions”, etc.

I like somehow the personalization aspect of this, as usually these teams are geared around a particular person with specific strengths.

If you like it or not, organizations are – or should be – built around people.


It’s indeed some sort of


studio or production environment


The Studio or Production metaphor also works well: you could consider the Head of Innovation as the “impresario”, and the studios the teams that collectively deliver a streamlined total experience. Or you could – like in big Hollywood studios – talk about “Building 123”, or like “Building 20” which is the innovation building of MIT.

At SWIFT, the incubation building is referred to as “Building 8”.


  • What does it take in monetary investment
  • Additional resources
  • This is reality check. Where the CEO mantra “I want you guys to shake the tree” is tested with reality. This is where people get scared. This is where you hear: “I know him/her (the CEO), and we can’t go with such an ambitious plan and attached budget”.


This is the real test

  • Here you will find out how real is your innovation. Or is it just a window-dress because innovation is fashionable and always works well in front of a board of directors or in an annual report.

You will probably end up somewhere between the window-dress and the edge-nirvana. And that is fine. The important thing is that you gauge it. Use it as a baseline. And don’t accept less when entering the next budget round.

Step by Step vs. not knowing what end result is

The challenge with all this is that



can not managed like the core


The core is – and should be – managed as the optimization engine. In this space you know where you want to end-up over a given period of time. You make a phased project plan, allocate the budgets and resources, put a project manager on it, and you execute as planned. It’s Failure is not an Option. It’s highly predictable, with yearly budget cycles, than in essence most of the time built upon last year budget models. It’s a stepped approach.




The challenge with innovations is that they are not planned. You usually know the “direction”, but you’re not sure where you land. It’s like Christopher Columbus heading West to discover India, but he found America. It’s like a (pirate?) ship meandering. It’s Failure IS an option. It’s unpredictable. It’s a meander approach.


That’s what I wanted to say today. It’s a blog post that was cooking for several weeks. Happy it’s done. It’s a long post, I know. And maybe next, I should put all these blog piece together in a book. Who knows, maybe I’ll do that one day.

But one thing is sure: The combination of “How to create deep sustainable change”, “Pirates, Rebels, Mercenaries and Innovators”, and this post “Pump up the Volume” will form the basis of a brand new Innotribe presentation, the follow-up of “How to make babies”. I will let you know when it is ready.

All for the same purpose: the fitness of the organizational “mind”. And a deeply changed organization, connected and full of energy!


Let’s Pump-of-the-Volume!

Let’s take those innovation energy pills!

Let’s shake the tree!

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Not many people know this, but in the 70ies, 80ies, I was a quite successful DJ, and me and my friends toured under the brand “Celebration”. Life was – and still is – a big feast.

Embarrassed to say, but my first record bought was “Paranoid” from Black Sabbath. The paranoid thing probably haunted me for the rest of my life.

But I also have the original “God Save The Queen” by the Sex Pistols, on the EMI-label that rejected them before they became a huge hit, part of the disruptive album “Never Mind the Bollocks”



Watch the metaphor of the “flag”.

With “Celebration”, we did everything ourselves:

  • We built ourselves the PA system, the lighting system, made our own jingles, we cut out our own slip-mats in cardboard (this was before the first fast-starting Technics turntables)


  • printed our own posters to announce the show
  • distributed at parties all sorts of gadgets to attract audience to our next gig. A famous example is a small plastic bag with 2 sugar cubes suggesting the energy that will be required at the next party.
  • We begged for the small lorry from the grocery shop to be able to transport all that stuff and records from one place to another.
  • A lot was manual. And heavy. Vinyl records are heavy. Especially if you have a couple of thousand and you live on a 5th floor apartment with no elevator, stairs only.

It was a network of friends. We went out on our scooters to paste the posters on the ad boards in the villages around, we borrowed each other’s records. It was the shareable economy avant-la-letter. We played for fun, later for a crate of beer, and much later for a couple of 100 Euro per night. That was for gigs for 3,000+ people. No prima-donna behavior like today’s top-DJ’s like Tiesto and others. Everything was new and innovative.


We wanted to shock

We felt like pirates


Later I joined a group of crazy enthusiasts who founded one of the first free and – at that time – pirate radio station FM-Bruxel. That was with guys like Gust Decoster, Luckas Vander Taelen, Dominique Deruddere, Ray Cokes and Marcel Vanthilt, most of them still playing a prominent role in the local media and film industry.

