Sleem Hasan – Financial Markets Expert, CEO Privity – Technology, Art & Interfaith Dialogue

Sleem Hasan is a Financial Entrepreneur with a truly global background. Born in Fiji of Pakistani parentage, raised in Nigeria, Oxbridge educated, worked with the Japanese at Nikko, and now resides in Dubai, UAE. Sleem founded Hasan Financial Corporation in 1996, an independent FCA regulated buy and sell side advisory firm focusing on the Japanese Markets based in the UK. Sleem Hasan is currently the CEO and founder of Privity, an early stage venture-focused firm in Dubai.

Sleem Hasan Interview Questionnaire

1. An introduction from you – background, overview, education…
2. Can you tell me about your geographical wealth background from Fiji, Pakistan, Nigeria, UK, Japan, UAE, Dubai?
You have both a Oxford and Cambridge background. Can you tell us about this academic background where you studied Mathematics.
3. How do you see the relationship between education and technology?
4. Having studied under Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose. How did this influence who you are right now? And how did this change your view on the relationship between Tutors and Mentors?
5. Coming back to your geographic and multi-cultural background can you tell us how this changed who you are?
6. You had a first startup after working in Nikkel and after you created Privity in Dubai. Can you tell us about that?
7. In your career you have been going through multiple changes of the capital markets industry and financial industry and lately in data, STEM and technology that became a glue of all sectors and our global cultures. How do you see this going forward?
8. During your career you saw the growth of Dubai and all the Middle East from being oil and gas powerhoused and exotic place in the desert to becoming one of the leading destinations and growth developments in the world. How do you see that?
9. Do you want to give us some of your career highlights so far?
10. As a person that has a passion and focus on interfaith dialogue. What are your visions for the present and future of our society?
11. You have developed and special nurture a special passion for arts and technology. Can you tell us about it?
12. Covid-19 has been a disruptor in many ways. It has its impact on health, financial and economics but is also a fast forward accelerator of digital and technology. What ways do you envision to redesign our society with technology and social impact?

Sleem Hasan Interview Notes

About Sleem Hasan’s background. I usually summarize my background in 6 flags: the Fiji Islands, where I was born. My parents went there to set up a business. At the age of 2 I moved to Nigeria, where I grew up. My third flag is my Pakistani heritage. My education takes me to the UK, where I became Oxbridge educated. My early career was working in Japan at Nikko as a financial markets expert, and now resident in Dubai, UAE. I was really passionate about maths and saw the potential to work in capital markets so I went on to work in different companies whose focus was on financial public markets.

Hasan’s entrepreneurial career and moving to Dubai. My background until 2002 was only in public financial markets. My current entrepreneurial journey started In 2002, when I did a pit stop in Dubai during one of my travels and I instantly fell in love with Dubai. At that time I was commuting between London, Japan and New York and I decided that it was the right time for a change and decided to move to Dubai. So when I set up myself in Dubai I thought about what to do after the Nikkei -the Japanese Stock Market- closes to do something different. It came to me that it would be a good idea to diversify a bit. It was at that moment when I set up my first company based on technology and trading.

I had to learn my own way into how the private market works as my previous experience was always in public markets. And along that learning experience Privity was born in the form of an early stage venture-focused firm. I believe that Dubai is the perfect place for a business like this. It is at the center of the world, there are many foreigners, different nationalities, cultures and possibilities as it is not glued to only one culture but many different co-living together. And although Privity is a small firm, my vision is very global.

About leadership. I believe that we should respect each other as equals, as we all have the same amount of time, which in my opinion is the most important thing we humans have. And when someone lends their time to you, as a business owner, you need to make sure that their time is well spent and respected. The role of the business leader in that regard is key as if the leader doesn’t teach and act accordingly, everything goes down.

About COVID-19 impact on the world and the challenges of inclusivity. We are indeed seeing an acceleration in digital adoption across industries and verticals but we can’t leave anyone behind. Technology can be used -and it has to be used- to make sure that all this transformation reaches everyone. We need to tell governments, businesses and citizens that we are all in this together and we have a magnificent solution called technology with the capacity to not leave anyone behind. Technology transcends race, gender, ethnics, sexuality, etc.

