#EIF2014 Reflections

Amazing! So glad I went!

Background: I found out about the European Insurance Forum via my Social Tech River of Information and a video put out by WRIN.TV – World Risk and Insurance News. (Sidebar – I had the chance to sit next to John Greene, founder of WRIN.TV. Grateful. More on that later.)

WRIN.TV Interview of Jacob Rosengarten

WRIN.TV Interview of Jacob Rosengarten
Supply chain risks and Social Media

The video mentioned Jacob Rosengarten, XL Insurance, who would be addressing Technology and the risks associated with Supply Chain and Social Media. So I poked around a bit and liked what I saw about DIMA, Dublin International Insurance & Management Association, and the European Insurance Forum 2014.

A few general observations:

It’s a great group of people! As a people-person, it probably won’t surprise you that I fell in love with them – so cheerful, optimistic, expressive, sincere, warm, and friendly – really, really great people. I want to be more like these inspirational people.

EIF2014 - Collage

The People of EIF2014
(Click any image to expand, click again to zoom in.)

Like most insurance groups, this group is filled with uber smart and savvy people with a great deal of analytical perspectives on insurance and risk. They take their numbers seriously. They understand data, are digging into #BigData, and like technology. Here’s an example:

Megatrend: Climate Change Data & Insurance Risk

Megatrend: Climate Change Data & Insurance Risk

Of course, no surprise, it’s a whole different scene in the European insurance space. Different regulators, different points of emphasis on behalf of the governments, more centralized and consolidated markets, each country is its own ecosystem – all which makes intuitive sense. To state the obvious, no doubt I would have to invest a lot of energy in getting to know and understand the environment. That said, Social Tech is Social Tech – people, sharing, collaboration, responsiveness, transparency, education, data, networks, media, and relevance.

There was a little bit of “Ground Hog Day” in the conversations. From a Social Tech standpoint, when I mentioned that “I am helping insurance companies and agencies understand and leverage Social Technologies,” I heard essentially the same responses that I heard in the US when I first started having these dialogs several years ago. “I’m too busy for Social activities…” “I’m a very private person…” “I don’t see how Social Media would be useful for us in B2B…”

EIF2014 Attendee taking notes via iPad

EIF2014 Attendee taking notes via iPad

However, as I walked around Dublin and observed people during the conference, I noticed about the same use of technology by people and businesses as compared to the US. The point being, whether you’re in B2B or B2C, if the world around you is savvy about tech and leveraging it at every turn, than it’s a mission critical initiative to keep up, if nothing else because tech-savvy professionals will be reluctant to work for luddites, and that alone has adverse implications, not only for the enterprise but also for the industry.

So there seems to be a LOT of opportunity for deep learning and education on the real deal relative to Social Tech in the European Insurance Marketplace. The question is, is Europe on the same timeline as the US relative to Social Tech being mandatory by 2017? I’m not sure at this point. At first glance, I’m not sure why the same factors wouldn’t apply.

Social Tech Will Be Mandatory By 2017, U.S.

Social Tech Will Be Mandatory By 2017, U.S.
A 5-minute activity in the Executive Session
mentioned below leaves no argument

I captured a few images during the event. I tried to be sensitive and unobtrusive, yet still capture the essence of the event in photos and video’s. Some of the slides had some great content which the European audience might especially like to browse and share. (Of course, if you attended the session, the full presentations are available through DIMA, as normal.) Here’s a link to the photo gallery.

Jacob Rosengarten, XL Insurance

The Role of Technology in Risk Management

Notes from the main session I came for, the one that originally caught my attention on the WRIN.TV video.

The Role of Technology as a Megatrend

The Role of Technology as a Megatrend

Technology magnifies Risk.

Youth Unemployment – creating enormous headwinds for our economy.

60+% Youth Unemployment in Greece. Wow.

It’s a very dangerous thing to have young people with time on their hands, no stake and immature ideas about radicalism and fundamentalism.

Youth is not prepared for the modern age.

The enormous failure of institutions and education.

Failure of Marriage.

Unmarried, out-of-wedlock children – one of the greatest predictors of poverty.

.6 Pearson’s Correlation

Nationalism and tribes.

The Far Right is expected to play a significant role. Only 1 in 4 trust their national leaders.

The polar opposite of globalism is nationalism.

Separatist movements are a key story on our planet today.

The Tribe – Are we coming full circle?

Tribes are capable of “punching above their weight.”

The ruler at the top, and the tribes at the bottom.

Urbanization, Social Media, and the Middle Class

Urbanization, Social Media, and the Middle Class

Technology is driving urbanization – delivering food from the hinterlands to huge cities.

About 44% of the world’s population lives in coastal areas. This means catastrophe and supply chain risk.

Social Media allows Tribes (e.g. Middle Classes) to mobilize faster.

Brazil Riots from 2013 – “First World Stadiums (World Cup) and Third World Schools.”

Technology – Human skill now matters more.

Risks as well.

Smaller groups (tribes and terrorists) can now punch above their weight.

Risk Management requires reaction time.  If you don’t have time, mistakes can happen. If mistakes happen, societies demand retribution.

The sheer pervasiveness of technologies creates concentration of risk.

13 billion cyber attacks in Japan in 2013

13 billion cyber attacks in Japan in 2013

Human conditions and tendencies matter.

Get comfortable with discomfort, and get others in your org to do the same.

Next Steps:

I would love to go back and lead a few #DeepLearning Executive Sessions on Social Technologies as they apply to B2B insurance and Reinsurance enterprise environments. I see a ton of low-hanging fruit – easy to do, inexpensive, and with the potential for meaningful results. I’m working on a plan of action with DIMA. Here’s a link to the session overview I’m thinking of. I’m definitely open to suggestions. These are the elements I’ve been covering with US audiences the past 4 years.

Comments and Shares most welcome.

Thank you,


Update: I received email from a few Dublin/London people that they couldn’t see the way to add Comments. This is probably due to Network Administrators blocking the tool I use called Disqus. The work-around if you want to comment is to send your comment via email, as Paul Corver did below.