We really behaved like pirates. We also had our flag and our own logo. Can’t find it back: if somebody from the original gang still has a picture, please mail it to me. I will be grateful for eternity.

And years later, some of these guys found each other as founders and managers of one of the most famous nightclubs of Belgium “Le Beau Bruxel”. Our party animals were from art scene and musicians. I did that for 2 years. And I can tell you, I saw a lot of “characters”, learned a lot about human (non)-behavior. We closed the shop because nightlife became too dangerous in Brussels.

Fast forward many years to 2011: I am having a telephone conversation with a potential speaker for Innotribe at Sibos 2011 in Toronto. And I describe the Innotribe space we had in Amsterdam last year.

My speaker reacted: “wow, that sounds cool! The only things you guys are missing is a pirate flag!”



Indeed, with some – a lot actually – imagination, you could see our 600 m² Innotribe space at Sibos as a flagship, with the front part for the keynote presentations as the “prow” of our ship, the lab-space as the “galley”, the tower with the projector as our mast, and the projection screen as our sails.

Imagine a ship like this sailing in the middle of the exposition hall of Sibos, creating havoc – positive inspirational havoc – throughout the week. The only thing that was missing was the pirates flag on the top of our mast.



The pirate flag.

Two days later – completely by coincidence – I started reading “The Pirate’s Dilemma: How Youth Culture Is Reinventing Capitalism” (Amazon Affiliates Link) by Matt Mason, also author of “The Pirate’s Dilemma: How Hackers, Punk Capitalists, Graffiti Millionaires and Other Youth Movements are Remixing Our Culture and Changing Our World”




Fantastic read. Some parts you can skip if you – like me – have been inherently part of the punk and new-wave culture of that period. The names of bands generate a lot of nostalgia!

Some really cool quotes from this book:

changing the very fabric of our economic system, replacing outdated ideas with the twenty-first-century upgrades of Punk Capitalism

Disruptive new D.I.Y. technologies are causing unprecedented creative destruction

D.I.Y. encourages us to reject authority and hierarchy, advocating that we can and should produce as much as we consume

Youth cultures often embody some previously invisible, unacknowledged feeling in society and give it an identity

Building a community of pirate entrepreneurs


In Chapter 2, the author introduced the “Principality of Sealand”, a pirates home in the middle of the English Channel, in waters that are un-sovereign.




And have a good look at the intro about “Principality of Sealand” in Wikipedia:

Since 1967, the facility has been occupied by the former British Major Paddy Roy Bates; his associates and family claim that it is an independent sovereign state. External commentators generally classify Sealand as a micro-nation rather than an unrecognised state.[3] While it has been described as the world’s smallest nation,[4] Sealand is not currently officially recognised as a sovereign state by any sovereign state. Although Roy Bates claims it is de facto recognised by Germany as they have sent a diplomat to the micronation, and by the United Kingdom after an English court ruled it did not have jurisdiction over Sealand, neither action constitutes de jure recognition as far as the respective countries are concerned.

Maybe that is what innovation teams have to do: create their own sovereign state, micro-nation, governed by its own rules, taking unclaimed territory, and… act like pirates.

The pirates metaphor also came to mind when I saw last year Laura Merling from Alcatel-Lucent (@magicmerl on twitter and describing herself as “API Strategist, Marketing and Business Dev, Developer Community Geek”) gave a speech at Defrag 2010 in Boulder, CO.

Her talk was titled:


“On Being A Corporate Renegade”


Depending on what dictionary, a “renegade” is a deserter from one faith, cause, or allegiance to another or an individual who rejects lawful or conventional behavior. That’s what I would call a pirate.

You haven’t seen Laura. She is a bit skinny, long rave-black peaky hair, and some really cool belt. A bit like the one below, but much cooler. Since then I refer to her as the “belt-woman”.


Her talk went more or less like this:

When I got hired as manager of the API start-up within Alcatel Lucent, my CEO gave me 90 days to deliver V1 of the platform. 90 Days !

I did not have resources nor budget

I hired 6 mercenaries, good friends with specific proven strengths on marketing, coding, program management etc

We did it for fun and for the challenge

Next meeting with my CEO was on my role as change agent

He said: “Laura, you are successful when in 3 months time there are 70,000 people at my door complaining what this bloody women is doing in my company!”


That’s what I would call a CEO Innovation mind-set ! Maybe the Laura’s story is a bit romanticized, so what ? She gets the story across.