More Interviews

Interview with Edwin Diender: CDTO and VP, Huawei Enterprise – Leading the World in Digital Transformation Smart Cities

Interview with Daniel Sloan, co-founder Future Tech, ‘RebuildTheChain’ – Building Blockchain and AI solutions

Video Interview with Dr Jamal Ouenniche, Professor & Chair in Business Analytics, University of Edinburgh – Business Analytics, AI Data Road Maps

Interview with Ben Goertzel Founder SingularityNet, OpenCog – Benevolent And Open AI, What Kind Of Evolutionary Mind Can We Engineer?

Interview With Anish Mohammed, Blockchain Researcher. Head of Research – IIS, SRH Berlin – Building Blockchain and AI Foundations and Ethics 

Sleem Hasan Biography

Sleem Hasan is an experienced Owner with a demonstrated history of working in Venture Capital and the Japanese Capital Markets. Skilled in Investor Relations, Securities, Asset Management, Investment Advisory, and working with Technology Entrepreneurs. Strong entrepreneurship professional with a Part III Mathematical Tripos from Cambridge University where he lectured under Stephen Hawkins & M.A.(Hons) Mathematics from Oxford University where he studied under Sir Roger Penrose OM FRS, an English mathematical physicist, mathematician, philosopher of science and Nobel Laureate in Physics.

As an entrepreneur, Sleem Hasan founded Financial Corporation in 1996, an independent FCA regulated buy and sell side advisory firm focusing on the Japanese Markets based in the UK. In 2004, Sleem founded Privity, an early stage venture-focused firm in Dubai. From his position as CEO, Privity seeks entrepreneurs with interesting and unique ideas and helps them develop and grow. Privity is agnostic to geography and industry vertical. It focuses on the quality of the entrepreneur and the compelling value proposition of the idea.

Sleem Hasan is a passionate art collector and a thought leader particularly interested in the bridge between Technology, Art & Interfaith Dialogue. Sleem’s journey with art began in the eighties. He was in New York and picked up a few lithographs by James Rosenquist, an American artist and one of the protagonists of the Pop Art movement. Since then he has been collecting and collaborating with artists.

One of the artists Sleem has been working with was Lebanese-Dutch artist Ralph Heimans. Sleem has been helping commissioning art from Ralph as well as promoting him. Ralph’s work now starts at around £250,000 and Sleem is one of the very few who still has the privilege of handling his work. Joined by his wife, Lamia Hasan, the couple is interested in finding new artistic talent from all over the world – something that is continually exemplified through their collection. But more than anything, it is about the ideas that an artwork transmits to the viewer that is most important.

Sleem Hasan and his wife Lamia have been building an art collection that merges a variety of styles, cultures and subject matters. Sleem is married with 2 daughters and is resident in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

About Privity

Privity is an independent Dubai-based advisory firm that was founded in 2004. The company seeks entrepreneurs with interesting and unique ideas and helps them develop and grow. Privity is agnostic to geography and industry vertical and focuses on the quality of the entrepreneur and the compelling value proposition of the idea.
Privity’s Solutions: The 4-i-Methodology

Privity draws upon its unique methodology – 4i , to deliver insightful advisory and consulting services. The proven 4i Methodology is a result of Privity’s vast and diverse experience gathered over the years as well as application of highly specialized domain expertise. The four i ‘s are:


Ideas set the tone for a bespoke business strategy formation. Generating ideas that form a framework for the project is Privity’s first objective. Privity studies the overall value and uniqueness of the IDEA of your business. As a part of the ideation process, Privity identifies gaps and possible obstacles in your business plan and devises strategies to overcome them.


Combining the expertise, experience and knowledge as well as leveraging the association with subject matter experts, Privity captures high-level business intelligence from the market. The data is then transformed and combined into information that is used for enhancing your business plan. This includes planning of execution strategies for plugging gaps and removing obstacles to make your business idea more structured. Moreover, Privity constantly keeps identifying knowledge sources to draw business intelligence from.


Once opportunities have been identified, Privity designs innovative ways to successfully leverage them. Privity has the ability to innovate concepts to suit various industries. Privity’s experience and expertise enables analyzing of problems in different perspectives, ensuring no loose-ends remain open. This is coupled with deployment of new technologies to catalyze the process. Simultaneously, Privity moulds Best Practices and proven strategies to suit your business plan.


Privity uses inventive and rational methods, cut-out specifically for your nature of business, thus helping you devise a fully functional implementation plan. Creativity, intellect and knowledge form the cornerstones of the implementation plans.

