Innotribe, back to school in Stanford university

In my last post I told you about how Petervan (@petervan), Mela (@mela_atanassova) and I were the #Innotribe representatives at #IIW12 (Internet Identity Workshop #12) in California, on 3-5 May 2011. In that week, we also went back to school and had immense fun with professor Andreas Weigend and his Social Data Lab students at Stanford University. We were also joined by Venessa (@venessamiemis), our friend and part of many Innotribe adventures.

Introducing Andreas. He is a very, Very, VERY energetic, passionate, inspiring, fun guy. He used to be chief scientist at where he was part of building what they are now. We got in touch with him while doing research for our upcoming Innotribe@Sibos 2011. He has a healthy german accent and he likes varied and quality food, as I do, so we immediately connected. And, he is very very sharp.

I teach the course The Social Data Revolution: Data Mining and Electronic Commerce at Stanford University, and the executive MBA course The Digital Networked Economy at Tsinghua University and INSEAD.My courses focus on how the data people generate by interacting with each other and with the world can be used for better decisions about how to spend attention, money and social capital. I bring my broad industry experience into the classroom, exploring real-world scenarios and solving real business problems

So, we went to Stanford for an afternoon, first to just listen in to the class of Andreas, and then to run an Innotribe Lab with his class.

First, about the campus itself – we were blessed with a perfect sunny weather and the campus looked amazing!

So, we all first went to listen to Andreas’ class – we sat down with about 40-50 students. For this particular class, Andreas had invited an alumni, less than 30 old, telling the class about his latest startup. If I understood correctly, he was at his startup #4 already…. Yes, this is California indeed…

After that, we ran a lab with the students. The idea was to see what is at the intersection of banks and social data/media.The format was the “usual” (if there is anything usual about it … 😉 ) Innotribe lab – highly interactive, small groups, full of energy – all this scribed beautifully by Mela.

I must say, I was a bit afraid… What were all these young people going to thing about us, representatives of the banking community that these people don’t much care about. Well, kudos to them, they engaged with us and totally wholeheartedly!!!

Some conclusions –

  1. Banks will become digital. In other words, from the current status of safekeepers of currency, to safekeepers of digital assets.
  2. Digital assets are really social data: things that we share with other people, and that other people say about us. eBay reputations,LinkedIn profiles, Facebook profiles, etc
  3. Wish for banks to become more transparent and ethical: transparent as to how/where do they invest their (our) money
  4. Opportunity for banks to become social (actual or virtual) community hubs. This rang so many bells with me, remind me to write another blog about my old “village” banker some day.

And, at the end, so much enthusiasm and honesty from these students. They told us something that will remain in my heart: that they enjoyed having met us, representatives of the banking industry! I do wish they keep a nice, warm image of SWIFT.

Thank you again Andreas, Aldo, Alex, Ali, Jaso, Karthik, Pao, Sebastiaan, Ben, Alan, Becky, Fontaine, Michelle, Emma and many others.

Our paths will cross again.



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