Daniel Dahinden joined SIX in 2016 as Head Corporate Development. Since April 2018 he is responsible for the newly formed business unit Innovation & Digital. The remit is clear: “We strive to position SIX as the innovation engine and thought leader of the Swiss financial center by developing innovative services for financial markets.”
Having a company innovation day is common nowadays. It is a good opportunity to showcase new products and to position one’s brand as being innovative. How is the SIX Innovation Day different?
Of course, we also wanted to showcase the smart projects and products we are currently working on at SIX. But we created the SIX Innovation Day with the broader intention of creating an innovation community. SIX has a uniquely favourable position in FinTech and the Swiss Financial Center that enables us to connect all the players to create common value. We want to raise awareness for this potential and create new products we can all benefit from. This is also the reason why we opened the previously internal event for clients and partner.
Which program did the participants encounter?
There were many workshops, talks and, of course, the booths for our initiatives. We wanted to inspire, inform, and to show familiar topics in a different light. Generating new knowledge always flows back to increase the quality of our work.
For example, we believe that there is value in having an artist talk to us about value. How we assign value to cryptocurrencies is often not so different from how value is assigned to art. The digital strings of code are worth less than paint on a surface, yet people are willing to pay good money for both. Somewhere value is created. This is a very interesting consideration that can lead to a deeper understanding of what we do. So having Kevin Abosch, an artist known to have tokenised himself on the same stage as our very own Alexander Verbeck, Head Cash Ecosystem at SIX, makes people think. Alexander launched the next white paper in our Picture of the Future series: Future of Money. Both Kevin and Alexander raised questions about future scenarios and needs in the audience. These questions are the fertile ground from which innovative ideas spring.
Is innovation all about having ideas and eventually creating the next big thing?
No it is not. There are billions of ideas in people’s heads every day. No doubt that if you would put some of them into practice, you would be the next Jeff Bezos or Jack Ma. That’s exactly it: even the best idea is useless without it being properly implemented. People need tools and an environment where they can apply it. This year’s SIX Innovation Day featured 17 of our internal experts in talks and classes where they taught colleagues and guests how to put these ideas into practice. Our people covered all sorts of topics, including robotics, analytics, design thinking, customer centricity and networking. As a bonus, colleagues who are interested in putting their ideas into practice now have a network of like-minded individuals ready to help.
What about the ideas that have been put in practice prior to the SIX Innovation Day?
We had 24 booths with initiatives from SIX and start-ups that are enrolled in the F10 program. Well-established projects like SDX, Compliance Utility or SIX Cyber Security were supplemented by newer initiatives. The latter include Planster, a platform that helps SMEs find the right successor, and SIX Rating, a new solution to rate the creditworthiness of fixed income instruments.