Tag Archives: Innovation

Innotribe at Sibos Osaka: Hyper-Economies

28 Sep

I blogged about the overall Innotribe Program at Sibos here. That post is kept up-to-date with the latest announcements and program changes. The Innotribe program is also available here on the Sibos website.

This blog post shares some more details about the Hyper-Economies session. The session Hyper-Economies will take place on Tuesday 30 Oct 2012 from 12:30 till 14:30 in the Innotribe Space (the special tent in the middle of the conference centre).

We live in a hyper-connected world. The speed of change is increasing exponentially. Information has become abundant, versus scarce in the past, and change is happening in real-time.

This session will focus on the major cultural tectonic shifts that are underpinning and driving the hyper-connected economy and are the under-stream of deep organizational changes. We are witnessing the birth of
new economies based on hyper-connected organizations, exposure of core competence through APIs, horizontal sourcing versus vertical integration, Peer-To-Peer (P2P) sharing of data and Open Source developments, that lead to a new practice for value creation.

We have brought together an eclectic set of igniters (our name for “speakers”) to have a healthy interactive debate on the challenges and opportunities these changes represent for our financial industry.

Mark Pesce

Mark Pesce is Founder of Future Street Consulting, based in Sydney. He is currently publishing a book on the topic, titled “The Next Billion Seconds”. Mark was already with during the Innotribe Bangkok event in April of this year.

Every company should assess whether it is reducing frictions, or whether it is introducing frictions. This friction (less)-rule not only applies to organizations and functions but also to people and events.

But be aware, there are some “irreducible” frictions. Mark Pesce identifies 6 of them, all starting with a “T”. Here is how Mark Pesce describes the 6 “Ts”:

No matter how ‘smooth’ and frictionless hyper-connected commerce becomes, certain frictions in the business world will persist.  These represent both speed humps and opportunities.  The businesses of the 21st century will find leverage and differentiation by identifying and exploiting them.


  1. Time – If it were done when it were done, they’re well done quickly;
  2. Territory – you can’t be everywhere at once;
  3. Talent – some people are naturally better at it than others;
  4. Trust – is rarely immediately conferred, instead growing from a continuing relationship, and must exist for commerce to succeed;
  5. Tongue – language barriers persist until we all speak Globish.
  6. Tension – frictions in teams between humans

The topics that Mark addresses are very relevant to the evolution towards Banks-as-a-Platform and the Cambrian Explosion of Everything.

Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens is in my opinion the absolute “guru” for the P2P Economy, the thinking behind the Commons and the role of Open Source in software and other collaborative approaches.

He is the founder of the Peer-to-Peer Foundation and works in collaboration with a global group of researchers in the exploration of peer production, governance, and property. Michel currently lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, has taught at Payap University and Dhurakij Pandit University’s International College. He is a founding member of the Commons Strategies Group.

The Hyper-Connected economy leads to new models of co-operation, and value production in highly connected P2P networks. Michel describes this as “Commons-Oriented Peer Production”

To get a deeper understanding of Michel’s work, check-out this fantastic report “The Synthetic Overview of the Collaborative Economy” (link to PDF file)


Allevo’s presence at Sibos will be under the signs of Innovation and Open Source.

Their project FinTP gravitates around the bold idea of developing an open source application for financial transactions processing and a creative community around it.

FinTP is an open distributed application for processing financial transactions and it is based on the 7 years practice proven solution Allevo has successfully deployed at its customers.

Covering the entire life cycle of financial transactions, FinTP intends to create a widespread financial transactions processing platform, an alternative for an industry common solution. The hope is this will evolve into a new standardization layer – a single financial dialect comprehensible for any party involved from individuals, SMSs, to corporates and financial institutions.

We believe this represents in fact the acceptance of the commoditization of the payments processing arena.

The format from this session will be a facilitated conversation. Like in Bangkok, we will help the audience identifying friction points in their value chains, and assess how the concepts of the Hyper-Economies, P2P and Collaborative Economy, and Open Source can give rise to a rich eco-system of parties building added value on top of Open Source platforms in financial services.