Links and sources–Sleem-Hasan–private-investor-and-founder-of-Privity-LLE-Dubai–6-October-2020-ekm7t6

Genesis Mining: Using Bitcoin Mining Farm Energy Waste To Power Greenhouses

Genesis Mining, the world’s leading institutional crypto mining company, has announced the launch of a new pilot project that will focus on recycling excess energy waste from crypto mining facilities into sustainable heat and energy to power greenhouses.

The pilot project’s objective is to address concerns about the excess energy waste generated by crypto mining facilities while also supporting the government’s objective to become more self-sufficient in food production, rather than relying on imports.

Commenting on this potential, Mattias Vesterlund, Senior Researcher at RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden), said, “A 1 MW data center would have the ability to strengthen the local self-sufficiency up to 8% with products that are competitive on the market.” 

The project is a private-public partnership between Systemair, Lulea Technical University, RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden), Boden Business Agency, the local Boden municipality, and Genesis Mining’s philanthropic arm, Hashpower For Science. It’s located in Boden, Sweden, and has been in development for over one year.

Boden Business Agency’s Nils Lindh, said, “This project is exciting because there is an opportunity to contribute in scaling up the food industry and at the same time meet the national energy efficiency targets. It’s the first of many projects within the Energy Symbiosis, and hopefully the results will show that it’s very possible to scale up into large commercial production.” 

For the initial pilot project, one of Genesis Mining’s custom-built crypto mining storage containers will be placed near the greenhouse. The greenhouse and container are connected via a custom-built air duct system that carries the excess energy directly from the crypto mining storage container into the greenhouse.

Andreas Johansson, a Senior Lecturer from Lulea Technical University, who is making the calculations for designing the system for air flow from the datacenter to the greenhouse, said, “For the cold climate in the north of Sweden, our calculations show that a 300 m2 greenhouse can easily be heated with a 550 kW container, even with outdoor temperatures reaching almost -30℃. But the potential is much bigger than that. The temperature difference over the greenhouse is in this calculation only 10 degrees since we assume a DC output temp of 35℃ and a GH temp of 25℃. If the DC output is increased to 55℃, then the GH area can be tripled to 900 m2.”  

Genesis Mining’s CEO and co-founder Marco Streng said, “Crypto mining is the backbone that makes decentralized cryptocurrencies and applications possible, and we strongly believe the benefits of this decentralization will transform the world, but all those benefits can’t come at the cost of the environment.” 

As one of the world’s largest crypto mining companies with over a dozen datacenters spread across the globe, Genesis Mining’s R&D team has been actively working on different solutions and collaborations to enable more sustainable crypto mining facilities.

“Genesis Mining has always preferred locations that offered 100% renewable energy sources, that’s why we’ve focused so much on the Nordics. But as the industry leader, we view it as our moral and ethical responsibility to push the industry forward and finding a way to convert our excess energy has been a major priority. We look forward to scaling this project and bringing it to not only more of our own datacenters — but to others as well.” 

Smart Centres Index 2: Investment In Advanced Education And Innovation Clusters Generates Innovation Advantage

In the second Smart Centres Index (SCI 2), New York takes the top spot from London, while Singapore holds third place.

The top 10 centres in SCI 2 are all in countries with a high performing university sector across the fields of Engineering & Technology, and Mathematics, each having multiple universities rated in the top 20 worldwide in these subjects. A strong research and teaching base is important in building a technology and innovation culture.

An interesting point in the results is the high ratings of Oxford and Cambridge in the UK, which may highlight the importance of clustering, with these cities along with London forming a close network of academic and business development and collaboration.

Index Results

  • New York has taken first place in the index, with London dropping to second and Singapore retaining its third place.
  • Three of the top ten places in the ranking are taken by US centres, and three are taken by UK centres, with Oxford and Cambridge rising in this edition of the index.
  • The leading centres are strong across all three of the SCI dimensions – Innovation Support, Creative Intensity, and Delivery Capability.
  • Chinese centres do not feature as strongly as we might have expected, and score on average lower for Innovation Support than their overall rating.
  • The great majority of centres featured in SCI 2 are located in North America, Asia/Pacific, and Western Europe.

North America

  • Ten North American centres feature in SCI 2, and while New York rose one place to first, and Toronto rose two ranking places, other North American cities were overtaken in the index rankings.
  • Along with ranking first overall, New York also ranks first in each of the three dimensions which make up the SCI.