That’s why we invited Laura and her team when we were doing the Cloud Computing study tour earlier this year. This time we had her full team – 15 young and brilliant folks – who could interact with an executive audience that could compete big time with what you sometimes see from incumbents like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, you name them. Very impressive. And what an energy from this start-up groovy team. So inspiring.

So when Laura was in Europe for business a couple of weeks ago, we asked her to come and meet our innovation team in La Hulpe. Inspired by the culture story, the idea emerged of teaming up together more regularly.

Quickly back to The Pirate’s Dilemma book:

What pirates do differently is create new spaces where different ideas and methods run the show

Pirate radio is an incubator where new music can mutate. Initially, the new strains of music it produces are seen as too risqué for the mainstream to touch, but once this music reaches a critical mass in popularity, anthems from the pirates start hitting the pop charts, pirate DJs become crossover celebrities, and the scenes created by these stations grow into cottage industries and worldwide exports

I started reflecting on this.

Why not create a community of pirates, of rebels with a cause, of innovators. By positioning our Innotribe space at Sibos as the Pirates’ Mother Ship, and like Matt Mason suggests:


“By giving a community

a new space

that was not previously available

to them,

you can empower them,

and they in turn

will propel your idea forward”


A group of people who are relentlessly challenging the status quo, breaking the rules, saying the unsaid, spreaders of the innovation virus and of tribal energy. No fear. Rebels with a cause. Leading by being our true selves.

And with the Innotribe Logo as our Pirate’s Flag and declare sovereignty.

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We are having some fantastic spring weather here in Belgium. Almost summer time with blue skies and temperatures of 25° C. But it is still spring. End April 2011.

On top of it, I took some days off during this week. I am usually very lucky when planning my days off: the weather gods are with me. So a good-weather forecast may be to check my calendar.


However, this blog is about some of my strong up-downs during this week.

Earlier this week, there was something work-related that really made me very angry. But angry like in furious, raging, rabid. I could – and did – slam doors and that sort of stuff. Not really a proof of emotional intelligence, but anyway. I am not aware, present when I am in this state.


And afterwards, I always try to spot what triggered this emotion, what need was not fulfilled, what request I can make to the person triggering all this. What made me awake/aware was a remark from my 5 year old daughter.

She saw I was angry and said:


“Daddy, first you have to calm down”


My wife told me this was something little Astrid picked up watching the television program Ni Hoa, Kai-Lan, a children’s television show. There is a great section about social-emotional learning.




My daughter is such a source of authenticity. I envy her openness to the world. Always curious, discovering, eyes wide open, giggling through every day. Where have we adults lost that feeling ?

Which experiences in life made me suspicious?

Where did I lose myself in personal drama?

Why is that ugly ego-monster visiting me so often?

What happened?

The angriness is now over, I have internalized what happened, and have mentally forgiven the author of the crime. And for this blog story, it is absolutely irrelevant who and what caused the emotion.

I just want to contrast it with my feeling yesterday, which almost presented itself to me as a perfect day.

Our little daughter was on holidays (this is not the reason why it was a perfect day) on the farm with my parents in law.

So the house was – everything compared – quite silent that morning. I went out for getting some fresh bread for breakfast. Wow ! The sky was already as blue as it could get, and I could smell the last drops of dew on the grass and the leaves. There is also a great sense of purity in the early mornings: not only smell, but also silence, and a general sense of peace.


A bit the same purity

as my daughter.


Back home, the smell of freshly baked bread, the toaster, fresh strong coffee, the soft light, the Sunday-lazy flipping through some papers and magazines, made it a start of what one usually experiences in a luxury hotel at some exotic destination.

But this was home


The day continued with some further hanging around, some contemplating, some shopping (bought a new grid for the BBQ), and then later in the day a nice bike ride or 2 hours. Really relax ride, not forcing anything, enjoying the soft warmth of the sun on my skin, and wandering and wondering around the landscape with all trees, and leaves, and plants in their freshest brightest spring green.

By the time I got home, it was about time to light the barbeque.

My barbeque is a very simple one. Not any fancy one. Just some charcoal and my brand new barbeque grid.


All the time, no rush.

First surprise my wife with a glass of cool sparkling wine. She was relaxing in the lounge, enjoying the soft evening sunshine. I said to her: “hey there, listen”. She asked me “to what?”.

I just wanted her to listen to the silence of birds, the crackling fire, some far away farmer on his tractor, an airliner at 33,000 feet tracking its stripes in the sky.


