Blockchain, digital tech and lending platforms: A new world of finance

The financial world is changing under our feet as the likes of blockchain and peer-to-peer lending platforms emerge to offer new means of transacting, funding and investing.

Digital technologies are creating a total paradigm shift in the world of finance and calling for bankers, accountants, investors and lenders to either change tact or risk becoming a dinosaur in a world moving much quicker than they are.

This week we took a closer look at different aspects of the finance industry, as well as 3D printing, design thinking, and the undeniable importance of people and money when it comes to business.

The changing financial landscape

We spent a day on what is arguably the most disruptive technology to the financial industry: blockchain.

Paul Salisbury, fintech and blockchain business analyst at 3months, broke down the basics of the tech and how it can fundamentally transform banking as well as other industries.

Matt Wright, ASB Global Transaction Banking head of consultancy services, said 'blockchain is to banking what cars were to horses'.

During our field trip to the ASB headquarters, Matt also talked about the difference between genuine and superficial innovation, how banks are slow to adapt to a tech-enabled world, and some innovative ASB ventures - including ASB Plus for small businesses and Clever Kash, a new way for kids to learn money literacy.

Joining us from another part of the finance world was Ryan Ghisi, who's the Global People Programs General Manager over at Xero.

Coming from the HR space, Ryan shared his expertise on the importance of people within a business, the role of culture, and what career development really means in this shifting landscape.

What makes a business tick

Alongside understanding more about exponential technologies, a recurring theme of our Master’s programme is understanding what makes a successful businesses tick.

Frank Janssen joined us for a fireside chat and shared anecdotes, understandings and knowledge from his extensive experience in the business world.

Starting out in accounting and becoming a general manager in his early 20s, Frank talked about what really defines success in the business world, and what he considers to be the two most important elements – people and money.

Along with Frank, we also welcomed in Nic Kennedy, Chief Innovation & Ventures Officer at PwC New Zealand, Barry Soutar, Maori Business Leader at NZTE and Steve Renata, Chief Executive Officer at KIWA Digital.

Nic brought her insights about innovating from within a business and how to get people thinking outside the box to the group, while Barry and Steve shared the gritty details of starting and scaling a business.

We capped off the week with Lisa King and the folks at Eat My Lunch - a new Kiwi company making tracks. Visiting the team at their Auckland based office, we learnt more about the social enterprise creatively working to help Kiwi kids living in poverty.

Personal projects taking shape

The group's personal projects are continuing to take shape with the help of a constant flow of knowledge and ideas, as well as the aid of the Tech Futures Lab team.

This Wednesday the candidates worked with Kiri Dell and Robyn Kamira to better understand and integrate kaupapa Maori philosophies into the research process, Summer Hendry from Unitec ensured they knew what resources are available and how they can make use of them, and Priti Ambani helped to bring a business perspective to the research conversations.

Follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with what's happening during the week. If you want to know more about our Master's Programme, come along to an Open Lab session this April or May, or get in touch with the team.


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Tech Futures Lab is an education facility of The Mind Lab, a NZQA registered Tertiary Education Organisation under the provisions of the Education Act 1989. Candidates who are studying on a programme delivered by Tech Futures Lab are enrolled with The Mind Lab.

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