The session Hyper-Economies will take place on Tuesday 30 Oct 2012 from 12:30 till 14:30 in the Innotribe Space (the special tent in the middle of the conference centre)

This session is a meta-story for the session “Future of Organizations”, that follows right after this Hyper-Economies session.

By @petervan of the Innotribe Team.


Innovation at the SWIFT Business Forum London

4 Apr

Innotribe helped put together a session at the Swift London Business Forum. Please join us to hear fellow Innotribers talk about the Future of Money and explore the evolution of banking.

The Future of Money

  • Bruce Cahan, Chief Executive Officer, GoodBank
  • Kevin Coles, Specialist Payments Advisor, Transaction Banking, Lloyds Banking Group
  • Udayan Goyal, Founder and Managing Partner, Anthemis
  • Matthias Kroener, Chief Executive Officer, Fidor Bank
  • Andrew Carrier, Deputy Managing Director, Cognito EMEA (moderator)

Click here for details and to register

See you on 25 April 2012 at the Brewery on Chiswell Street (London EC1Y 4SD).

Introducing Sberbank

24 Feb

Thank you to Dr. Mircea Mihaescu, Director, Sberbank Technology Research Center for being a Global Sponsor of the 2012 Startup Challenge supporting a Moscow Regional Startup Challenge later this year.

1.       In a few words, describe how Sberbank approaches innovation and your role in the big picture.

The Sberbank Technology Research Center has been started in the summer of 2011, based on the principles that I have developed by being in the trenches of new technology development and adoption for many years:  experiment fast, think like a customer, try a lot of ideas, focus on process and not on a particular “killer idea”, get results and deliverables and demos. Our objective is to create a leading-edge emerging technology team, focused on identifying and piloting new ideas to support the bank’s strategic goals (i.e. technologies for banking and financial services) and accelerate its overall business process innovation (through internal social networking) and modernization objectives (modernization being the catch-all word for the collection of innovation initiatives that go beyond technology).

2.       In the context of financial services, what trends do you see start-ups focused on?

We see a lot of activity in the fields of mobile banking and mobile payments, personalized services for both online and mobile banking, and many experiments trying to benefit from the exponential growth in social and localization data.

3.       How do you see traditional financial institutions positioning themselves towards start-ups and the start-up ecosystem?

We believe in the concepts of open innovation, with financial services institutions interacting with the start-up ecosystem on many fronts – from seed funding the most promising ideas, to participating in venture funds focused on financial services technology, supporting the overall market all along the growth curve through continuous experimentation and possible adoption even in early stages. A second important point for us is to collaborate globally – actively working with start-ups from Moscow to Silicon Valley and Singapore.

4.       Considering that Innotribe focuses on collaborative innovation in financial services, what do you think we should pay attention to?

I like the Innotribe concept and strongly support its activities – as the saying goes “keep up the good work!”. We look forward to an even wider participation from the industry players, and we will help with the spreading of the open innovation and collaboration concepts with colleagues in our geographical area of interest – Russia and Central and Eastern Europe.

5.       Finally, are there any other things you think Innotribe readers need to know about your company or innovation activities?

We at the Sberbank Technology Research Centre are constantly looking for new technologies that have the potential to change financial services – new products, better products, better customer service, etc.  We work with companies from all over the world and there is no idea that is “too crazy” for us.

Introducing Cisco

24 Feb

Thanks to Philip Farah, from Cisco for Regional Support for the New York Innotribe Startup Challenge.

1. In a few words, describe how Cisco approaches innovation and your role in the big picture.

Cisco balances internal and open Innovation. We constantly source ideas externally either through acquisitions (over 100 over the years) or idea sourcing challenges (eg. I-prize competition) open to the public. My team the Internet Business Solutions Group is focused on understanding the impact of technology on the future competitive dynamics of the Financial Services industry – both to help our clients anticipate the changes and improve their competitive position as well as boost Cisco’s relevance in the FS industry through the development/acquisition of the right enabling capabilities.

