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David Hanson and his robot Sophia interactively opened the Fintech Ideas Festival(FIF) held January 9,10 in San Francisco where the world’s top CEOs participated looking ten years into the future of technology, financial services, and fintech. Sataya Nadella CEO Microsoft, Gini Rometty CEO IBM, Ajaypal Singh Banga CEO MasterCard, Brian T. Moynihan CEO Bank of America, John Zimmer co-founder Lyft and Aaron Levie CEO Box were amongst the more than 200 who registered and spoke at FIF. The festival was the first and largest summit of its kind hosted by the Financial Services Roundtable or FSR representing 100 top CEOs with $92.7 Trillion USD in managed Assets, $1.2 Trillion USD in revenue. FIF was divided into main stage talks and private salons where CEOs exchanged ideas. The FSR FIF trended at No1 on twitter during the CNBC live broadcast to 340 million globally.

Top themes of interest to the CEOs 

Cybersecurity and trust are a very high priority amongst CEOs with breaches announced daily making headlines with governments and industry. Together with AI augmented new collar jobs (expanding on blue and white collar) and outliers impacting the enterprise, data use and ownership, identity management / biometrics, blockchain hype or reality, and more were highlighted in a discussionwith futurists where the private salon sessions were summarized.

The impact and implications of AI and machine learning as driving the enterprise was also a theme. Robo advisors with more than 2 trillion USD in assets under management in the US in 2020 and 20 million chat bots are making big moves already in 2017. Moving from mobile and cloud first to AI first as an enterprise strategy is readily available with tools such as from Microsoft Cognitive Services and IBM Watson. Microsoft CEO Satya’s ideas on digital transformation were captured in his discussion with Ajay CEO MasterCard. Gini the CEO of IBM talked extensively about IBM Watson use cases for AI as augmenting and not replacing people.

ACM past president and Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf emphasized the importance of software practices in his talk: It’s the Software, Stupid.

Box’s Aaron Levie provided a model for growing in the digital age. Essentially, digital is more than providing a digital UX but refactoring the whole business model into digital otherwise you will not be successful. His session was highly cited: Don’t Rewrite Your Software. Rewrite Your Company.

Other topics of interest were:

  • The Future of FinTech

  • Blockchain

  • Big Data and the IoT

  • Biometric and Omnichannel Experience

  • Cybersecurity

  • Future Workforce and Financial Inclusion

The event was so successful that planning is already beginning for 2018.


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