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Breaking Silos at SIBOS

Stephanie Rochford Wednesday, 30 March 2011 17:22

By Michael Mainelli

Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is a huge financial cooperative among nearly 10,000 banks. SWIFT supplies secure messaging services and interface software to wholesale financial entities. SWIFT also hosts an annual shindig, SIBOS – the SWIFT International Banking Operations Seminar. In October 2010, 9,000 bankers gathered in Amsterdam and, thanks to Chris Skinner, Long Finance was invited to attend. At the heart of the conference was Innotribe, SWIFT’s initiative to make financial services more innovative through collaboration. SIBOS and Innotribe hosted three events around Long Finance. The idea behind the events was to get people working together, breaking down barriers and building up new ways of organising and working. The Eternal Coin ideas prompted numerous discussions about the nature of money, the role of communities and new ways of making technology deliver more sustainable financial systems. Summing up the whole conference before 4,000 delegates on the last day, the noted futurist Paul Saffo from Stanford University and Long Now referred to Long Finance copiously and asked people to focus on the Schema, the fundamentals of the system, analogous to bedrocks of the system: the Magna Carta, the Constitution, the Napoleonic Code.

Since SIBOS, SWIFT has stayed in touch with Long Finance, cooperating on ideas for injecting more innovation and reform into financial systems.