2. In the context of financial services, what trends do you see start-ups focused on?

There are several trends related to the FS industry, the overall economy and technology that are creating new opportunities to disrupt the existing value props. For instance,

  • The emergence of mobility and mobile payments coupled with pressure on interchange fees in the US and the opportunity of financially enabling the unbanked in the developing world is certainly one where we’re seeing a lot of activity from large players e.g., Mobile Telcos, Google as well as a number of startups (P2P cash and Snappay are 2 such examples who presented on Feb 8 at the NY Innotribe event).
  • The financial hardship that the economic climate has created for both individuals and SMBs coupled with the ability to provide automated advice digitally has created an opening for a number of PFM/OFM powered companies to help consumers get out of debt and reduce their cost of debt or businesses finance their operations or receivables
  • Social networking is creating opportunities to better understand customers based on their interactions in the social media world and use this info to better assess credit, enable social trading (Lenddo, Roboinvest)
  • Other emerging capabilities such as Machine to Machine communications are already generating new pockets of value and we will most likely see startups emerge to capture these new opportunities.

For more info, on the future of the FS industry, check our perspective on the:

3. How do you see traditional financial institutions positioning themselves towards start-ups and the start-up ecosystem?

Traditional FSIs are realizing that Innovation is now more than ever generated outside the walls of their institution and that this is a trend that is unlikely to revert. They are responding by:

  1. Adopting open Innovation models where they partner more closely with external innovators including large Cos such as Cisco, startups, universities, etc.
  2. Investing in Innovation Incubator functions that are ‘protected’ from existing BUs and from restrictive procedures, to enable them to pilot and course correct before bringing promising concepts back into the core business
  3. These Innovation Incubators are increasingly located in Silicon Valley vs. traditional financial centers because of the proximity of talent (tech DNA) in this area.
  4. They also often have an investment arm linked to them, so that they can invest or acquire promising startups that they identify

It is also interesting to note, that many of the FinTech startups have their business models or exit strategies dependant on traditional FSIs.

4. Considering that Innotribe focuses on collaborative innovation in financial services, what do you think we should pay attention to?

With Innovation happening outside their walls FSIs need a trusted idea exchange platform. Swift is already offering a global payments platform connecting thousands of FSIs around the world and is ideally positioned to enable the exchange of ideas.

The success of such a platform will depend of the quality of content provided, the relevance of participants and the energy that results from the dynamics within it – Innotribe will have to balance the appeal of a ‘by invitation only club’ with the critical mass needed to keep the creative energy flowing.

Another way to keep the platform energized is to favor quality blog contributions on the platform and to enable the community to exchange ideas virtually outside of physical meetings

At Cisco we use our collaboration capabilities including virtual collaboration rooms and our network of TelePresence video conferencing locations around the world to bring people together virtually ‘as if they were in person’ across time zones and continents … an option that I believe could be very valuable to Innotribe

5. Finally, are there any other things you think Innotribe readers need to know about your company or innovation activities?

Cisco is well known for its role in providing the infrastructure for digital connectivity and more recently the infrastructure for collaboration and communication (video, audio, and data) and our role in cloud and virtualization

Tomorrow’s world will be a hyper-connected one where a lot of the knowledge will reside outside of companies’ walls somewhere in the ‘cloud’ and the ability of companies to compete will be dependent on their ability to take advantage of the new Connected reality

Above and beyond providing the infrastructure, Cisco is committed to accelerate the advent of a Connected economy through investments in Innovation and the acceleration of idea exchange across the industry.

Connecting people and ideas is what Cisco’s Human Network and my team (Cisco-IBSG) are about. We are thrilled to be part of the Innovation tribe and journey that Innotribe has started, and we look forward to further collaboration with Innotribe and its members going forward.

I have the best job in the world!

23 Feb

… and that’s not just me saying that.
Actually, the past couple of weeks, as we were preparing for SWIFT’s Global sales Convention some of my (marketing) colleagues said it: “Man, you must have so much fun doing what you do”, or “I want to do your job, do you want to do mine?”, or something along those lines.

So what is it that I do?

