Past and future innovations: a “long” moment with London School of Economics


My colleague Maria-Eugenia (@eugeniaforcat) is working a lot with the London School of Economics. She recently put me in touch with two people from the School who are particularly interested in SWIFT for a project they are working on – Susan Scott, who is a senior lecturer in the Information Systems and Innovation group, and Markos Zachariadis (@macsugar) who is working on his PhD with Susan.

I’ll not elaborate on the project they are working on – I’ll leave it to them to talk about it ;-). Suffice it to say that they are interested by the history of SWIFT. And so they talked to me mostly as an old hand of the company (this coming April it’ll be the 24th anniversary of my joining SWIFT).

So we went back to some very old history – why and by who SWIFT was created, the expansion, the SWIFT I and II networks and some difficult times around that, the SWIFTNet network for which I was the chief architect, my own career coming from IT to Product Management to Sales to Marketing and now Innovation.

At a particular moment I felt this intriguing feeling and went into kind of observation of the conversation. Here I am, head of Innovation, always looking forward and – in fact – very rarely looking back.

The moment lasted a bit, as in slow motion …

But of course, talking about this “long” past, looking at the last 37 years of SWIFT, we all got inspired and started taking about the next “long” future of 37 years 🙂

Those of you reading my blog know my opinion – that we are in a period of change equivalent to the printing press and that the deep driver of this change is the digitizing of everything around us, and in fact us as well and the economy around us. And this will and must drive a massive wave of innovation in the financial industry.

The full story of how I see this change happening and what are the opportunities brought by it is in this prezi.

It is rare for us to look “long”, so thank you very much Susan, Markos and Maria-Eugenia for the opportunity.

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