MŒA One-to-One Interviews: Our Oceans are the fluid connection between our nations

Update of the Interview held by MONACŒCOART® founder Maurizio Abbati Interview with Jochen Werne, Co-Founder & Expedition Leader at Global Offshore Sailing Team & CEO at Experian D/A/CH.

Find the original interview and much more here at MONACŒCOART®

Updated: Feb 11, 2024

Jochen Werne: Innovation and Business, Society and Diplomacy, Ocean and Passion strongly aim at a positive change for the future.

Photo >> Jochen Werne (2022) © J. Werne

International expert in finance and blockchain, head of several private and corporate Banking divisions, keynote speaker, actively committed in diplomacy and economy transformation following the current shift to Sustainable Development as wished by United Nations and major political, technical and business bodies, he is extremely fond of communicating his passion for oceans and the virtuous interlink between human beings and nature.

Jochen Werne strongly believes in the vital role of individual diplomatic efforts in maintaining peace and a balanced approach to preserving natural ecosystems. He asserts, „Innovation and business, society and diplomacy, ocean and passion are all intricately linked. In today’s interconnected world, our diverse talents can collectively drive positive change every day.“ His insights reflect a profound understanding of the interconnectedness of various elements in fostering international relations.

Werne’s adventurous spirit and deep respect for the scientific community’s contributions to nature have led him to organise numerous ocean missions. These missions have gained significant recognition from esteemed figures such as H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, the President of France, and the President of Austria, enhancing his knowledge and experience.

Furthermore, Werne co-founded the Global Offshore Sailing Team, an international group comprising members worldwide with significant naval experience. This group is dedicated to preserving naval traditions and emphasizing the importance of ocean expeditions and people’s diplomacy for supporting international understanding

MONACŒCOART® had the pleasure to collect a meaningful feedback directly from Jochen Werne (J.W.), Co-Founder & Expedition Leader at Global Offshore Sailing Team (GOST).

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MONACŒCOART®: Jochen Werne, how did your passion for the oceans and sailing come about?

J.W.: As a child growing up in the countryside on the border with Switzerland, the world outside my parents’ home always had a great attraction for me. Notably, the Sea with its magical sense of endless freedom, adventure and beauty has always been a trigger in my life. And this fascination still inspires me even though I have sailed the seven seas. Maybe it will never disappear. I had my first contact with sailing during school holidays on Lake Constance. Then, I joined the navy, where I had the privilege to serve for almost two years as a navigator on the three-masted sailing ship ‘Gorch Fock. That finally ignited my passion for the oceans and sailing.

Photo >> The Expedition Blue Ocean 2022 crossing the Tower Bridge in London © GOST

MONACŒCOART®: What values have you learned after so many years of shipping?

J.W.: The most important one is RESPECT. Probably every ocean sailor and mariner would confirm it. As a sailor you experience the marine element in its most breath-taking calm and beauty and its most deadly and dangerous brutality. Respect helps to enjoy one side of the coin and survive the other. Respect leads to this deeper understanding that Nature is in many ways more important and also more powerful than ourselves. The fact that makes us feel humbly is to understand that Nature can always live without us, but we cannot live without Nature. Moreover, a sailor learns how to use Nature to benefit from its power in the best and most sustainable way and to emotionally experience its pure and infinite beauty.

Photo >> Environmental Awareness & Offshore Sailing within ‘Arctic Ocean Raptor’: Sailing to the most northern reachable, partially ice-free points on Planet Earth. Public awareness about the real meltdown of pack ice in Arctic summers will be raised by sailing with a fiberglass sailing yacht to a point just 540 nautical miles or 1.000km away from the North Pole © GOST

MONACŒCOART®: Which marine expedition has shaped you more than others? Why?

J.W.: Every expedition has its uniqueness and therefore it is difficult to prefer one over the others. However, the ‘Arctic Ocean Raptor’ was very special to me. It took us from the northern Norwegian city of Tromsø across what sailors call the ‘devil’s playground’, the Barents Sea, to a spectacular natural habitat called Spitsbergen at 80° North. Despite its up-north location, the climate is quite mild due to the Gulf Stream. As our expedition approached Svalbard after three days of sailing through dense fog, we encountered a huge ice barrier that broke away from the cold eastern side of the island due to the warm conditions and drifted on with the current. This, combined with a 9-bft (= Beaufort scale) storm, made the voyage a real challenge, but also impressively demonstrated the fragility of our ecosystem.

Photo >> H.S..H. Prince Albert II of Monaco welcoming Jochen Werne and other members of GHOST at the Monaco Yacht Club © YCM

MONACŒCOART®: Which measures do you think are most important to preserve marine ecosystems? Why?

J.W.: There is no doubt that before starting a movement or action, awareness must be raised. This step is of utmost importance, otherwise one remains lonely and therefore a committed but silent to action interlocutor. The Principality of Monaco has a long tradition of identifying problems for our marine ecosystem and taking action to make many aware of them. H.S.H. Prince Albert I of Monaco immediately recognised the dangers of bottom fishing with the new means of steam technology. Jacques Cousteau not only served science but brought the beauty of the sea into everyone’s living room with his work behind the camera and inspired new projects to protect the oceans. Last but not least, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco is the perfect example of how this has not only become Monaco’s heritage but a lived tradition. We are grateful that he has supported us in our expeditions to raise awareness and thus contribute to the conservation of our marine ecosystems. 

