Dutch Financial Markets – Innovation Live 2019 – Review

Epicenter, Amsterdam, 16thOctober 

I’ve been here in Amsterdam this week to visit the rapidly flourishing financial district and attend the inaugural Innovation Live event, hosted by ourselves and our partners, Infinium Consulting, and featuring eight of our member firms.

This prestigious showcase of the latest trends and technology in financial markets and services, was staged at the newly opened Epicenter, an appropriately futuristic venue nestled between the Olympic Stadium and the gleaming new towers of Amsterdam-Zuid.

The Dutch are no strangers to innovation. Their Golden Age of the Seventeenth Century was one of the greatest periods of innovation in history. They gave us the world’s first multi-national corporation (the Dutch East India Company); the first stock exchange; the pendulum clock; the foundations of microbiology; and the principles of international law. 

Today, the Dutch are again at the forefront of innovation. In almost every industry, from engineering to horticulture to financial services, Dutch companies have a voracious appetite for the latest technology and are accomplished both in their own inventions and in their rapid adoption of innovation from elsewhere. 

Which is why, on a rain-soaked October evening, around 100 senior executives from some 30 financial markets and services companies, struggled through the downpour to attend Innovation Live and hear directly from eight leading innovation firms from the UK. 

The evening was hosted by David Aston, CEO of Infinium Consulting, and Robert Baldock, MD of Clustre – the Innovation Brokers – who curated the panel of experts and thought-leaders from these eight pioneering companies. 

The quality of the presentations was quite extraordinary and, even more so, the intensity of the conversations over the food and drinks that followed. The topics under discussion included: 

  • Product and Service Design – how to conceive, design and launch new products and services at the rapid pace demanded by customers in today’s hyper-competitive market – think big, start small, learn fast.
  • Idea Management – how to tap into the wealth of knowledge, experience and insight held by your employees, customer and partners to uncover opportunities for innovation and ensure your organisation works faster, smarter and better.
  • Intelligent Automation – how AI, machine learning and cloud computing enable the automation of complex business processes in record time and way beyond what can be achieved using rules-based RPA tools.
  • Regulatory Technology – how an innovative apps based approach is transforming and modernising regulatory compliance, without the need for traditional software and services, reducing horizon scanning costs and ensuring traceability between risks and controls.
  • The Future of Mobile and Digital Cards – how to disrupt the disruptors by putting customers in charge of how and when their cards are used, so they can spend with confidence, combining the latest in digital card technology with the latest mobile apps.
  • Mobile Security in Sensitive Environments – how to use revolutionary technology to protect sensitive corporate information against risks from mobile devices and social media exposure, and boost productivity into the bargin.
  • Digital Ethics – how to build apps people love, without facilitating unscrupulous actors; digital ethics could be the next frontier, in which case it’s not just about the best technology, but also the best approach to these complex design issues.
  • Conversational Interfaces – how to use an enterprise-grade chatbot management platform to effectively manage, monitor and scale your chatbot programs, effortlessly scaling from proof-of-concept to fully production ready.


So, why would so many senior executives battle through the rain to spend an evening of their valuable time attending this event?– the answer, it seems, is they see innovation as vitally and critically important to the continued success of their companies. As Robert Baldock put it succinctly in his opening remarks, it really is a question of “innovate or die”.

What elevated this event over many others I’ve attended in recent years, was the laser focus on a single market and the industry expertise marshalled by David Aston and his team, coupled with the proven calibre of the eight innovation firms presenting (all of whom have conspicuous client successes under their belts). When you leverage industry insight with proven approaches to innovation, the sparks really fly!

Although the content of the evening covered a wide variety of subjects, there was one striking common theme: the focus on experimentation and delivering rapid results. Every one of the firms presenting, majored on their ability to deliver results quickly. And, from the conversations that followed, it was clear this was also a key concern for the delegates. What has changed is the pace of change itself and the secret to meeting this challenge is to work with clever, niche innovation firms, like those showcased at Innovation Live.

Watch the Innovation Live video here

Andrew Simmonds is Consulting Director at Clustre – The Innovation Brokers www.clustre.net

If you would like to learn more about any of the smart innovation firms that showcased at Innovation Live, please contact him at andrew.simmonds@clustre.net

If you would like to learn more about Infinium Consulting, please contact info@infinium-consulting.com

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