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Posts Tagged ‘diversity’

For its seventh year, Innotribe at Sibos goes center stage! This translates into two components: first, some our most successful sessions of previous years go to the main stage: the Future of Money session and the Innotribe Startup Challenge Finale. Second, we are building an awesome innovation hub on the exhibition floor, next to the SWIFT stand.

On the outside, the stand is designed as a vibrant networking area, with exhibition demo stations for the Innotribe Startup Alumni and the late stage semi-finalists of the 2015 Innotribe Startup Challenge. And we’ll have the best coffee corner in town with real baristas.

Inside, the stand will host our circular workshop room. It’s already nicknamed as “The Blender” and has a magical 360° projection wall. This is where the majority of our sessions will take place.

As always, we will introduce the latest innovation trends, whilst delivering thought-provoking content designed to challenge perceptions. Together with global professionals from across the field of innovation, Innotribe will explore topics at the center of the financial services industry agenda in payments, market infrastructures, and the corporate landscape.

In a play of words on Kevin Kelly’s book “What Technology Wants”, we have four major themes this year, one theme per day:

  • Day-1: What Platforms Want
  • Day-2: What Society Wants
  • Day-3: What Innovation Wants
  • Day-4: What Machine Intelligence Wants

Across the four days, we have two big design principles: Millennials and Power Women in Finance who will be an integral part of all sessions in this year’s programme. We just launched two whitepapers to prepare us for Innotribe Sibos:

As you may notice, we put a lot of efforts in ensuring diversity by having different thought leaders joining us in every session: men, women, millennials, investors, accelerators and contrarians. Whirling around the room with the different protagonists like in a real blender, we will create the right mix of topics and speakers and create an interactive environment for our audience. This year we also do special effort to integrate art and music in the overall design of all our sessions.

Next to this, the Finale of this year’s Innotribe Startup Challenge will see the 12 early-stage startups selected during the regional showcases pitching their pioneering products and services.

Innotribe is open to all Sibos delegates willing to drive change and embrace innovation for the benefit of the financial industry, by understanding its trends, opportunities, and challenges: business analysts, product managers, strategists, marketing/branding/innovation managers, transaction bankers, securities managers, corporates, standards experts, payment professionals, investment managers, regulators, policy makers.

Registration via Sibos.com: https://www.sibos.com/my/login

Full programme on Sibos.com: https://www.sibos.com/conference/conference-programme/2015?field_session_stream_tid%5B%5D=466&op=Filter

Also see my recent interview on Sibos.com “Innotribe and the future of FinTech innovation”

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A generational shift is underway, which is challenging and reinventing notions of trust in financial services. The Millennial Generation, comprised of those people born between 1982 and 2004 (average age 22), lies at the heart of this shift.

Millennials_option 2

A couple of months ago, i spotted the twitter stream and website of Wharton FinTech, the first student-led FinTech initiative committed to education, career development and idea promotion by connecting innovative, established, disruptive and proven FinTech enterprises with students and industry professionals.

WhartonFintech Logo

I got into a conversation over Skype with Daniel McAuley and Steve Weiner, the two co-founders of Wharton FinTech, and discovered a rich community of young Wharton MBA students who were passionate about FinTech. They organise study tours in the Valley and elsewhere, have a solid blog, and more importantly have a refreshing view on which financial services resonate with Millennials and which not.

We started an online collaboration to produce a research paper, and after a couple of iterations quickly decided that the underlying theme had to do with trust. A different kind of trust.

Trust is the most important currency in finance. It is fundamental to the smooth running of every financial system in the world, and that is always likely to be so. However, a generational shift is underway that is challenging and reinventing notions of trust in financial services.

Growing up during the global financial crisis and a sluggish period of recovery thereafter, the Millennial Generation is particularly mistrustful of established financial brands and institutions. The effect of this generational shift has been explored by a number of groups, including the innovation group, Scratch. Their Millennial Disruption Index concludes that banks are most likely to be disrupted by Millennial consumer preferences, and are facing massive challenges in terms of approach towards customer acquisition and user experience.