Photo >> Thorsten Glauber, Bavarian Minister of State, handing over the States Medal to Jochen Werne, Co-Founder of GOST © TMUV

MONACŒCOART®: You have already pointed out several times that scientific and fact-finding missions are particularly effective for intercultural and diplomatic exchange. What makes them instruments of dialogue?

J.W.: Our oceans are the fluid connection between our nations. And even though we are citizens of nations, we all belong to one Planet. As seafarers, we are directly dependent on nature and national thinking takes a back seat. In the daily challenge at sea, nationality, race or gender are not important. What really matters is to achieve our goals as a team, otherwise we will all fail. This also applies to us as a human race. The challenges before us are global challenges that no single nation can solve alone. We need a collective effort, and we have so many examples where the global community has done it together. One of my favourite examples is the Antarctic Treaty, which was negotiated at the height of the First Cold War and still provides the basis for joint peaceful governance of Antarctica today.

Photo >> Antarctic Blanc expedition: the international team held a commemoration ceremony on the historically significant Antarctic volcanic Deception Island, in the name of all supporting states and the United Nations. a wreath of local ice was symbolically formed and laid down in order to pay international tribute to the achievements in the exploration of this unique continent © GOST

MONACŒCOART®: What place does the Principality of Monaco have in the international expeditions that you carry out as part of the Global Offshore Sailing Team (GOST)?

J.W.: We are more than grateful to H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, the Yacht Club de Monaco, its Board of Directors with Bernard d’Alessandri, Gerd Ziegenfeuter, the staff and members as well as the press for their excellent support in our common tasks. Together we were able to achieve outstanding results. Starting with the expedition ‘Antarctic Blanc’ 2018, which resulted in a state act supported by 19 nations including the United Nations, to the Prince Albert I Memorial Expedition ‘Navigators Heritage’. Together, we have succeeded not only in supporting science, but also in bringing people and nations closer together and raising awareness of the needs of our oceans.

Photo >> Maximino Gómez Alvarez, Vice-President of AIDHNC, giving the “Ancla d’Oro” to Jochen Werne, Co-Founder of Global Offshore Sailing Team (Maritime Museum, Hamburg, 8th May 2016) © GOST

MONACŒCOART®: GOST expeditions have been awarded the highest honours by heads of state and international institutions. What is the recognition to which you are most attached? Why?

J.W.: We are more than grateful to have been honoured with a State Medal for our commitment to environmental protection or with the Ancla d’Oro (Golden Anchor) of the Asociación para la Investigación y Difusión de la Historia Naval de Cuba and the Admiral of the Fleet the Lord Boyce Award for promoting international understanding. Among all the awards, the highest recognition for me is the fascinated smile on a young person’s face when one of the stories of the sea lights the flame of passion for marine elements. It is their spirit that will form the basis for future action. Just as others in the past like Jacques Cousteau have lit a fire in us for the Sea. It is the quote attributed to the brilliant Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of the beautiful novel Le Petit Prince, that probably describes it best: If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to long for the vast, endless sea. ***

👥 ✒By Maurice Abbati 

To know more about Jochen Werne’s ocean expedition project please visit:

Global Offshore Sailing Team

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Discover MONACŒCOART® for Business:

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Hot off the press: Data quality is crucial

Original published in German by IT Finanzmagazin – find here. Translation provided by DeepL.com. Photos provided by Pixabay, Experian, Jochen Werne. Collage design by Canva

STRATEGY 23 January 2024

EBA deadline of 30 June: data quality will be decisive in the assessment of credit risks

Financial institutions are facing a significant change in the assessment of credit risks this year. Now comes 30 June: the deadline for new standards in credit risk assessment. Jochen Werne (CEO Experian DACH) is convinced that data quality will become the kingmaker in the credit risk market.

by Jochen Werne, CEO Experian DACH

Since 2021, financial service providers have been required to implement the supervisory priorities of the ECB and EBA. These priorities include the comprehensive improvement of credit risk management practices and the integration of new risk factors, particularly in the area of climate and the environment, into their risk management strategies. At the same time, the requirements for data management in the context of credit scoring are increasing. Artificial intelligence (AI) will play a key role here and banks will have to adapt to the new EU AI Act.


“By the deadline of 30 June 2024, large banks must have adapted their systems and infrastructures in accordance with the EBA Loan Origination and Monitoring Guidelines (EBA-GL LOM) for effective credit risk management and monitoring.”

This also includes closing data gaps. However, smaller, nationally supervised financial institutions must now also comply with these new guidelines, as additional elements of the 7th MaRisk amendment came into force on 1 January 2024, which are based on the EBA guidelines, among other things. Financial organisations must review their existing practices in 2024 and adapt their credit risk assessment standards accordingly. In future, credit assessment models will have to take much greater account of transparency, fairness and sustainability, particularly from an ESG perspective. The game changer for this is increasing their data quality.

All of this leads to five important changes:

1. Profitability strategies in a challenging market environment

In view of the weak economic momentum, the expected increase in non-performing loans and challenging margin developments, financial institutions must develop new growth strategies.

