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FinNext 2019 Keynotes Reveal Ways to Embrace the Digital Era

Mar 14, 2019

At FinNext 2019 in Las Vegas, attendees will hear from an impressive lineup of keynote speakers, all of whom will be providing their unique views on how financial planning and analysis (FP&A) professionals can evolve with technology.


FinNext 2019 opens with a keynote address from Anders Sorman-Nilsson, author and global futurist and innovation strategist. Sorman-Nilsson helps leaders decode trends, decipher what’s next and turn provocative questions into proactive strategies. With an average of 240 international travel days a year, his view is that the future and the now are converging in a city or start-up near you, giving the curious, the creative and the courageous a competitive and sustainable edge.

In his presentation, Sorman-Nilsson will explore the Digilogue—the intersection of digital and analogue. As some organizations careen recklessly into the digital future, others are being left behind. Smart companies, are however, realizing there is an important middle ground where progressive digital strategies satisfy the mind while the old fashioned analogue practices sooth the heart. He will provide attendees with an appreciation of the components of the business that simply cannot go digital, while offering strategies for driving seamless change inside your organization by designing journeys of constant adaptation. 


Dr. Tricia Wang, co-founder of Sudden Compass and a global tech ethnographer, helps organizations innovate and grow by integrating big data with thick data, the human element that is invisible to quantitative data analysis. She combines more than 15 years of experience working with technology designers, engineers, and scientists with unique fieldwork researching the cultural and behavioral side of technology use.

In her keynote speech, Wang will explain why so many enterprise innovation efforts fall short. It’s not because innovation is bad, but because companies can be bad at making decisions and because the gap between insights and decision-makers can be very wide. According to Wang, enterprises need a “Department of the Unknown” to bridge the gap and make sure insights from the frontlines make it to the decision-makers. She will outline the central role that data and design play in this work and offer a new framework that will allow enterprises to create a shared language that aligns designers, data scientists, and researchers, enabling leaders to make the right decisions for the future of their business.


This year’s closing keynote comes from Reb Rebele, a researcher for Wharton People Analytics who teaches in the Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. His research and consulting projects bring data science and research into the world of work to drive better employee experiences and organizational outcomes.

Rebele will explore the paradox of the connected workforce—if it is easier than ever to connect with others then why is it so challenging to collaborate and get things done? Much of our time is spent communicating with others in meetings, on the phone and via email, yet we often have little return to show for that substantial investment. Data shows that employees are suffering from collaborative overload, while many top performers often do little to help their colleagues. At the same time, developing a strong workplace culture is still viewed as more of a mystery than an established practice supported by analysis and insights. Rebele will show how organizations can use data and analytics to create and support a strong collaborative culture that drives greater results.

The FinNext 2019 schedule is available here. The full list of educational sessions is available here.