She laughed and said

the sun was feeling

like a soft and pleasant shower

of light and warmth


The menu was super simple. I am getting here is some minimalist mode. Just a nice piece of loin, well-seasoned with some salt and black pepper, and rubbed in some fine virgin olive oil. I served it with really fresh salad and tomatoes from the garden, some boiled eggs. And last not least – and this may sound arrogant – my world best French fries. All cooked to perfection. The pepper, salt, olive oil on the table under the parasol. A really good bottle of Spanish Rioja, in promotion at 4€/bottle and very good.

After dinner – fully satisfied – laid down myself in the lounge having a cigarette and a last glass of wine.

A little bit of heaven, I said to myself. I made a note, and put it next to my pc to write a blog the next morning.

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By now, you should know that on June 1-2 2011, Innotribe will host its first standalone event in Mumbai.




Innotribe Mumbai – Mobile payments: Connecting the unbanked will focus on the opportunities that high mobile penetration presents to take banking services to the historically ‘unbanked’ communities – and explore the ways in which mobile technologies are being used today and can be exploited in the future to enable greater financial inclusion.

Yesterday, we pumped out our first world-wide press-release and we updated the event site with the latest and greatest speakers confirmed. You can also follow latest additions to the program via the Innotribe twitter.

Today, I would like to share some insights in the interactive sessions, the so called “Innotribe Labs”, famous from Innotribe at Sibos.

We have three Innotribe Labs:

  • On at the end of day-1 on banked-unbanked
  • Two in the afternoon of day-2: one called “The Mixer” and one called “Mobile Arena”

Innotribe Labs are highly interactive workshops, very well pre-designed and executed by our innovation team under the facilitation leadership of Mariela Atanassova. Whereas the Labs are still under design – trying to leverage the speakers and experts that have committed for these Labs – I can already give you a flavor of what’s going to happen on 1-2 June 2011.

1 June 2011 – 15:30 -17:00 Innotribe Lab “Banked – Unbanked

  • If we can pull it off logistically, we plan to take those interested by bus to the slumps, 2 miles away from the luxury hotel where we hold Innotribe Mumbai. Our plan B is to use video material. It seemed to us that only if you have seen the slumps, you can have a discussion about banked – unbanked.


  • Nokia will set up a live environment of one their latest project with UBI targeting more than 30,000 villages in rural India. You will be able to experience hands-on what banking the unbanked using cheap mobile device means.


  • That will be followed by a Lab immersive experience, designed by Innotribe Facilitation Studios.

2 June 2011 – 13:30 – 15:00 Innotribe Lab “The Mixer”

  • We have the ambition to create “serendipity” or (un)planned encounters. We want to “mix” local and international entrepreneurs in the mobile space and exchange experiences. What works, what not ? What can we learn from each other ? Where does the investment money go ?
  • We are proud to collaborate with Ashoka. Ashoka is 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. Since 1981, they have elected over 2,500 leading social entrepreneurs as Ashoka Fellows, providing them with living stipends, professional support, and access to a global network of peers in 70 countries.


  • I have seen the pre-selection of Ashoka Fellows that we’ll have the pleasure to welcome in Mumbai. This will be an awesome experience

2 June 2011 – 15:30 – 17:00 Innotribe Lab “Mobile Arena”

  • We will indeed ask all participants to sit in a big circle, forming a real “arena” discussing mobile payments.
  • The circle will be segmented in different groups representing banks, unbanked, telcos, platform providers, etc, etc


  • Each segment or slice will be represented by a pre-assigned spokesman.
  • The spokesmen will fight in the middle of the arena, in the “snake pit” in the middle of the arena.
  • The ambition of this session is to come to some recommendation on how to create synergies in this space, to avoid that all parties try to re-invent the wheel, and to see if SWIFT Innotribe can play a role in enabling collaborative innovation.

You got it: Innotribe Mumbai will be a unique experience. Combining an impressive set of speakers with our proven interactive Innotribe Lab format.

As somebody said after our Innotribe Lab at SOFA begin March 2011: “I will never look to SWIFT in the same way, you guys are much more that a network, a BIC code and standards. You are a true innovation community”.

Oh yes, there is one more thing: I have 5 free passes for this event. Send me an e-mail (peter dot vanderauwera at swift dot com) if you want one. They will be given on a first in first out basis. So, you have to be fast !

See you in Mumbai on 1-2 June 2011. May the Innotribe vibe be with you.

Cross-posted as well on the swiftcommunity.net blog at the innotribe twitter account

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