“Investments in technologies such as generative AI and forward-looking risk management are becoming increasingly important.”

Advanced data analytics support organisations in various phases of their customer lifecycle. Already in the application phase, high data quality enables a more efficient assessment of creditworthiness. In portfolio management, advanced data analysis helps to proactively manage risks and dynamically manage the credit portfolio. Advanced analytics and high data quality help to strengthen resilience to risks, including data-based early risk identification and an optimised dunning and collection process.

2. Digitalisation for resilience, including against novel risks

“Over the next 12 months, strengthening business resilience through automation and digitalisation will be key to responding to new risks such as AI, cyber threats and geopolitical tensions.”

These challenges not only affect the target customer landscape, but are also of great importance in the context of new ESG requirements. Due to their complexity and innovative nature, traditional approaches based on historical data cannot cope with these risks: Traditional approaches to data analysis and model preservation increasingly have to deal with slow regulatory processes on the one hand and a more dynamic macroeconomic environment and growing cyber risks on the other. In order to cope with this competitive situation, new strategies in the utilisation of all relevant data are urgently required, which place advanced analytics and the improvement of data quality at the centre.

3. PSD3, PSR and FIDA: Banks between risk and opportunity

Since the end of 2023, the EU Commission has been aiming to drive forward the “Consent Driven Economy” with new regulations such as PSD3 (Third Payment Services Directive), PSR (Payment Services Regulations) and FIDA (Access and Use of Financial Data) and to give consumers more opportunities to use the data available about them.”

As one of the players with the greatest wealth of data, this presents banks with a high risk in the face of new competitors. At the same time, however, it also offers them an opportunity to become a trusted partner for consumers. These regulations, which focus on the promotion of open banking services, greater control of data access and measures against online fraud, represent a starting point for financial institutions to think about the further use of transaction data. In addition to combating fraud, advanced analytics of transaction data, even taking into account all compliance requirements, opens up additional opportunities for interaction with end customers to improve the customer experience or the chance to monetise data.

4. Growth driver EU AI Act

“The EU AI Act will have a significant impact on the use of AI in the financial sector and further strengthen the financial sector’s technology focus.”

AI and machine learning (ML) will further automate decision-making processes in the future and strategic investments in this area will therefore become even more crucial for growth in the future. According to a study by Forrester Consulting commissioned by Experian, 60 per cent of German companies already take a similar view and have a comprehensive AI-based risk management programme in place. By using these technologies, credit and fraud risks can be assessed more precisely and efficiently, even in uncertain economic times. Companies that implement these developments are positioning themselves as pioneers in a rapidly developing, technology-driven financial sector: 78 per cent of the companies surveyed in the study in Germany also state that they are prioritising the use of further AI and ML applications.

5. Continuation of cloud migration in the financial world

Cloud integration remains a significant but unfinished transformation challenge in the world of finance.

“The ongoing implementation of continuous development and continuous improvement, particularly in the areas of business, analytics and IT, is becoming increasingly important.”

This includes identifying core business processes that will benefit significantly from cloud migration and defining clear priorities and objectives for the migration process. Cloud-based data analytics plays a central role in gaining valuable insights from customer behaviour, market trends and operational data to improve business processes and make more informed decisions.

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About the author: Jochen Werne has been CEO DACH at Experian since August 2023. Previously, he served as Managing Director at Prosegur Crypto and as Chief Development & Chief Visionary Officer at Prosegur, where he was responsible for the development and implementation of strategies in the areas of business development, innovation and international sales. Werne’s career includes significant leadership positions at Bankhaus August Lenz & Co. AG, Mediolanum Banking Group, where he served as Director and Authorised Representative and was instrumental in the company’s digital business transformation. His academic career includes a FinTech programme at the University of Oxford (2017-2018) and a Diploma in International Banking at Goethe University Frankfurt (1997-2000).

Jochen Werne – Chief Executive Officer Experian DACH

Frontline Defense: Outsmarting Fraudsters and Shaping the Future of Fraud Prevention

The rise of AI and ML in fraud prevention can lead to a new era of digital trust and compliance

Author: Jochen Werne / 26.12.2023

In an era marked by rapidly advancing technology and increasing global interconnectivity, the fight against online fraud has become a paramount concern for financial institutions, businesses, and regulators worldwide. Part of my professional work revolves around understanding and mitigating the risks associated with financial fraud. The Experian Forrester Fraud Research Report 2023, which was recently released, sheds light on the escalating threat of online fraud and the evolving strategies to counter it, particularly through the use of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The report’s findings are stark: a 74% increase in fraud losses in Germany, reflecting nearly the global increase rate. This surge is not just a statistic; it’s a clear indication of the sophisticated and pervasive nature of modern financial fraud. Companies across various sectors are feeling the impact, with financial services bearing the brunt. This trend is deeply concerning not only for the economic health of individual businesses but also for the broader stability and security of the financial system.

From a geopolitical perspective, the rise in online fraud is a multifaceted challenge. It’s a threat that transcends borders, affecting relations among nations, and has become a significant factor in international policy and security discussions. Countries, including Germany, are increasingly recognising the need for cooperative international efforts to combat this scourge. The geopolitical implications are profound, as fraud undermines economic stability and erodes public trust.