The funny thing is that I would answer: “nothing special”, honestly. As one of the latest newcomers to the Innovation team – I joined only 6 months ago – I’m still trying things out, I’m looking for my spot, my “thing”.
But actually, it might as well be that I am doing already what I’m supposed to do, what I was meant to do.

I’m exploring, I’m creating, I‘m learning, I’m growing,
I’m having fun!

When preparing for conferences and events in general, I was quickly bombarded the ‘Graphics Expert’ of the team.
Having a background as ‘Constructions Draftsman’, having worked nearly 20 years with AutoCAD, and having a personal interest in photography and software like Photoshop and Illustrator, and being interested in arts and architecture, I guess I had it coming to me…
Come to think of it, my role at such events is to make others, and their presentations, look better. As ‘simple’ as that 😉

Here are some examples of my latest work:

For a workshop, my colleague Mariela Atanassova (aka Mela) had this idea to create a card game, based on the book ‘Strengths based Selling’ and the Clifton StrengthsFinder® in it. So she asked me to make a set of 34 cards, briefly explaining the 34 strengths outlined in the book.
And here they are:
34 Strengths card game

Then another team asked us to help them on a presentation for them, explaining their product portfolio, and their ambition for the coming years. It involved the metaphor of a car, starting with a regular (used) family car, leading towards a proper F1 racing car.
And this is how it turned out:Cardboard toy car taking of

As a final example, I want to share this video that I created, together with Mela. The challenge was to give an informative overview of 6 marketing initiatives in an entertaining way. We chose video as a medium, and created it on-site (in the hotel), in about 12 hours.

When I joined the team, I knew that I was in for a change. The bar was being raised for me, I was bount to be challenged, drawn out of my comfort zone.
At this point, as I’m writing this blog, I’m starting to feel good outside of my comfort zone (as contradictory as it may sound). I know I still have a long way to go, but I’m also starting to push myself, looking for the next limit to be pushed.

Basically what I’m saying is:
I’m enjoying what I do, and I hope that you do too!

Yours truly,
Dominik De Buyser

Innotribe @SOFE2011, a field trip to the Innovation Warehouse

5 Dec

As Kosta Peric @copernicc (Head of Innovation, SWIFT) already wrote in the previous blog, Innotribe took part in SOFE2011 in London.

Innovation was a big topic throughout this event, as the main debate revolved around the dilemma between agility and operational excellence. Or, how do you manage risk, and implement changes, while maintaining the ‘5 nines’ of operational availability (99,999%)?
Kosta introduced the Castle and the Sandbox metaphor, to illustrate how we go about this challenge at Swift.

Kosta holding the castle

We all know the castle well enough, so that’s why we thought it would be a good idea to take a bus full of conference participants to have a closer look at an example of a sandbox.
One of our Innovation plenary speakers: Tony Fish has founded the InnovationWarehouse (www.theIW.org) @IWuk, it is the perfect example of what we envision as a sandbox, or incubator as we call it at Swift.
It’s a space where people with ideas find a place ‘to play’, to hatch their ideas, surrounded with the kind of support they need: meeting room facilities, office space, IT services, and like-minded people.

Of all days, we planned this bus trip through London onthe same day the public sector organised a massive strike and rallies in the city!
We decided to take a chance, and played the odds…
And it was very well proved it was a crazy idea after all! What was supposed to be a 10 – 15 minute drive, turned out much longer. So, after an hour of being stuck in traffic, we decided to pull over and walk the remaining distance.
I must say I hardly saw happier faces that week, than those of the 45 people being released from the bus into the open air 🙂

Once we arrived at the InnovationWarehouse, our host of the day, Tony Fish, introduced us to the innovators, the ‘obsessive problem solvers’ as he calls them:

  • Startup Intelligence – a business intelligence firm which identifies the fastest-growing companies in any region or sector.
  • Hipsnip – a personal shopping app to get you shopping advice and recommendations before you buy.
  • Worldlink Data – the home of real-time mobile applications.
    This was Tony’s personal illustration of the ‘3Ps of Innovation’: Patience, Perseverence and Passion.
  • Dreamyume – a social network for exploring, understanding and connecting people through dreams and the subconscious using new Artifical Intelligence (AI) technology.
  • Digital Shadows – a cyber-security company focused on protecting organisations and individuals from targeted cyber attack.

