The Power of In-Person Connections

Digital Minds delegates, alumni and coaching directors came together at BMS Group in August 2021 to discuss design thinking, to try out emerging tech and enjoy some much-needed face-to-face networking! Natasha Cameron, a Digital Minds delegate, is new to the insurance industry and here she shares her views on what it’s like looking in, as well as the power of making in-person connections (yup the 3D kind!).

First of all, I have to mention my immediate impression: the wonderful spread that was provided by EDII and BMS. Tea and coffee would have sufficed but no, we were also greeted with smoked salmon bagels, fruit trays and pastries. A great first impression, but moving on from the food…

As a newcomer to the industry, there’s always a moment where you wonder if you’ll fit in. That moment was fleeting, as the EDII team and other Digital Minds delegates and guests were so welcoming and friendly. All my apprehensions dissolved and within minutes I was in deep conversation with like-minded people.

The session was held at the BMS Innovation Lab and was hosted by Head of Innovation, Ryan Kingston-Jones. He did a fantastic job introducing the group to augmented and virtual reality technology – headset demos included! We explored how augmented reality will play a pivotal role in our future lives, both at work and play.

Getting my hands on a headset and visualising the risk of potential flood damage to a client, really brought home how effective this emerging tech can be for our industry.

As I am coming from outside of the insurance market, still being an undergraduate, it is these types of interactive demonstrations that allow me to really develop the knowledge around what the insurance market does and can do.

Another highlight of the day was the ‘postcard-from-the-future’ activity. I imagined myself in 2030, and how I would retrospectively give myself advice to my current self. What does my role look like in the future, what’s changed along the way, and what lessons have I learnt? All big questions!

One of our coaching directors, Paul Willoughby from Beazley, thankfully was on hand and helped me work this through. Paul spoke of his own years working in the market, growing and establishing his role and about the lessons he’s learnt throughout his career. Conversations like these are so interesting and reassuring, and certainly helped me push through my own self-doubt. We are all human and the trials and tribulations are universal after all.

Throughout the activities I was able to meet the other delegates in person, and they represented such a broad spectrum of roles within the industry. From brokers, to carriers, to actuaries and marketing professionals – our cohort is made up of such an interesting mix across the market. And it was so nice to feel the delegates’ excitement about the possibilities to create and innovate within the market. Ideas were buzzing and LinkedIn connections were pinging!  


It was a fantastic session where I learnt about myself and what is achievable when you have a supportive network of people that care and want to help the market. It has really motivated me further to get the most out of this unique programme, and I am looking forward to collaborating on a meaningful and relevant project with other delegates. Up until now I’ve relied on a WiFi connection to network, but as it turns out I much prefer the human connection.  

 Thank you to BMS for hosting EDII and our Digital Minds delegates, alumni and coaches. If you’d like to find out more about BMS’s approach to innovation, you can get in touch with Ryan here.

Booking is now open for the next Digital Minds Cohort in October 2021. You can reserve your space here.

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