Turning to the German banking sector, the issue of compliance and reputation risk under the framework of Minimum Requirements for Risk Management (MaRisk) is particularly pertinent. Banks are finding themselves at the forefront of the battle against online fraud, necessitating robust risk management strategies that align with regulatory requirements. Under MaRisk, the mandate is clear: implement effective, comprehensive controls to detect, prevent, and manage fraudulent activities. The reputational risk for banks and their board members is immense; a single lapse can lead to significant financial losses, legal consequences, and lasting damage to customer trust.

In this challenging landscape, AI/ML-based fraud prevention methods stand out as beacons of hope. These technologies offer the promise of enhancing detection capabilities, reducing false positives, and adapting swiftly to new fraudulent tactics. However, their implementation must be undertaken with a clear understanding of the ethical implications and potential biases inherent in AI systems. As we embrace these technologies, we must also commit to transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement to ensure they serve the interests of all stakeholders fairly and effectively.

Despite the challenges, I believe there is a path forward that balances the need for security with the imperative for innovation and growth. The key lies in embracing a multi-faceted approach to fraud prevention that leverages the best of technology, human expertise, and regulatory compliance. ML, with its ability to learn and adapt to new patterns, offers a powerful tool in this fight. However, its effectiveness hinges on the quality of data, the integrity of algorithms, and the wisdom of the humans who guide its evolution.

The German companies surveyed in the study are acutely aware of the challenges and opportunities presented by AI/ML in fraud prevention. The overwhelming majority recognise the efficacy of ML-based approaches and anticipate their increasing dominance in the field. Yet, they also acknowledge the hurdles, including the costs associated with deploying advanced fraud prevention solutions, the need for continuous adaptation, and the importance of addressing the ethical considerations of AI use.

In my experience, one of the most critical factors for success in this endeavour is collaboration. Tackling online fraud is a collective effort that requires the involvement of businesses, regulators, technology providers, and consumers. By working together, sharing knowledge, and fostering a culture of innovation and vigilance, we can stay ahead of fraudsters and protect the integrity of our financial systems.

Another vital aspect is education and awareness. Both consumers and employees must be informed about the risks of online fraud and the steps they can take to prevent it. Regular training, robust policies, and a culture of security are essential in creating a resilient defense against fraud.

Finally, we must recognize that the fight against fraud is an ongoing battle. As technology evolves, so too will the tactics of fraudsters. We must remain agile, constantly updating our strategies, investing in new technologies, and adapting to changing regulatory landscapes. This dynamic approach is not just about defense; it’s about building a stronger, more secure future for everyone.

The Experian Forrester Fraud Research Report 2023 is a call to action. It highlights the urgent need for enhanced strategies, stronger collaboration, and a steadfast commitment to ethical, innovative solutions in the fight against online fraud. As leaders in the financial services industry, we have a responsibility to take the helm, steering our organisations towards safer waters in this tumultuous sea of digital threats. By harnessing the power of AI/ML, prioritising ethical considerations, and fostering a culture of collaboration and continuous learning, we can not only mitigate the risks of online fraud but also pave the way for a more secure, prosperous, and trustworthy financial ecosystem.

#fraudprevention #dataliteracy #machinelearning

Unpacking Transformation: A European perspective

By Jochen Werne

I had the distinct honor, alongside CCO Björn Hinrichs, to represent Experian DACH at the Gala event 2023. Our heartfelt gratitude goes to acatech for their warm invitation.

It’s clear that fostering a robust relationship between science and industry is paramount. The National Academy of Science and Engineering stands as a beacon, guiding and correcting, making technological innovation the cornerstone of transformation. This union of strong research, pioneering companies, and forward-thinking policies is the backbone of what acatech and countless others strive for. In this journey, while competition fuels our drive, it is cooperation that offers the platform for greatness.

In the infinite expanse of space, we are but astronauts on a tiny speck called Earth. Regardless of our political and geopolitical landscape, science and research must always be the bridge, the “Bridge over Troubled Water” that connects us and ensures progress, says Jan Wörner, President of acatech, wisely.

In reflecting on this, Germany’s Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s words resonate deeply: “I think we should base our perspective more on Max Frisch and trust ourselves as individuals and society alike to be able to shape the future. And that means developing perspectives, broadening our horizons and, yes, always daring to try something new. We need all this in the phase of upheaval we are in. Holding on to the past, ignoring change, refusing change, that is not an option – especially not in an open society like ours. But: We have to give change – that is the task of politics, business and science – a direction!”

Drawing from these profound insights and looking through the lens of our work at Experian DACH, the era we are entering can be aptly described as a new Age of Enlightenment, where data and therefore data literacy is paramount. As the Enlightenment thinker Voltaire astutely pointed out, “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” It’s a sentiment that is even more relevant today. Taking cues from Immanuel Kant’s wisdom, enlightenment is about emerging from our limitations. In the context of our time, achieving data literacy and harnessing data effectively signifies our evolution from technological naivety.

