Day 2, June 6, of the CSW Summit – Brussels focused on a series of four roundtable discussions aimed to provide in-depth insights into the collaborative economy.
Implementing crowd innovation at an organizational level could seem overwhelming to many decision makers. Through the CSW Summit Brussels roundtables, the focus will be to address the needs of today’s leaders to bring about meaningful change.
Karel Tobback, Head of Cabinet of the Minister-President of Flanders, opened the roundtables by emphasizing the importance of doing things in new ways for the 21st century. Acknowledging the major economical and societal transformations being fueled by technology and connectivity, Tobback called for attendees not just to talk and learn during the day’s discussions but to also take action. In that spirit, Tobback cited the launch of their Vanguard Initiative, to embrace the transformation of industry through innovation across Europe.
Yvan De Cock, Head of Corporate and Public Bank, Belgium at BNP Paribas, the Summit’s premier partner, remarked on the bank’s commitment not just in leading a pathway in the changes happening in finance but in co-creation with their consumers — such as their new mobile banking model for the digital generation, Hello Bank, which was developed in collaboration with input from their consumers.
At the crowdfunding roundtable, Koen Panis of Loyens & Loeff and José Zurstrassen of MyMicroInvest led the groups through the newest crowdfunding regulations and exceptions in the EU, including the latest prospectus requirements and exceptions. Groups examined the relationship between the entities in the crowdfunding ecosystem – the crowd, the law, business, and platforms. Financial industry has always needed to balance the ability to take risks with regulation to protect consumers, and with this new democratization of funding, the crowd still needs a curator or regulator.
Wim Soens of Cognistreamer and Domenico Rossetti of the EU Commission discussed the makeup of a truly innovative ecosystem, which requires the right balance of openness and ownership. An ecosystem cannot be “built”, it grows – and the government, VCs, and universities have to collaborate to enable that growth. Again, the importance of managing or curating the crowd surfaced at this roundtable – a general crowd can provide insight, a specialized crowd can provide a solution, but the decision of how and when to implement the solution must stay with the company or government conducting the initiative.
How disruptive is 3d printing going to be? Is it simply a natural evolution of manufacturing enabled by the internet, or will it completely revolutionize the industry? These were some of the questions discussed at the roundtable led by Mario Fleurinck of Melotte, Martijn Joris of TWIKIT, and Deepak Mehta of 3DEE. Today the 3D printing market is still incredibly small, and is not yet that cost- or speed-efficient. It’s advantage comes from the ability to make a lightweight, customized product on location. But it does present some pretty far-out possibilities, some of which already exist – like a self-repairing car and 3D-printed food (in fact you’ve probably already eaten some, but just don’t know it!). One of the main paradigm shifts in design and manufacturing, however, is a cultural one: it’s about creating a dynamic in society that encourages people to create and make, rather than just buy.
Sean Moffitt of Wikibrands and Shelley Kuipers of Chaordix went over the 10 biggest challenges and biggest benefits of co-creation, along with the top 10 industries conducive to customer-led innovation, with real life examples in key case studies from brands such as Lego.
The roundtables provided insight into the range of transformations happening at every company today, and highlighted that commitment and speed are needed to implement innovative changes. We are shifting from a economy of sharing information to one of participation – the proper activation of “a crowd” can offer businesses solutions for many things. And for the crowd, it offers a wealth of opportunities to make their talents transparent and internationally available and bringing their interests alive.