Given what we are seeing today — exponential shifts in technology capabilities, the power of data analytics and predictive properties, consumer’s desire for customization at the press of a button, and the evolving talent profile — firms across all industries that don’t address today’s reality will soon find that they are playing catch-up, possibly never to recover.

At our 16th annual Executive Conference, our speakers addressed this accelerating pace of change and its effect on the financial services ecosystem, society at large and the how together, humans and technology can solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Download the summary book, or follow the links below to jump directly to each speaker's summary.


Prospects for Economic and Market Gains and Pointers for the Next Cyclical Turn

Milton Ezrati, Independent economics and investment strategy consultant; chief economist for Vested; author

The National Association of Business Analysts claims the economy will be in recession by 2020. They might be right, but 2020 is too early. We’ve been in a period of long recovery since 2009, but in the fourth quarter of 2018 things began to slow down. A slowing after a long period of steady growth can be the first sign of a recession. Read more.


Asset Management Industry Trends

John Siciliano, Managing Director and Global Strategy Leader, Asset Management, PricewaterhouseCoopers

By 2025, third-party assets will hit $145 trillion, with much of that growth taking place in non-traditional and emerging markets. Countries such as China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and those in South and Central America will be in high growth phases as they democratize. Slower growth and more established countries, including Germany, the Netherlands and the U.K., are making advances in automation and innovative technologies that are helping to increase efficiencies and drive down costs as the markets continue to mature. Read more.


Fintech Innovation in the Financial Services Ecosystem

Greg La Blanc, Lecturer, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley; the Faculty Director, the Haas Data Science Initiative and Berkeley Fintech Institute

Innovation in financial services is occurring in multiple areas—from insurance and deposits and lending, to capital raising and investment management, to payments and market provisioning. What they all have in common is that everything is a data-driven business. Read more.


Exponential Impact: How Technology (and Human Ingenuity) Can Solve the World’s Biggest Problems

Pascal Finette, Co-Founder of radical Ventures; Singularity University‘s Chair for Entrepreneurship & Open Innovation

For the first time in human history, we are at a point in time where technology—combined with human ingenuity and empathy—can solve humanity’s most vexing problems. Linear thinking is outdated; today we live in an exponential future where AI, robotics, synthetic biology, 3D printing and other technologies are converging. Read more.


Adapting to the Future of Work: Collaborating with Machines

Joe Spiecher, Executive Director, Autodesk Foundation

New feats of engineering are required to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges and this can only be accomplished with the help of advanced computing. By 2050 there will be 10 billion people on the planet—three billion more than today. Most will live in cities, but many cities don’t have the infrastructure needed to support an influx of new inhabitants. We’ll need to build 14 million buildings by the year 2050. That means 1,000 buildings need to be built each day just to keep up. 400,000 people will join the middle class every day into the future. They will want refrigerators, air conditioners, cell phones and washing machines. They will need highways, hospitals, education and energy, and financial and consumer products. Read more.


Today’s Children Will Be Tomorrow’s Leaders: What’s the Path to Success?

Julie Lythcott-Haims, Author of How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success (2015) and Real American: A Memoir (2017); former Dean of Freshmen, Stanford University

Julie has seen the effects of over-parenting from two perspectives. The first perspective was as the Dean of Freshmen students at Stanford. When students begin their first year of college, it’s often the first time they are away from home for an extended period of time. It’s the first time they need to make daily decisions on their own. The first time they are legally treated as adults. The first time they are truly responsible for their time management and prioritization. Or at least, they should be. Read more.


Inside Eco-Challenge: Lessons for Survival in Life and Business

Yvonne Camus, COO, SPINCO; participant in the Eco-Challenge, the world championship of adventure racing

The world of eco-challenge creates high performance out of necessity, pushing ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things. Described as an “equal opportunity destroyer,” the race of four-person co-ed teams is both physically and emotionally punishing. The training and strategy is intense and unquestioningly demanding, but the teams need to build their strength and unity during training, as it will be severely tested in the race. In 2000, Yvonne Camus was part of the first rookie team to finish the race. Read more.


How the Age Wave Will Transform Health, Longevity and Medicine

Ken Dychtwald, Founder and CEO, Age Wave

Increasing longevity and global population aging will dramatically transform every dimension of the marketplace, the workplace and our lives. But how long might we live? Will our later years be a time of health and vitality or illness and disability? Will super-longevity be purchasable on the open or black market—and would you buy it? If so, how do we feel about “longevity inequality?” How will we spend these “longevity bonus” years? Consider what greater longevity could mean for firms integrating employees on their second or third careers. How does that change hiring for skill sets, planning for and then funding retirement? What will be the new purpose of elderhood? Read more.


Carry On: A Story of Resilience, Redemption, and an Unlikely Family

Lisa Fenn, Three-time Edward R. Murrow award recipient and six-time award-winning feature producer from ESPN

Lisa Fenn authored the book, Carry On: A Story of Resilience, Redemption, and an Unlikely Family, which became one of the most watched ESPN shows ever and which USA Today and Sports Illustrated called the “best story ESPN had ever aired.” Read more.


Legal Note

The data and research referenced in these summaries constitute a partial transcription of remarks made at the conference, are credited to the speakers involved, and do not necessarily reflect the views of SEI. This is not intended to be, or relied upon, as investment advice.