Millennials believe that the way we access money and pay for things will be completely different five years from now. But how do companies understand what trust really means to this generation, and more importantly, find ways to earn and retain it?

The paper explores three main themes:

  • Trust in technology: Millennials trust technology rather than face-to-face relationships and the traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ on-premises user experience. They want entirely new digital products that are relevant to their daily lives. However, there is a fine line between trust in technology and over-reliance on it, and information and identity security is an area of risk that needs to be managed.
  • Trust in networks: FinTech startups built on the back of social networks have a distinct advantage over incumbents when it comes to customer acquisition. By focusing on user experience and viral or ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing, these young firms are often outperforming their better-funded rivals. For those financial services firms looking to gain market share within the Millennials segment, this is an extremely important approach to master.
  • Trust in social causes: Millennials demonstrate a stronger likelihood to buy a product from, or indeed work for, a company with a defined social or environmental mission. They trust companies with social or environmental objectives more than those that are perceived as operating solely for profit. While declaring affiliation to a social cause can attract customers and improve engagement, companies must be careful not to mislead Millennials – they tend to do their research to make sure a company’s claims can really be justified.

Socio-economic and generational dynamics play a critical role in the evolution of financial services. As companies reinvent the way people interact with their money, finance is becoming faster, cheaper and more efficient for individuals and businesses.

The paper can be downloaded here (PDF) and provides valuable guidance on what financial services companies can and should be doing to capitalise on this major generational shift in consumer preferences, and create new opportunities for growth.

Together with Power Women in FinTech, Millennials will play an important role in this year’s Innotribe programme at Sibos, taking place in Singapore from 12-15 October 2015. In preparation for the event and the discussions that will happen onsite at Sibos, the paper examines how the Millennial Generation will help shape the future of finance.

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While technology and business models are changing fast, the issue of gender diversity in financial services – particularly at senior leadership levels – is still lagging behind.  A Financial News analysis of Dow Jones Venture Source and Factiva data reveals that, of the 20 European FinTech companies that received the largest venture capital investments in 2014, none had a female chief executive.

A couple of months ago (Nov 26, 2014), I got a DM tweet from @sammaule saying “Been asked to put together a list of top 100 women in FinTech globally for conference in March. Looking for your input.”. I reached out to Sam and suggested we’d make this a major design theme for Innotribe Sibos 2015, and produce a joint whitepaper on Powerwomen in FinTech.

It was the start of a fantastic collaboration with Sam and Christine Duhaime @cduhaime from Digital Finance Institute in Canada, culminating in the release of the paper on June 3, 2015 during at Digital Finance 2015, the first Canadian FinTech conference, in Vancouver.

We did not want it to be yet-another-list. We did not want it to be another girl-geek-power list. What we wanted was a list of women who make a difference in financial services. Whether they were having C-level roles in their organizations or were change agents deep in the fabric of their institutions. Whether they came from big or smaller financial institutions, startups, investors, or VCs. We had the ambition to have a worldwide list.

We compiled all existing lists. Did crowdsourcing via twitter and other social media. We had a good list, but found it a bit light for regions such as South America, Africa, and Asia. We reached out to our contacts in those regions, and got additional suggestions.

We ended up with a list of 437 Powerwomen in Fintech, and could have kept going.

women list graph

The paper draws upon existing research to highlight the reality of today’s situation in FinTech, and it provides recommendations to achieve and accelerate greater gender balance within the industry. A selection of interviews and profiles sit alongside the index, highlighting and celebrating the success stories of just some of the inspiring women who are leading the way and serving as role models to others.

End August we will do an update, and have some more in-depth interviews with 25 Powerwomen from the list.

The paper serves as an eye-opener on the gender diversity gap, in advance of the debate that will continue at Sibos in Singapore, from 12-15 October. Diversity will be one of the main topics covered by the Innotribe@Sibos 2015 programme. A number of the inspirational leaders featured in the Power Women in FinTech index will be involved in Innotribe sessions to discuss the findings of the paper, and make sure the voice of women is heard.

The paper can be downloaded and is a compelling read for anyone involved in the financial industry and beyond.

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