While AI stands as a monumental tool to decipher this data, its effectiveness lies in the quality of the data it is fed. It brings to the fore the urgent need for data literacy. An AI is only as good as its data. Thus, a distorted understanding could lead to distorted outputs. The onus is on us, leaders in data, to champion the responsible use of AI and advance the narrative on the symbiotic relationship between data and AI.

This new Enlightenment is our journey towards an era where society is mature and informed, utilizing the strength of data and AI for the betterment of all. Knowledge, in this context, isn’t just power but the foundation for positive societal transformation.

Concluding with my personal reflection, data isn’t merely a quantified entity; it’s a potent instrument to comprehend and address pressing challenges. Our collective aim should be to cultivate an understanding of data – its collection, utilization, and, importantly, its ethical application.

Our commitment at Experian DACH, backed by our ‘data for good’ principle, is to be at the forefront of this change, guiding, and contributing to this transformative journey.

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More about the acatec Gala #FV2023 including the keynotes by Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Marion Merklein, Jan Wörner and Thomas Weber can be found here

Efficient use of AI determines the competitiveness and thus the future of German companies

Artificial Intelligence: The German Economy on the Cusp of Transformation

By Jochen Werne


1st October 2023, Düsseldorf

The “Experian 2023 Business Insights” report, released in September 2023, provides a revealing insight into the priorities of the global business community in the coming year. Particularly of interest to us in Germany is the insight into the transformative influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on areas such as analytics, risk assessment, and customer experience in the EMEA/APAC region.

Our German decision-makers are well aware of the pivotal role of AI in innovations. An encouraging finding: 60 percent of businesses in our country have already taken active steps to integrate AI into their processes.

However, the report also shows that not all executives in Germany are fully convinced of the benefits of using AI. The efficiency of AI in companies will determine how Germany stands as an economic location in an increasingly digital age. The transformation of raw data into meaningful insights and analyses will become a crucial competitive advantage for us.

It’s heartening to see that many of our international counterparts already recognise the benefits of AI. For more than half of the global companies, the productivity gains from AI already outweigh the initial costs.

One thing is clear: Our data infrastructure and the amount of data available will play a key role in the successful implementation of AI. Here, we as German businesses have some hurdles to overcome, especially regarding the availability of relevant data for critical business decisions.

In conclusion, I want to stress that, even with all the technology and data, we must never forget our ethical responsibility. AI must be employed in a transparent and responsible manner. The fact that already 61 percent of businesses in the EMEA/APAC region have a comprehensive AI risk management programme in place is promising.

The future is clear: businesses that properly harness AI will lead the competition. They’ll be able to leverage process efficiency and automation to unlock new growth opportunities.

For those who wish to read the full “Experian 2023 Business Insights Report”, you can find it here.

https://experianacademy.com/Forrester-Research-Report-2023

Decisions

There’s a peculiar phenomenon that often goes unnoticed: we vividly remember the moments in our lives when we made pivotal decisions, but the lazy Sundays we spent lounging on the couch tend to blur into obscurity. Why is that? From the standpoint of psychology and neuroscience, active decision-making engages multiple brain regions, specifically the frontal cortex. This engagement imprints these moments deeply in our memory.

Decisions are the very essence of our existence. On a daily basis, we make around 35,000 decisions, from what to wear to how to react in crucial life situations. In the realms of politics and business, decisions are made amidst uncertainty. The quality and timeliness of these decisions often determine success or failure. The better we are at decision-making, the more successful we become.

However, decisions aren’t made in a vacuum. They are greatly influenced by our emotions, past experiences, and even biases. Let’s delve into game theory, a study that examines mathematical models of strategic interaction. This theory was so revolutionary that scientists like John Nash were awarded the Nobel Prize for their contributions. It showcases the intricacies of making decisions when multiple players are involved, each trying to maximize their own benefits. For instance, the “Prisoner’s Dilemma” is a classic example. It illustrates how two individuals, aiming to minimize their punishments, often don’t cooperate, even if it’s in their best interest. Their decision, influenced by a lack of trust and the inability to communicate, usually leads to a suboptimal outcome for both.

Another interesting lens through which to view decision-making is behavioural finance. This field has shown that people don’t always act rationally, and their decisions are swayed by psychological factors. The Dot-com Bubble of the late 1990s offers a poignant example. During this period, a frenzy around internet-based businesses led to skyrocketing stock prices, despite many of these companies having no solid profits or clear business plans. Overconfidence and herd behavior drove investors to pour money into these stocks, leading to massively inflated valuations. The bubble inevitably burst in the early 2000s, resulting in significant financial losses for countless investors. This incident underscores the dangers of letting emotions and biases overrule rational financial decision-making.

Given the complexities, decision-makers often seek a solid foundation for their choices. This is where data comes into play. But data is not just essential; it’s omnipresent. It’s estimated that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day. Like water, it’s everywhere. And just as water can flood a village if not channeled properly, unstructured data can overwhelm and mislead.

Take the banking sector, for instance. Banks use data to assess creditworthiness. In e-commerce, data-driven algorithms suggest products to consumers. Telecom industries utilize data to enhance customer experience and predict churn. The cornerstone of these industries is state-of-the-art data analytics capabilities paired with robust decision engines.

