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Season 1, Episode 5B

The Six Continents of Innovation – Africa, North America, South America

The first of two webcasts presented by the global innovation practice Futureproofing :  Next. 

With F:N Webcast Hosts: Andrea Kates, Sean Moffitt, and a special panel of international guests. 

With all of our connected technology, the world may be getting smaller but when it comes to corporate innovation, it’s not quite flat yet.

Innovation around the world has many different nuances given the socio-economic climates, geopolitical aspects, cultural differences, customer motivations, talent mindsets, regulatory conditions and technologies at play in each region.

So we’re going to travel around the innovation world, not in 80 days, but in less than two hours. Along for our expedition, we’ve invited some of the most worldly innovative minds in each geography to get a flavour of how innovation gets done similarly and differently in their respective geographies.

Since there is so much to talk about, we are going to split our world up into two:

– Our early webcast session will canvas the smartest insights from Asia, Europe and Oceania.

Our later webcast session will travel back to Africa, North America and South America.

What we’ll cover: 

General trends affecting corporate innovation – contrasting and comparing similarities and differences across geographies

Specific regional/geographic issues, regulations, concerns and  barriers to corporate innovation

Specific regional/geographic areas of excitement, optimism and contributors to corporate innovation

Driving technologies, customer shifts, talent and routes to market

Applicable Insights about key global business topics:

  • Fintech, AI and Machine Learning
  • Open innovation, Collaboration and CoCreation  
  • Eastern Silk Road vs.Western Silicon Valley
  • Polarization  of Wealth, Jobs & Beliefs
  • Effective  business models & shiny company examples by geography

Futureproofing Now Webcast Video

Futureproofing Now Podcast Audio

Hosts & Guests

Sean Moffitt

Andrea Kates

Eric Osiakwan

Brian Ardinger

Marcela Rueda


Our website Futureproofing : Next

Live open survey:  The Corporate Innovation Playbook Survey

 Chanzo Capital :

Inside-Outside : 

 Connect Bogota:

Edelman Trust Barometer 2019 :

Top 100 Cities of Innovation : City Rankings by 2ThinkNow

Futureproofing Now Hosts:

Andrea Kates

Andrea Kates

Sean Moffitt

Sean Moffitt

About This EpisOde

0:00 Intro, Context and Advance Poll Question – “What’s the biggest influence behind your region’s innovation success?”

6:o0  Regional Innovation Contributors & Headlines – youthful Africa and the quadrupling of population, marketplace-shifting, more sophisticated South America and customer problem-focused North America

12:o0  Eric Osiakwan – Africa will become the labour force of the world 

13:45 Global Trust in Business – lagging government investment and corruption in South America,  

18:50 Innovation Geography – leading cities by region, is Texas California? & splintered North American innovation, corporate partner potential, is Silicon Valley dying?

25:45 The Big Picture – evolution Europe to Asia to Africa – the mobile web continent and the 2nd generation of innovation – mobile money 

30:30  The Fintech & US Perspective with Brian Ardinger – evolve vs. disrupt, big tech e.g. Libra, Apple Pay and compelling use case scenarios and the role of trust 

32:00 The South American Perspective with Marcela Rueda – opportunity in financial services as local banks are closer to the market, banking the urbankable and online/offline startups

 36:10 Ease of Doing Business in Regions – North America (easier) spin up experiment & create new stuff, Africa (easier) – political stability, ease of tech, SME and talent and South America (easier and fun) startups collaborating across region, open innovation challenges, tapping into the “global brain”  

42:00 Business Challenges & Barriers  – the speed of the marketplace and fast escalating and vacillating valuations,  internal culture and not being able to move fast enough and the solution of “getting proximity” to startups, Project North – access to founders, the dawn cross-continental Africa companies, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Senegal, Morocco and Egypt public policy improvement   

53:00 Top Disrupting Industries, Emerging Technologies & Business Models – South America (banking/finance/biotech, AI/automation, data & intelligence but still early days ), North America (insurance/health care, AI/machine learning, data & intelligence business models) Africa (health care, mobile solutions & the next billion, co-creation/sharing models)

56:30 Biggest Regional Predictions & Soundbytes – South America (a lot of opportunity to adapt to South America and thriving creative industries), North America (innovation and systems of talent) and Africa (biggest tech emanating form Africa in the 21st century)

58:00 Wrapup – Future Webinars, Writing a Book Together. Global Corporate Innovation Playbook, The Futureproofing 66°

Our F:N Expert Panelists:

Eric Osiakwan

Eric Osiakwan

Managing Partner, Chanzo Capital

Eric is an Entrepreneur and Investor with 15 years of ICT industry leadership across Africa and the world. He has worked in 32 African countries setting up ISPs, ISPAs, IXPs and high-tech startups.
He has co-founded Angel Africa List & Angel Fair Africa, and currently serves on the board of over 15 companies.   He was part of the team that built the TEAMS submarine cable in East Africa and an ICT Consultant for the WorldBank, Soros Foundations, UNDP, USAID, USDoJ, USDoS as well as African governments and private firms.
He authored The Kings of Africa’s Digital Economy, co-authored Open Access Model   adopted globally by the telecommunications industry, Negotiating the Net – the politics of Internet Diffusion in Africa and The Intenret in Ghana. He was invited to contribute ideas to Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Commission for Africa. Eric is also a TED, Stanford, MIT and Harvard fellow.
Brian Ardinger

Brian Ardinger

Founder - Inside Outside / Director of Innovation, Nelnet

Whether serving as a tech consultant, innovation specialist, economic developer or researcher, Brian’s passion has always been working on exciting projects with amazing people to create remarkable results.

As evidence, Brian founded Inside makers of the weekly podcast, newsletter, and annually convenes The IO Summit. For over 25 years Brian has been helping entrepreneurs and enterprises navigate and compete in a world of change and disruption.

He has led efforts between startups and corporates to engage the latest trends, tools, and tactics to accelerate innovation, launch new ideas, and build better products.

Previously, Brian founded the seed-stage accelerator NMotion and co-founded the corporate innovation consultancy Econic. Brian also built out the consulting arm in Asia for Gartner and led the creation of Asia’s first dedicated customer experience lab as head of research at Ion Global.

Marcela Rueda

Marcela Rueda

Deputy Director, Connect Bogota

Marcela is the Deputy Director at Connect Bogota Region, Bogota ́s is innovation network, created eight year ́s ago to help Colombia ́s capital become one of the three most innovative cities in Latin America by 2025.

Marcela has over 10 years’ experience in leadership roles in government, nonprofit organizations,  and private companies in the technology and telecommunications industries. 

Her work includes projects in technology transfer, corporate startup engagement, open innovation, innovation culture and start-up acceleration programs.

Marcela has been selected on two occasions by the OAS as a Latin American representative in the  American Competitiveness Exchange Program (Texas, Israel and Germany).

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