A Bahamas-based financial services provider has hosted a conference analysing how technology advances have the potential to transform every economic sector.
Deltec International Group (Deltec), parent company of Deltec Bank & Trust, brought together more than 300 academics, regulators, emerging companies and financial services professionals at its annual conference from March 3-5 at the Rosewood Baha Mar.
Under the theme Trusting Disruption, the conference featured keynote addresses on trends in geopolitics, fintech (financial technology), artificial intelligence and futurism. Speakers included:
• Henri Arslanian, PwC Fintech and cryptocurrency leader for Asia; chairman of the Fintech Association of Hong Kong; and adjunct associate professor at the University of Hong Kong
• Calum Chace, artificial intelligence (AI) trends expert. Author of The Economic Singularity: Artificial Intelligence and the Death of Capitalism (2016), and Surviving AI, The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence (2015)
• Peter Zeihan, geopolitical strategist, former US State Department analyst, and author of The Accidental Superpower and The Absent Superpower
• Jim Carroll, expert futurist specialising in global trends and innovation
• Hugo Rogers, chief financial strategist, Deltec International Group
• Zachary Lyons, senior investment analyst, Deltec Bank & Trust
Jean Chalopin, Deltec International Group’s chairman, said: “To trust disruption, we need to understand what innovation means for us, so that we can adjust our vision and investment approach and be better armed to capture the next best opportunities. We were thrilled to welcome innovators to The Bahamas to share ideas and discuss the impact of technology on our society.”
In addition to the keynote addresses, the Deltec annual conference featured The Innovator’s Marketplace, a component of the conference designed to provide a forum for emerging companies in biotech/life sciences, virtual reality, Blockchain, fintech, quantum computing and other cutting-edge industries to pitch their ideas to investors and attendees in 45-minute presentations.
K Peter Turnquest, deputy prime minister, said: “I commend Deltec and Mr Chalopin for hosting this conference. I am very impressed at the diversity of the speakers and the programming, and I think this conference sets an example for what we need to explore in The Bahamas.
“We need to push the boundaries of what is possible in technological development, and in collaboration across sectors in the global community. This is what inspires our people, helps us to create and innovate, and dares us to take risks – all crucial parts of building The Bahamas’ reputation as a global economic player.”
Pepe Moreno, chief executive of Beachhead VR, an alternative reality world powered by decentralised crypto-economics, and a participant in The Innovator’s Marketplace, said: “We were grateful for the opportunity to share our technology and vision the future of VR at Deltec’s annual conference.
“Working with innovative partners like Deltec has allowed us to broaden our network and share the experience of VR with a wider audience. Deltec’s Innovator’s Marketplace allowed us to challenge participants to embrace their own imaginations through our technology – an experience that could change the way our society approaches education altogether.”
The Deltec annual conference also highlighted the work of the Deltec Initiatives Foundation, a three-pillar charitable organisation funded by the bank to empower young Bahamians to drive positive social impact through arts, entrepreneurship and education.
As part of Deltec’s Initiative for the Arts, this year’s conference featured colourful artwork by young Bahamian artists throughout the conference venue and music by local Bahamian musicians at the conference gala dinner.
The gala also featured Deltec’s Initiative for Young Entrepreneurs, formed to assist young, motivated Bahamian entrepreneurs with an integrated support package to further their business. The $10,000 Young Entrepreneurs Award was given to blockchain technology company HODL, founded by young entrepreneurs Tamar Pinder, Matthew Munroe, John Bridgewater and P Jillian Bethel.
Special Mention and a $2,000 prize were given each to 11-year-old Karis Knowles, for her Balloon Princess company, and Te’ja Munnings, founder of Ribbons for Life.