However, with the influx of data, it’s crucial to discern the essential from the redundant. Much like converting saltwater to drinking water requires precision and expertise, sifting through raw data to extract meaningful insights is the forte of data analysts. They refine data into actionable decision-making parameters, reducing uncertainty. And in business, reduced uncertainty translates to reduced risk and increased profitability.

To conclude, data is indeed akin to water. Left unchecked or misused, it can wreak havoc. But when used right, when structured, analyzed, and enriched, it becomes invaluable. This is the essence of using “Data for Good” – transforming the ubiquitous into the indispensable, guiding decision-makers toward better, more informed choices.

Harnessing Data for Good

After my first week as CEO for Experian in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland), I find myself profoundly thankful for the warm welcome and the many highly inspiring encounters with some of the best data and technology professionals on our planet. Experian is not only a data insights industry titan, one that operates in 32 countries, employs over 20,000 outstanding personalities worldwide but would also rank with its more than USD 30 billion market capitalisation compared to Germany’s leading stock index as the 19th largest DAX company in Germany. Experian serves as a global leader millions of consumers and businesses, leveraging data to make a transformative difference in people’s lives.

Yet, with tremendous reach and influence comes immense responsibility.

Reflections

Just as the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century reshaped society through the dissemination of knowledge, we find ourselves at the precipice of a new era, one marked by the power and potential of data. The 21st century, in my view, must herald a fresh Age of Enlightenment, one underpinned by data literacy.

The Age of Enlightenment, Literacy and the Dawn of Data Literacy

The Age of Enlightenment, a period dating from the late 17th to the late 18th century, marked a profound shift in the course of human history. This era, also known as the Age of Reason, encouraged critical thinking, decoupling minds from the shackles of superstition and unquestioned authority. The spotlight was placed firmly on rational thought, scientific inquiry, and individual rights – underpinnings of the modern world as we know it.

Several factors catalyzed this significant shift, not least of which was the advent and proliferation of printing technology. As philosopher Immanuel Kant noted, “Dare to know! Have the courage to use your own understanding,” a statement that encapsulates the Enlightenment’s spirit. This courage was largely fostered through increasing literacy rates.

The advent of the printing press revolutionized the dissemination of information. Books were no longer a luxury exclusive to the elite; knowledge became democratized. This sparked an increased demand for literacy. As more people learned to read, ideas were more freely exchanged, fueling a critical examination of existing societal structures.

For example, “The Encyclopédie,” a massive reference work edited by Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert, exemplified the spread of Enlightenment thinking. Its contributors, including leading intellectuals like Voltaire and Rousseau, aimed to collate all the world’s knowledge into a single work, accessible to the common man. This unprecedented venture into free access to knowledge set the stage for many of the democratic, scientific, and industrial revolutions that followed.

Fast forward to the present day, we see parallels in the advent of the internet, a digital revolution that democratizes information at a scale unimaginable to the Enlightenment thinkers. However, this superabundance of information has led to a paradoxical effect. As stated by Nobel Laureate Herbert A. Simon, “a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”

In an age characterised by short attention spans and reactionary behaviour, the challenge lies not in accessing information but in sifting through its vastness to discern truth from falsehood. A study conducted by Microsoft, 2015, found that the average human attention span has dropped to eight seconds, primarily due to the digitalised lifestyle.

Like the literacy of the Enlightenment Age, the 21st century calls for a new form of literacy: data literacy.

In a world where data is hailed as the new oil, our ability to critically interpret, analyse, and question data is of paramount importance. This skill set empowers individuals and corporations to make informed decisions, a process integral to our society.

In a report by The Data Literacy Project of which also Experian is a partner, only 21% of the global working population was confident in their data literacy skills. This gap highlights the pressing need for an educational shift towards fostering data literacy, much like the push for literacy during the Enlightenment era.

In conclusion, as we navigate the information deluge, a new Age of Enlightenment beckons, one centered around data literacy. With this new ‘Enlightenment,’ we can harness the true potential of information abundance, steering our societies towards more informed, rational, and democratic spaces. As the Enlightenment thinker Voltaire wisely said, “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” This insight seems more pertinent now than ever.

Such a renewed Age of Enlightenment also draws inspiration from one of the original Enlightenment’s most influential thinkers, Immanuel Kant. As he famously stated, “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity.” To transpose his wisdom to our context, data literacy and the effective application of data might be seen as emergence from a state of technological immaturity.

Furthermore, in our modern context, the Enlightenment’s emphasis on reason and logic has a fascinating analogue in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). AI, a critical tool in making sense of complex data, is designed to mimic human reasoning, albeit on a scale and at speeds we could never achieve unaided. As such, it holds a pivotal role in our future, helping us glean insights from the vast sea of data.

However, while AI’s potential is significant, it further underlines the importance of data literacy. The algorithms that power AI are only as good as the data that feeds them. Poor understanding of data and its nuances can lead to skewed AI outputs, with far-reaching implications.

Leaders in data need to focus on responsible use of AI by promoting data literacy and improving understanding of the interplay between data and AI.

New Enlightenment, then, is a journey towards a mature, informed society that harnesses the power of data and AI for good. In this era, knowledge isn’t just power; it’s the key to creating a world where data and technology act as catalysts for positive change.

In this new age, data is not merely a collection of numbers, facts, or figures; it is a powerful tool for understanding and addressing the most pressing societal issues.

