Al Gore to Tackle ‘The Future’ at The Innovation Project 2013

Keynote Discussion to Ignite a Global Conversation about the Role of the ‘Global Mind’ in Driving Innovations in Global Commerce on March 20 in Boston

PYMNTS Innovation Project 2013

BOSTON--()--Al Gore, Vice President turned entrepreneur, Apple Board member, and Nobel Peace Prize winner has something on his mind. Well, actually, on his Global Mind. It’s a concept that he’s been toying with for the last eight years or so, as he contemplated the answer to a simple question: What drives global change? His new book, “The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change,” answers that question and lays out a prescription for how to harness that change to transform just about every aspect of the global village Gore calls Earth, Inc.

It is also the basis for Gore’s keynote session at The Innovation Project 2013, a two day gathering of senior executives in payments who are driving innovation in the payments and broader commerce ecosystem hosted by The Innovation Project 2013 is being held on March 20-21 at Harvard University where Gore will discuss the impact of global technology and digital infrastructure on the democratization of commerce and economic growth.

One of the six drivers Gore has identified has its roots squarely in the payments and commerce corner. It’s the concept of The Global Mind. The Global Mind is what happens when technology connects people and information in ways that makes us, well, global – and pretty much inseparable. This global network of information and access has the power to transform just about every aspect of our lives – from being able to see and talk to relatives halfway around the world, to enabling a fisherman in Finland to sell his fish to a restaurant in Fiji – all in a nanosecond using devices that are smaller than transistor radios were in the 1950s.

But to hear Gore describe this concept is to also understand the obligation that comes along with such opportunity. “The Global Mind,” Gore says in his book, “represents what is arguably far and away the most powerful tool that human beings have ever used, [so] it should not be surprising that it is beginning to reshape the way we think in ways both trivial and profound – but sweeping and ubiquitous.”

It might just be that it is the notion of the Global Mind – and all the power and potential that it represents – that allows us to ignite something in payments we call the Second Internet Revolution. This revolution rapidly blends the physical and virtual worlds to create new ideas, new businesses, new business models and new opportunities for innovation in payments, commerce and beyond.

Nowhere is the potential for the Global Mind to transform, disrupt, and create greater than in payments and commerce. It’s the industry behind every single exchange of value everywhere in the world between people and businesses, and people and people. It’s massive - $4 Trillion in volume in 2012. It’s pervasive. It’s critical. It’s giving birth to the emerging middle class in many lesser-developed countries. It’s delivering access to financial services to the two billion people around the world who are at the bottom of the pyramid. Through access to the Internet via smart mobile phones and other IP-enabled devices, it is blurring the distinction between mCommerce, eCommerce and retail commerce as people transact seamlessly from one channel to another, conducting commerce with merchants anytime and anywhere. It’s driving a treasure trove of data that has and will continue to spawn innovative ways of using data to help people find things to buy that will improve their lives and to help merchants find people who might want their stuff.

Six captains of the global payments industry will contribute to The Innovation Project’s Global Mind on payments innovation by sharing their thoughts, insights and ideas on the future of payments stimulated by Gore’s thesis on the power of the Global Mind and all that it can offer. They’ll share the tradeoffs that they faced as they said “hello” to innovation and “so long” to the status quo. They’ll tell us why they did what where, and what markets they think have the most to contribute to the notion of the Global Mind and when. They’ll put in context the opportunities made possible by the richness of the technology that is now available to us and the obstacles inherent in this vast global infrastructure that never make that journey as simple or easy as it may have looked at the start. They’ll respond to Vice President’s Gore challenge to make the Global Mind work for everyone by sharing just how what they are doing will democratize the commerce opportunity for those living in developed and developed economies.

Those global thought leaders include:

  • Roger Hochschild, President and COO of Discover, who will describe how Discover’s innovation ambitions make it easier for commerce to be exported so that innovators in one country are able to see their innovations take shape all over the world.
  • Jeff Jordan, Partner Andreessen Horowitz and former CEO of eBay, is pretty sure of one thing: physical retail is dying. “The piece of the pie left over for physical who will share his insights on how the Global Mind has and will contribute to the creative destructive of physical commerce as we know it today for the benefit of what Gore describes as Earth, Inc. moving forward."
  • Michael Joseph, Director of Mobile Money at Vodafone and the “father" of M-Pesa, will not only help the delegates understand the value of the Global Mind in developing countries, but how he plans to expand it to 37 countries around the world and what you need to know to ignite new commerce networks in markets hungry for the opportunity.
  • Karl Metha, CEO of Visa PlaySpan and White House Technology Fellow, will help us understand how innovating the gaming industry has informed the largest payment network in the world’s innovations in payments and the biggest economy in the world’s focus on improving financial access while reducing costs.
  • Troy Woods, President and COO of TSYS, will underscore why now is the time to step up the pace in innovation and who will suffer most if the collective payments industry doesn’t.
  • Gary Flood, President MasterCard Global Products and Solutions, will facilitate the discussion between these amazing payments innovators, the former Vice President of the United States and The Innovation Project 2013 guests. Flood has been with MasterCard for 25 years and will lend his insights into the role of a payments network in stimulating innovation for the benefit of merchants and consumers worldwide.

For more information on The Innovation Project please visit To request an invitation, please click here.

About The Innovation Project

Over 2 days, 100 speakers and 500 senior members of the payments industry will change the way that the payments and its broader commerce ecosystem thinks, talks, delivers and ignites innovation. On March 20th and 21st the greatest minds in commerce and payments will assemble at Harvard University near Boston to kick the conversation about innovation up to an entirely different level at a program called The Innovation Project. Speakers and delegates are among the most senior executives and elite innovators from literally every established payments company worldwide, along with the CEOs of the most innovative start-ups in the space. One of its five modules includes pairing industry CEOs with external thought leaders such as Al Gore (former US VP), Steve Levitt (Freakonomics), Eric Reis (The Lean Start Up), Rosie Rios (US Treasurer), Russell Simmons (Rush Card), Raj Date (CFPB), and Josh Lerner (Architecture of Innovation) to challenge the conventional wisdom around what it will take to get merchants and consumers to adopt new ways to shop and pay. Warren Buffett is the program’s keynote. The Innovation Project also hosts the industry’s 2013 Innovator Awards, given to 15 of the industry’s top innovators over dinner, which this year will be emceed by B.J. Novak of The Office and will introduce delegates to 40 of the hottest “next generation” payments innovators.

About is reinventing the way in which companies in payments share relevant information about the initiatives that shape the future of commerce and make news. This powerful B2B platform is the #1 site for the payments industry by traffic and the premier source of information about “what’s next” in payments. C-suite and VP level executives read it daily for these insights, making the audience the most valuable in the industry. It provides an interactive platform for companies to demonstrate thought It provides an interactive platform for companies to demonstrate thought leadership, popularize products and, most importantly, capture the mindshare of global decision-makers. It’s where the best minds and best content meet on the web.

Leeann Cannon, 617-374-1334

Release Summary

Keynote Discussion to Ignite a Global Conversation about the Role of the ‘Global Mind’ in Driving Innovations in Global Commerce on March 20 in Boston

Leeann Cannon, 617-374-1334