Innovation Warehouse - the hiveAfter listening to their pitches, and seeing the stars twinkling in their eyes, we were invited to have a look inside the heart of the InnovationWarehouse, a zone referred to as ‘the hive’. This was the moment when people could have a relaxed chat with the entrepreneurs present.
Some took the opportunity, others wandered off and checked their mails and phone-calls, even others took the time to socialise with other SOFE participants.

Innovation Warehouse - the Pizza Party

Meanwhile, the clock was ticking, and I was tasked to get these people back to the Park Plaza by 2 o’ clock, and preferably not on an empty stomach! But when worse things come to worst, a team pulls together; Kosta and Julie Cannock from Swift’s London office had arranged for pizzas. Within no time all the food was gone, the drinks were drunk, and on the bus we went, heading back.
Luckily the trip back to the conference centre went much quicker. However, we still were running late, and soon enough it became obvious that we wouldn’t make it back on time…
Finally, we arrived at 2.15pm at the hotel, only to find that there had been a fire alarm, so we couldn’t enter the building and all afternoon SOFE sessions were delayed. And that’s how we arrived on time after all…
All’s well that ends well!

Coincidence? You think?..



Innotribe@Sibos 2011 – Corporate Culture summary

7 Nov

For the first time we tried some topics that where not technical, but rather phylosophical at Innotribe, or holistic as some would say. But that doesn’t mean that the issues discussed aren’t at the heart of the way we do business, on the contrary!
‘Corporate Culture’ was the first topic in that series, the others being ‘Banks for a Better World’, and ‘New Economies’. More on those in a later post…

There were 3 chapters in this session: Structure, Leadership, and Personal Behavior.

Mark Dowds (CEO, Brainpark) introduced us to two ‘disruptors of the peace’: Stowe Boyd and Harold Jarche, who explored the history of hierarchical structures in companies and how technology and media at large influence those Corporate Structures.
Mark started of with a quote from Winston Churchill saying “First we shape our buildings, then they shape us”, which got picked up by Stowe Boyd (Web Anthropologist and Edgling) who altered it into “Media shape us. We make our tools, and they shape us”.

Harold Jarche (Principal, Life in Perpetual Beta) then quickly described our society as ‘layered’, he sees four layers: Tribal – Institutional – Markets – Networks, which currently exist at the same time. He then asked the question if there is tension between those four layers, and whether that tension is positive or not?

Then Sean Park (Managing Director & Founder, Anthemis Group) talked us through a new, plausible model for a Corporate Organisation, referring to a TED talk from Geoffrey West on the scalability of cities. Sean’s business model aims to resemble more a city than an army, called “Anthemis” structure. In this model, the company is no longer at the centre of the world, but rather a part of a larger, inter-connected, resiliant structure, and the first rule for doing business is “do no harm”.

This led perfectly into ‘streetwiZe‘. In a short movie clip we were confronted with the  harsh reality of people that have to survive on the streets every day. They have developed something called ‘streetskills’, a set of skills that can be beneficial in our corporate world as well. There are lessons to be learned from those people, or as Jerry Michalski tweeted “we so underestimate the poor” (@jerrymichalski)

Laura Merling,(SVP Application Enablement Business Unit at Alcatel-Lucent) showed us a video to illustrate the fact that failure is essential for success.
The recipe consists of several ingredients, the first one being a clear and daunting mission like “Save the whales” sort of, or “Innovate the financial business”.
Another ingredient is the team: a bunch of different people, with different skills, chosen and selected with care.
Adding to the flavor is ‘Motivation’! Keep your people inspired and motivated in spite of the hurdles to work towards that daunting goal.
And finally: celebrate your successes!