However, just as literacy was not universal during the initial Enlightenment, data literacy is not yet a universal skill. As a society, we need to foster an understanding of data, how it’s collected, how it’s used, and most importantly, how it can be used ethically and responsibly.

Harnessing Data for Good – The Experian way

Experian, as a data powerhouse, has a crucial role to play in this journey. Experian has been a pioneer in harnessing data for good, from helping individuals gain access to credit, to assisting businesses flourish, to aiding governments in delivering crucial services.

For the DACH region specifically, the path to growth is intertwined with our mission to empower individuals and corporations with data and to protect from risks. In our regional market in the heart of Europe, we see significant potential to enhance consumer and corporate credit, improve business services, and support governmental programs.

Trust, innovation and reliability go hand in hand

To achieve this goal, we need to aim high and develop state-of-the-art products like AiDRIAN, which, by intelligently combining and using the latest AI technologies and data, are able to protect customers from fraud with more than 99.9% accuracy. Developing trustworthy solutions is of paramount importance. Trust comes from long-term reliability and independent audits. For AiDRIAN, for example, Fraunhofer IPA audited the heart of the solution, the Transaction Miner. The machine learning model compares several hundred customer characteristics and then assesses the risk of a transaction. Millions of data records are evaluated in a matter of seconds. Fraunhofer therefore came to the test result that the Miner’s predictive power is comprehensible even to experts and leads to better decisions.

Such results are only achievable by having an exemplary team.

The Experian DACH team, which I had the pleasure of meeting during my first week, is made up of dedicated, forward-thinking people who understand that work is not just about data, but about using data as a tool for progress and prosperity. A team that is eager to innovate, build trust, and act as responsible stewards of the data – every single day. As we delve deeper into a new era, we should aim to be instrumental in fostering a society that uses data ethically, responsibly, and for the greater good.

The Enlightenment brought knowledge to the masses, revolutionizing societies, and shaping the modern world. It is my belief, a new Age of Enlightenment will bring data literacy to all, empowering societies in ways we are just beginning to imagine.

I am excited and honoured to be a part of this transformative journey.

Jochen Werne - New Joiner CEO DACH Experian

Expedition Andaman Sea supports UNEP’s Clean Seas Initiative

Andaman Sea Beach Cleaning

Following the inspiring examples of only.one, beachcleaner.de, blue-awareness.com and many others, the Global Offshore Sailing Team also followed its long-standing tradition of standing up for the sea by supporting UNEP’s Global Goals during Expedition Andaman Sea 2023. The Expedition Corps consisted of Guido Zoeller, Jochen Werne, Benon Janos, Marco Schroeter, Sascha Adam, Sven O. Mueller, Sven Streiter, Christoph Impekoven and Viktor Metz.

On 19 April 2023, the team landed on the remote tiny southern beach of Ko Hi. Despite its remoteness, the beach contained an enormous amount of plastic waste that had accumulated there over the years. The team cleaned parts of the beach and brought everything possible to the base, where it is now sent to the recycling process.

UNEP’s Clean Seas Initiative and the Valiant Efforts of the Global Offshore Sailing Team

The United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Clean Seas Initiative is a vital global effort aimed at combating marine plastic pollution, a pressing environmental issue that threatens the health of our oceans and marine life. By rallying governments, businesses, and individuals to take decisive action, the Clean Seas Initiative is making significant strides towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 14: Life Below Water. A shining example of dedicated environmental stewardship is the Global Offshore Sailing Team (GOST), whose remarkable contributions have been recognized with the prestigious Bavarian States Medal.

Launched in 2017, UNEP’s Clean Seas Initiative has been instrumental in raising awareness and promoting effective solutions to tackle marine pollution. It engages stakeholders at various levels, encouraging them to adopt sustainable practices, reduce plastic production and consumption, and implement policies that protect the world’s oceans. As a result, the initiative has made considerable progress in fulfilling the targets set under SDG 14, which focuses on conserving and sustainably using marine resources.

The Global Offshore Sailing Team, a passionate group of sailors and environmentalists, has been a crucial ally in this fight against marine plastic pollution. Through their expeditions, GOST has taken the message of the Clean Seas Initiative to the most remote and inaccessible parts of the world’s oceans. Their dedication to raising awareness, conducting research, and collecting vital data on the impact of plastic pollution on marine ecosystems is unparalleled.

Throughout their journeys, GOST has engaged with local communities, schools, and institutions, empowering them with knowledge and resources to join the battle against marine pollution. They have also forged partnerships with various organizations, further amplifying the reach and impact of the Clean Seas Initiative.

In recognition of their unwavering commitment to environmental conservation, the Global Offshore Sailing Team was recently awarded the Bavarian States Medal. This prestigious honor reflects the immense value of GOST’s work in championing the goals of the UNEP’s Clean Seas Initiative and their broader contributions to the global sustainability agenda.

The achievements of the Clean Seas Initiative and the Global Offshore Sailing Team are a testament to the power of collective action in addressing the urgent issue of marine plastic pollution. Their inspiring efforts serve as a reminder that every individual, community, and organization has a role to play in safeguarding the health of our oceans and preserving them for future generations.

