Reflections on Enterprise Ireland’s Big Ideas Event 2017

In attending EI’s impressive Big Ideas Event last week at the marvellous venue at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin, I was struck like so many by the inspirational words of Mark Pollock (he of the eponymous Trust) and especially around the ‘power of collaboration.’

The EI/IDA Technology Centre Programme is designed to be a model of collaboration, in this instance primarily between Industry and Academia in driving Innovation, and in the case of the GRCTC, in ‘GRC’ in Financial Services.

The Centre is itself seeking to harness the collective firepower of the research talent based in UCC under the direction of Professor Tom Butler (and the Centre’s Academic Director), NUIG-INSIGHT CENTRE (for Data Analytics, led by members of Dr Paul Buitelaar’s NLP team) and UCD’s Professor (in Operational Risk), Cal Muckley.

It was a real high-point for me personally, when we had the presence of all 3 PI’s at a meeting in one of our strategic Centre Member’s offices in Dublin last month and observing the collegiate dynamism being brought to bear on fashioning a potential use case problem statement by the triumvirate (it was also great craic!).

On a broader point, I was struck by the collegiality engendered by the ‘Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism’ and the profound words of its Founder Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, who has described the “ critical point in history when popular opinion of capitalism is very low and political pressure against the status quo is building to a crescendo”. To combat this, “investors and businesses need a better way to create and articulate the long-term, inclusive value they create for their customers, employees, communities, the environment and shareholders”

I am personally heartened by the Coalition’s work and in particular the Embankment Project, where together with EY, they are examining in a highly collaborative spirit, the Long Term Value (‘LVT’) that companies ought to be properly focusing on, which is a long way on from the time I was undertaking my own MBA studies in London in the early 90’s, when the pre-occupation was very much with unlocking shareholder value, quarter by quarter…

As EY assert, ‘in essence, the role of performance information is to allow people to be held to
account for their behaviours and actions, as well as to provide insight into what organisations need to change in the future…’
I would hope that this is precisely the type of collaborative ethos that Mark Pollock was encouraging in addressing his totally absorbed ‘business’ audience last week…
The GRCTC is currently examining ‘Conduct & Culture’ risk and seeking to engage and collaborate with Industry on how RegTech solutions may assist firms in better managing this critical area of their performance.