The Future Innovation community launches 01 September 2021

A new Efma community has been created. Its leader, Roberto Ferrari, who was previously Chief Digital and Innovation Officer at Mediobanca Group, writes below about his excitement from the launch and what’s in store for the burgeoning community. 
One of the biggest challenges for an incumbent company is to change and truly embrace innovation. Legacy systems - both technical and organizational - regulation, and budgeting processes are some of the toughest obstacles to change. Yet, in the 4th industrial revolution in which we are living, change is not an option, it is a necessity. It doesn’t have to be necessarily disruptive but it must be transformative and pervasive. 
This is especially true for the financial services industry where legacies are perhaps even stronger. Banks and financial institutions are working to change and adapt but more must be done. This is why job positions such as Chief Innovation Officers have been created, why innovation labs have surged in the past 5 years, digital agendas have been built, and open innovation projects are everywhere. 
This is the reason why we at Efma have decided to launch the Future Innovation community. Our first live event, the Best Practice Forum: Living Innovation: from real life experience to long term vision took place on the 7th of July. This event was just the start, but the immediate interest was very encouraging, with over 120 registered participants from a wide variety of countries all over the world.
We had great key note speakers and panelists including Gustavo Vinacua of BBVA, Bidyut Dumra of DBS, Michal Panowichz of BSG, and Grzegorz Pawlicki of PKO Bank Polski. All of them have a great deal of experience from years of working on innovation in digital banking and brought real experiences and insights. Personally, I had the impression that each speaker could have spent one hour at least talking more on their own experiences.
In the forum we started to tackle the issues that are the most relevant to innovation officers and their teams. These are the people who have the honor and the challenge to drive the critical mission of digitization at their financial institutions. There are major questions that these teams are trying to answer: How do you build and sustain innovation? How do you get project approval and implementation? What does a top-notch digital agenda look like? How do you design an open innovation program? How do you get a bank to think like a tech company?
The forum was an excellent start to activities of the community. This will be our constant approach: bringing value to our audience through insights, cases, and vision. 
Connection is the other core element of this community. It will be a true community and as such, Efma’s role will be to help facilitate connections as it has always done in the past. When I was working as digital banker a few years ago, I was a member of Efma and one of the most valuable parts of my membership was the connections I made with other members of the community. 
Beyond the community, I will be interacting a great deal with the entire community. I, along with Efma, will always be ready to help, suggest, and offer advice. I truly believe in the power of sharing.
There will be new community events announced soon and you won’t want to miss them. So be sure to check back into Efma’s website periodically.  
A great future full of change is ahead of us, let’s make the most of it as leaders.

If you want to join the community, you can reach out to the community manager, Dorota Valkova at dorota@efma.com.





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