METAVERSE. Hype or Disruptive Technology?

It is my great pleasure to join some of Europe’s leading B2B marketing and e-commerce experts at this year’s PROJECT NETWORKS STRATEGY SUMMIT to discuss the potential that arises from technological advances and initiatives such as the Metaverse. In the introductory keynote on the topic, I will explore the following topics in more depth:

Keynote: METAVERSE. Hype or all-changing?

The History of the Metaverse: From Snow Crash to Google Maps and Mark Zuckerberg’s $10 billion visions of a digital world.
Is the Metaverse becoming a reality?
Data: Be prepared – The Metaverse will increase the demand for for data engineers and AI developers
Marketing in the Metaverse

For everyone who‘s already interested to prepare for the disussion, a quick introduction by OpenAI‘s ChatGPT to the topic: METAVERSE. Hype or Disruptive Technology

The metaverse is a term that has gained popularity in recent years. It refers to a virtual world where people can interact with each other through avatars and digital goods. Some consider the metaverse to be hype, others see it as a breakthrough technology that will change various aspects of our lives. This paper will explore the concept of the metaverse and evaluate whether it is hype or a disruptive technology.

First of all, it is important to understand what the metaverse is and how it works. The metaverse is a collective, virtual, shared space created through the convergence of various technologies, including augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT).^1 The metaverse provides a multidimensional experience that allows users to interact in real time with each other, digital assets and real objects. The idea of the metaverse is not new and has already been taken up in various media such as films, video games and books. However, recent technological advances have made it possible to create a metaverse that is closer to reality.

One of the main arguments for the metaverse being hype is that it is still at an early stage of development and there is much speculation about its possible uses. Currently, the best-known example of the metaverse is the popular online game Second Life, which was launched in 2003.^2 Second Life has successfully created a virtual world in which users can interact with each other, but it has not had a significant impact on the real world. Moreover, current applications of the metaverse are limited to games, social networking and digital art. This has led some to believe that the metaverse is hype and will not have a significant impact on society.

On the other hand, the metaverse has the potential to be a disruptive technology that will change various aspects of our lives. One of the most important areas where the metaverse could have an impact is the economy. The metaverse enables the creation and exchange of digital goods that can have real value. This has led to the emergence of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are unique digital assets that can be bought and sold on the blockchain. By 2021, the market for NFTs reached $2.5 billion, and is expected to continue growing in the coming years.^3 The metaverse has also opened up new opportunities for businesses, including virtual real estate, advertising and e-commerce.

Another area where the metaverse could have an impact is education. The metaverse offers a new way of learning that is immersive and interactive. For example, students could use the metaverse to research historical events, visit different countries or even explore space. This would allow for a more engaging and memorable learning experience that could lead to better academic outcomes.

In conclusion, although considered hype by some, the metaverse has the potential to be a disruptive technology that will change various aspects of our lives. The metaverse offers a new way of interacting with each other, with digital goods and with the real world. It has the potential to revolutionise business, education and other areas of our lives. Although the metaverse is still at an early stage of development, it is clear that it will continue to be of interest to researchers, entrepreneurs and investors in the years to come.

Sources:

Al-Rikabi, A. (2020). Metaverse: A virtual shared space. Advanced Science News, 7(9), 1903421.
Wagner, J. (2021). The story of the metaverse. VentureBeat.
Statista. (2021). Market capitalisation of non-fungible tokens

Expedition Andaman Sea promotes international understanding and environmental awareness

The Global Offshore Sailing Team is proud to announce that we will be organizing an Expedition Andaman Sea from April 14th to 22nd, 2022. This expedition is being held to promote international understanding and environmental awareness for this geopolitically important and naturally beautiful region.

One of the highlights of the expedition will be a wreath laying ceremony to honor and pay tribute to those who have worked for peace in this important geopolitical region and for the promotion of the conservation of the Andaman Sea’s beautiful nature. This ceremony will be an homage to the rich values and culture of Thailand and its people, whose engagement is key to the Andaman Sea.

We invite all individuals and organizations who are committed to these values to join us in this important expedition and contribute to our mission of promoting understanding and awareness in this important part of the world.

PLEASE REFER FOR NEWS TO EXPEDITION WEBSITE

www.ExpeditionAndamanSea.com

“Expedition Andaman Sea aims to promote international understanding and support international relations by creating awareness about the geopolitical importance of the Andaman Sea region. As part of this goal, the expedition will lay a wreath to honor and commemorate those who have served and engaged themselves for peace in the Andaman Sea. This gesture serves to underscore the importance of peace and stability in the region and the efforts of those who have worked towards this goal.”

Jochen Werne – Expedition Leader

„The Andaman Sea is a vital and diverse maritime ecosystem that is essential to the health and productivity of the region. From its abundant marine life to its stunning coral reefs, the Andaman Sea is a treasure worth protecting. The protection of this ecosystem is closely tied to the United Nations‘ sustainable development goals, and it is a major goal of Expedition Andaman Sea to promote these goals and the initiatives being undertaken to support them. Join us on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure and help us raise awareness about the importance of preserving the beauty and prosperity of the Andaman Sea for generations to come.“

Guido Zoeller – Co-Founder Global Offshore Sailing Team