EDII Presents Digital Minds Cohort 4: Pioneers of Innovation in Insurance

Last week marked a pivotal moment: the culmination of Cohort 4’s Digital Minds journey. As delegates gathered in London to showcase their acquired knowledge and talents, EDII CEO, Caroline Bedford, reminded the audience that regardless of societal labels – be it Baby Boomer, Gen X, Millennial or Gen Z – there’s no age limit to innovation.

A frequently shared statistic states that by 2025, Millennials will form 75% of the global workforce. While this projection spurs debate, the trend towards younger demographics dominating the workforce is undeniable. Surprisingly, the London Insurance Market defies this pattern: the London Matters 2020 Report highlighted that only 20% of its workforce was under 30.

Why does this matter?
The younger generations of digital natives come “pre-loaded” with tech know-how. And naturally intertwine this with fresh perspectives, agility, and a desire to challenge the status quo. With digital acceleration changing our landscape at warp speed, it’s paramount we equip ALL ages of talent to face this rapid pace of transformation.

Interestingly, the vast reservoir of talent in their 30s, 40s, 50s and above, embedded within the London Insurance Market, boasts unparalleled depth in a niche-specialty sector. They stand primed for upskilling, blending new-age proficiencies with their rich expertise.

That’s where EDII makes its mark. Through pioneering programmes like Digital Minds, we pose the seminal question: “How might we ensure the ENTIRE insurance workforce is equipped to navigate the change digital acceleration is bringing, irrespective of role or age?”

Spanning the breadth of the insurance industry, we impart skills that remain paramount for all practitioners.

That’s where EDII’s Digital Minds comes in.

The Fantastic Cohort 4 Digital Minds Showcase

Last week, we celebrated Digital Minds Cohort 4 – an amazing blend of professionals from varied roles (and levels) within the insurance sector. They unveiled the outcomes of their journey, sharing the skills they have acquired, the techniques they’ve refined and the triumphs they’ve accomplished.

EDII’s Digital Minds is more than a course – it’s the insurance industry’s catalyst for change. The programme, segmented into modules over 8-10 months, centres around Design Thinking and equipping insurance professionals with the ability to empathise with clients, define challenges and opportunities, ideate and prototype potential solutions, and test them with users.
Via a combination of traditional learning, experiential modules, industry-expert insights, and collaborative activities and projects, delegates cultivate an expansive innovation toolkit.

Congratulations to our teams!

Each team took to the stage to share the outcomes of their projects, presenting how they had worked together to solve their chosen challenge and the prototypes that they have created. 

Let’s introduce you to Cohort 4.

Winning clients

How might we understand what our clients really need from the insurance industry, so we can create products and services to deliver it?

Delegates: Roisin Clifford, Alchemy Technology Services, Louisa Dewey, Aventum, Mike Friedlos, Ascot Group, Kayleigh Smith, Liberty Specialty Markets, Ragini Thakur, WTW.

Exploring the Unexplored

How might we address the challenges faced by employees of all levels in a hybrid working world?

Delegates: Conor Bays, WTW, Charlie Garrod, WTW, Hayley Jordan, Velonetic, Alex Peters, Liberty Specialty Markets, Prachi Solanki, Alchemy Technology Services.

Innovate to Elevate

How might we demonstrate that client’s needs are changing, to help practitioners understand the skills we are going to need to continue to be of value to them?

Delegates: Mark Firman, Ascot Group, Stephanie Harris, Velonetic, Louise Lea, Velonetic, Ed Ronayne, ReThink Underwriting.

Operation Metaverse

How might we explore the capabilities of the Metaverse so that we can understand its use cases within the insurance industry?

Ruby Corcoran, Beazley, Erin McFeely, Alchemy Technology Services, Jasper Meijerink, Liberty Specialty Markets.

All about the Data

How might we utilise motor incident data to benefit the customers and optimise our product and customer portfolio?

Delegates: Sebastian Harth, Liberty Specialty Markets, Tom Miles, Aviva, Kane Reynolds, Specialist Risk Group, Tom Whipp, Atrium Underwriting.

We were especially proud of Digital Minds Next Generation delegate, Gabriel Odenore, as he shared what drove him to apply for the programme, and his hopes for a future career in insurance 

Keep an eye out for more from Gabriel and his Digital Minds experience.

Digital Minds Alumni

Not only were we celebrating the successes of current delegates, but we were able to celebrate the continuing success of some of our Digital Minds alumni.

Alistair Blundy, now the CEO of MGA Skyrisks, shared how the programme had been instrumental during his career as an underwriter.

 And he wasn’t alone, we were also joined by:

  • Ruan Ebersohn, Programme Director, DXC
  • Nneoma Ituma, Senior Strategy & Programme Manager, WTW
  • Neil Kempston, Head of Incubation Underwriting, Beazley

Their collective voice echoed the importance of staying attuned to customer needs, embracing technological advancements, and honing creative problem-solving skills. More detail about their insights coming very soon.

Innovation Knowledge Champion

As Digital Minds evolves, so does the richness of our content, and the challenges we set for our delegates.

Cohort 4 is the first of our cohorts to have continuous assessments, ensuring that the knowledge gained in each session is deeply embedded and ready to be used to solve industry challenges.

Delegates did an amazing job of consolidating their learning, month in and month out. It was an extremely tight competition, but we were delighted to celebrate our first Digital Minds ‘Innovation Knowledge Champion’ as the award went to a very worthy winner, Jasper Meijerink of Liberty Specialty Markets. Congratulations, Jasper!

Why do these skills matter?
As the #insurance landscape continues to evolve, with emerging technology, environmental challenges, political dynamics, and complex working patterns, the ability to adapt and innovate is paramount.

Some of the key aspects our Digital Minds delegates have learned include:

  • Advanced Design Thinking: They’ve mastered the nuances of Design Thinking, seamlessly moving through stages of empathise, define, ideate, prototype, and test to address problems inside and outside of their businesses.
  • Agile Adaptation: Our delegates are now agile thinkers, invaluable to organisations navigating the future. 
  • Creative Problem-Solving: Equipped with a library of innovation tools and techniques, our delegates stand ready to navigate complex challenges and capitalise on promising opportunities.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: A solid grasp of data appreciation empowers them to make informed decisions, providing a competitive edge to them and their respective organisations.
  • Harnessing the Power of Emerging Technology: Artificial Intelligence, the Metaverse, automation and more. With a firm grasp of emerging technologies, they navigate the digital realm with confidence and continue to explore it.
  • Innovative Ideation: Through design thinking and innovation training, delegates are better equipped to identify and implement pioneering solutions in the insurance arena.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: Their enhanced skills in stakeholder management, combined with their ability to influence and articulate ideas to solve complex problems really sets them apart.

This transformative journey is cemented with their Certificate of Completion, bringing with it a substantial 30 CII-accredited CPD hours of structured Innovation and Design Thinking training.

So what’s next on the Horizon?

Our fantastic Cohort 4 Digital Minds delegates will now go on to continue to reinforce their learning and network as part of our exclusive Digital Minds alumni programme, the EDII Think Factory.

Cohort 5 is mid-way through their journey, and we have a very limited number of places left for our upcoming programme, Cohort 6, which commences on 17th October.

We can’t wait to witness the blend of their newly honed design thinking skills, innovation expertise, and deep industry insights.

Would you like to know more about EDII and Digital Minds? 


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