Four Boston FinTech Week Panels You Won’t Want to Miss

After a year off because of, well, you know, Boston FinTech Week is back. This fourth edition, brought to you once again by FinTech Sandbox, is running from September 28 – October 1, 2021. This year’s theme is Financial Services for Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere

Every public session will be live streamed. While I had hoped we would all be meeting again in person by now, there are two advantages to a virtual event beyond health and safety. 

  • Speakers who might not have been able to come to Boston to appear in person are able to join us online to share their ideas, perspectives, and experiences.
  • People who might not have the budget or ability to travel will be able to watch from across the globe. 

As always, attendance is free. I believe this is the largest free fintech conference in the world. The fact that it’s both free and virtual makes it easy to watch as much or as little as you like. Come for a whole day on DeFi, if that’s your thing, or tune in just to see what Abby Johnson of Fidelity has to say. (Thursday, September 30, and Friday, October 1, respectively.) 

One of the things that makes Boston FinTech Week so compelling is that it brings you speakers — like Abby — you won’t see anywhere else. The full agenda — more than 30 panels, meetups, and fireside chats — is here. Speakers are here.

And now, the four panels I’m particularly excited about in chronological order. (All times are EDT.)

Tuesday, September 28

11:00 a.m.

Is There Noise in the Machine? A discussion of bias in AI.

AI is coming to a financial service near you, whether it’s by underwriting credit, recommending securities, or answering customer service questions. It’s a reason why having diverse hiring practices is critically important. But black boxes prevent scrutiny, and reliance on historical data can perpetuate bias. So how should we regulate financial AI going forward?

Moderator:

  • Mona Vernon — SVP, Head of Fidelity Labs, Fidelity Investments

Featuring:

  • Margaret Mitchell — Computer Scientist and Researcher
  • Laura Kornhauser — CEO & Co-founder, Stratyfy
  • Ignacio Vidal — CEO & Co-founder, AR Monitoring
  • Scott Zoldi — Chief Analytics Officer, FICO

Wednesday, September 29

9:50 a.m.

Parametric Insurance: Meeting Cover Needs Created by Climate Change

With climate change increasing our vulnerability, innovative insurance solutions are required to mitigate its impact. Parametric insurance helps policyholders suffering a loss get claims paid quickly and automatically. What new datasets will we need to underwrite the parametric policies of the future? Are existing channels up to the distribution task?

Moderator:

  • Martha Notaras — Managing Partner, Brewer Lane Ventures

Featuring:

  • Daniel Vetter — North American Head, Descartes Underwriting
  • Ian Bartholomew — Co-founder & Chief Scientist, FloodFlash
  • Jenny Dissen — Engagement and Partnerships, NOAA
11:00 a.m.

How to Build a Thriving FinTech Ecosystem

If you read this blog regularly, you know I’m particularly interested in what makes a fintech ecosystem successful. What elements are required? How do they work together? What role should government play? These panelists have been deeply involved in building and supporting fintech communities in Boston, London, and Paris.

Moderator:

  • Dan New — Managing Director – New England FinTech Leader, EY

Featuring: 

  • Charlotte Crosswell — Managing Director, Exadin Ltd
  • Lionel Grotto — CEO, Choose Paris Region
  • Haven Nichols — Director of Partnerships, MassChallenge HealthTech & FinTech
  • Mike Fanning — Head of MassMutual Financial U.S., MassMutual
3:45 p.m.

Raising the Bar: Building Financial Security for Everyone

What if everyone’s financial security mattered? Seriously. What if it did?

Moderator:

  • Heidi Moore — Digital Media Advisor

Featuring: 

  • Castleigh Johnson — Founder & CEO, MyHomePathway
  • Hannah Arnold — Head of Mortgage & VP of Business Development, Argyle
  • Christina Keitt Chaney — Head of Sales and Relationship Management, MoCaFi

While it’s free and it’s virtual, you do have to register. But that’s easy. Just go here.

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