Dan Marovitz (Managing Director, Buzzumi) stated that “the past tends to persist”, what he meant by that is that the way we do things today, is probably the way things will be done tomorrow, in spite of new technologies or insights that would enable us to do things differently!
He used the USA electoral college to illustrate his point. He explained that the electoral college was a great solution to a problem back in the 19th century. However, society and technology have evolved significantly since then, still the president of the USA will be elected by this historical mechanism: the electoral commission.
His final point was that it takes “a decisive action and a choice”, or persistence and courage, to make change happen.

Then all of a sudden strange things happened: the lights dimmed, music started, and people started to dance..
It was in fact a little experiment to see what it would take for people to join, or follow a new or unusual behavior.
Tom LaForge and TA Mitchell asked us some questions to reflect on what had just happened, or not. From there, Tom (Global Director of Human and Cultural Insights, The Coca-Cola Company) explained that the innovative mindset requires us to do things, to behave in a way that initially was not requested from us. And that corporate structures should adapt to these new behaviors in order to benefit from the emerging activities.
“Be really good at what computers can’t do” was his last piece of advise.

TA Mitchell (Founding Partner and Director, Co Company Ltd.) investigated the kind of behavior that makes us successful in our careers, and how it used to be around four domains: Credibility – Energy – Reach – Impact and Influence. But now, with the internet at our fingertips, people can rapidly expand their reach, build their credibility and raise their impact.
This constantly and rapidly changing environment requires us to adopt a ‘learner mentality’, as opposed to a ‘learned mentality’.

Finally, to wrap it all up, Mark Dowds, made us close our eyes. Then he asked us to envision ourselves being 20 years older, looking back at our younger selfs. And, as we where this older, wiser person, what piece of advise would we give to our younger selfs?
After some thoughtful minutes, he wanted us to change seats, and close our eyes again. Returning to our present selfs, we were asked to thank the future person for his/her advise, and to take it at heart. In order to make this commitment even more tangible, Mark then asked us to pair with a stranger in the room, and to share our commitment to change, with that person.
To conclude the introspection, we were asked to write down and share these commitments on a piece of paper, and post it on a whiteboard in the room.
No doubt this was a powerful session!

Watch the full wrap-up video here (20 minutes):

Innotribe@Sibos 2011 – Social Data session summary

21 Oct

As Matteo Rizzi kicked it off with a very concise and to the point mission statement for this session: “Turn social data into capital”.

The first igniter (as we call the contributors to Innotribe sessions) was Boxley Llewellyn (Director of Growth Initiatives – Financial Services Sector at IBM). He explained how the world is changing and how social data should be now considered as a priority, leading to this beautiful goal : ” every customer feels like the bank is designed just for them”

Daniel Marovitz  (Managing Director, Buzzumi) then took the audience on a totally different path. As he said: “what Innotribe is all about is coming at a problem from different angles, and the truth emerges”. So he took us on a quick history course of money and value, demonstrating that money is just an expression of emotion. He illustrated this with an example of how mackerels are being used as a currency in the US federal prison system (I’m sure this example will stick 🙂 ). He then  led to the conclusion that money and value is ultimately about information, and social data.

We then heard from Dion Hinchcliffe (Executive Vice President of Strategy, Dachis Group), who also described how the information around us and about us is exploding in terms of volume. So he asks us this questions: ” Is this actually valuable?”, “Is this manageable?”. While he demonstrated his opinion that, yes, it is valuable and manageable, he drew the attention to the fact that the problem is not information overload but filter failure – and how analytics can help in this filtering.

The session finished with Tom Coombes, (CEO, Cognito) who warned that “brand is not what you say about you, it is what people say about you”, and then provided some examples (including his own company) of analytical tools that can help make value from social data.

We also had  Darius Miranda (Vice President Social Business Strategist, WELLS FARGO) and  Pol Navarro (Head of Direct Channels and Innovation, Banco Sabadell) in the audience who provided additional perspectives from the experience in their banks. Chris Skinner (Chairman of the Financial Services Club), the Innotribe chroniqueur, helped steer the discussion to make it relevant to the bankers in the audience.

Here is the summary video, enjoy!

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