The Gladiators of Innovation 2016


Carel giving his views on the disruptive power of social media

This past week saw the “Gladiators of Innovation” conference take place in Johannesburg, with a double header for attendees to choose from. Hosted by COVER, the format consisted of two simultaneous conferences with different themes, namely Technology in Financial Services and Africa distribution and Bancassurance.

The format allowed delegates to choose sessions applicable to their business, regardless of which conference they had signed up for. With roughly 40 speakers presenting a variety of topics, delegates were spoiled with choice. Among the presentations were some standout topics and speakers including:

CN&CO’s Carel Nolte on disruption with social media

As one of the most prolific commentators on social media in the industry, Carel’s views on how this form of technology and communication has shaped the world (and continues to do so) were well received by the audience.

Innosys MD Claire Wood: “Killing a mosquito with a flamethrower” or to how to harness tech for effective compliance.

Innosys has repeatedly created insurance software to solve a variety of problems faced in the industry over the last decade. Claire emphasised how understanding the problem first and foremost is critical in developing a solution. After that initial understanding has been established, one can then apply technology to the solution, creating an environment where no problem is unsolvable.


Claire and Shashi from Innosys and Entelect respectively

Flume MD Jacques Du Bruyn talking about creating award winning digital marketing campaigns

Google published a case study for banking in SA, featuring the strategy that Flume developed and deployed for Nedbank. Jacques spoke about their experience in how combining content and context are NB for success.

COVER’s very own Tony Van Niekerk: “Insuretech – communication and collaboration”

With COVER being the oldest publication in the insurance industry, Tony combined his insights based on his extensive experience in distributing and curating information about how communication and collaboration go hand in hand.

Entelect CEO Shashi Hansjee: “Combining company culture and tech to compete”

Heading up Entelect, a company that a) works in tech and b) has won the award for best company to work for according to the Deloitte survey two years in a row, Shashi was well equipped to speak on his topic on creating an environment that produces the best results from the best people.

Wrapping up the conference was a feature by Simon Dingle, providing many different and interesting example of why “the future is now”, touching on current and exciting technologies and how they are changing the face of the business landscape today.