Last 17 October was held in Madrid the first Insurtech Unconference, organized by the Asociación Española de Fintech e Insurtech. The informal and flexible program allows participants to suggest topics of their own interest and choose sessions accordingly. The format provides an excellent opportunity for researchers from diverse disciplines to work collaboratively on topics of common interest, and we definitely did.
Where has the event been held?
At Hotel Eurostars Madrid Tower Floor 28 .
Warning: Unsuitable for people with dizziness.
Who has participated?
The capacity was limited to 50 people, most of them CEOs and founders of Spanish Insurtech companies, the other participants were managers of the sector (including myself).
What is an unconference exactly? How does participating differs from a conventional conference?
Unlike traditional conferences, an unconference is a participant-oriented meeting where the attendees decide on the agenda, discussion topics, and workshops.
It started out with a brief self-introduction: name, company and objectives or expectations at the event. It soon became clear that there was a great enthusiasm among all participants to know in depth their views on the Insurtech sector and to explore possible options for collaboration.
After the round of presentations, Insurtech unconference participants chose the topics we wanted to work with. The format is simple, each participant writes on-the- fly in one sticky-note (yeah, just one) one topic (one participant- one topic). All sticky notes are arranged in birds of a feather in a blackboard and at the end 6 team groups are organized.
[Inner voice] It was over 10 years I did not participate in such debates, to be precise since I worked as a public consultant. Great memories came flooding back and I have promised myself to run this untraditional foron a regular basis. [Inner voice vanishes].
The 6 groups before mentioned, discussed topics as Fintech relationship between Fintech sector and insurance companies, financing, regulation, technologies (e-health and web services took the leading role), on boarding, customer acquisition, just to mention some.
The final conclusions of the Insurtech Unconference are, for the time being, restricted to the companies taking part in the event. However, we will keep you in the loop. We had an active role in those topics related to customer’s on bording online standards. The Fintech Insurtech Spanish Association is working on a regulatory white paper for Fintech and Insurtech sectors to provide guidance for financial institutions and companies regarding the development of products and services in the financial technology (“Fintech”) sector.
These working groups are all the more important, together with the interesting talks with almost all of all attendees. In this sense, the event planning times were excellent, as they left plenty of room for real networking, the one you do while looking for an ally at staging a battle with Nespresso Machine, or when you comment which canapes are worth looking
What did we enjoy most about Insurtech Unconference?
- The participants. Very high level profile, however all of them show up as real persons to talk to you. Oh, and really nice too. With large doses of wit.
- The format of the event. It fostered a spirit of work and very positive collaboration.
And the least?
Two things too:
- Lack of time. From 9.30 to 18.30, but I ran short of time. Interesting issues, were left unsaid, they were treated in cursory manner. I don’t believe an extra day will be the best solution, however maybe these working groups could continue to work together, with objectives and times agreed on beforehand . We will put the idea in the suggestion box.
- The rice served at lunch time.
What did we learn?
We discovered the map of the Insurtech sector in Spain, we have had the chance to meet many of the CEOs and founders of companies in this sector. We honestly believe there is room for business , we are fully aware of the challenges and we understand the difficulties.
Will we come back?
And, should Sisco, our CEO, be overseas for the next edition, you can count me in 🙂