  • Two of the 15 Asia/Pacific centres in the index – Singapore and Hong Kong – feature in the world top 10.
  • Hong Kong and Beijing rose in the SCI rankings, while other centres fell.
  • The majority of Asia/Pacific centres scored lower for innovation support, including regulation, than their overall ranking in SCI 2.
  • Some Chinese centres, including Shenzhen, which have strong technology ecosystems, do not feature as highly in the index as we might have expected. This may be because those rating Chinese centres know Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai better than other centres.

Western Europe

  • Twenty centres in Western Europe feature in the index, with London, Oxford, Cambridge, Zurich, and Geneva in the global top 10. It is likely that Oxford and Cambridge have benefitted from their close proximity to London, and we will look carefully at their position as the index develops.
  • The majority of Western European centres score higher for innovation support, including regulation, than their overall rank. This suggests that systems of public support for, and regulation of innovation and technology are a strength in the region.

Other Regions

  • Only six of the centres in SCI 2 are from other regions of the world – Middle East & Africa, Eastern Europe & Central Asia, and Latin America & The Caribbean.
  • Of these centres, new entrant, Tel Aviv, is rated highest in 11th place. Dubai, the second centre in this group rose 17 places to 17th.

The SCI focuses on centres in relation to their approach to and delivery of innovation and technology, including Science, Energy Systems, Machine Learning, Distributed Ledgers, and Fintech, along with other applications. We look at cities rather than countries in developing the index as we consider that it is in cities and other commercial clusters that the development of business is driven forward.

The Smart Centres Index is based on evaluations of three dimensions:

  • Innovation support – the approach taken to regulation and support for the innovation and technology industry provided by the commercial ecosystem.
  • Creative Intensity – the extent to which technology and innovative industries are embedded in the economy of the centre.
  • Delivery Capability – the quality of the work being undertaken in the field in the centre. future competitiveness and rankings for financial and commercial centres around the world.

131 commercial and financial centres were researched for SCI 1 of which 51 are included in the index. SCI 2 was compiled using 126 instrumental factors. These quantitative measures are provided by third parties including the World Bank, The Economist Intelligence Unit, the OECD, and the United Nations.

The instrumental factors are combined with financial centre assessments provided by respondents to the GFCI online questionnaire. SCI 1 uses 1,508 assessments from 220 respondents.

Professor Michael Mainelli, Executive Chairman of Z/Yen said:
“Innovation for its own sake is worthless. The goal is to improve society and the economy by addressing the challenges we face together. Through the Smart Centres Index, we are detecting deep changes around the world as smart centres proliferate, expand, specialise, and integrate with increasing rapidity. We look forward to the continued success of cities and innovation clusters across the world and to the increase in collaboration for success.”

Scorecard: US States Adopt New Energy-Saving Rules but COVID-19 Slows Overall Progress

CA ranks #1 in U.S.: MA, MN, CO, and VA are regional winners; NV is most improved

More U.S. states have adopted or advanced new energy-saving targets and vehicle and appliance rules, but COVID-19 slowed other efficiency efforts, according to the 2020 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard released Wednesday. For the first time in four years, California took first place nationwide, edging out Massachusetts, the leader in the Northeast. Other regional leaders include Minnesota in the Midwest, Colorado in the Southwest, and Virginia in the South.

After ranking US cities by their clean energy efforts, the 50-state scorecard (which also includes Washington, DC) from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) found that states, many of which have set ambitious climate goals since 2018, had to abruptly shift their focus this year to mitigate the health and economic impacts of the deadly global pandemic. Across the country, energy efficiency workers lost jobs—with an estimated more than 300,000 still unemployed—pointing to the need for policymakers to help get them back to work.

While some efficiency efforts stalled, others advanced before or during the pandemic. In top-ranked California, for example, utility regulators in January approved $45 million in incentives for high-efficiency heat pump water heaters, a crucial technology for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In September, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order calling for the phase-out of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035.

Rounding out this year’s top 10, are Massachusetts (#2), Vermont (#3), Rhode Island (#4), New York (#5), Maryland (#6), Connecticut (#7), Washington, DC (#8), and Minnesota and Oregon (tied for #9).

“A number of states see that they have to act aggressively now to cut carbon emissions, but others just aren’t acting urgently. We need to see more states follow the leaders here, and quickly. Aggressive state policies combatting climate change are absolutely necessary no matter what gets done in Washington,” said Steven Nadel, ACEEE executive director. “In this pandemic and recession, policymakers can embrace efficiency efforts to help residents reduce their utility bills and to get more people back to work, all while cutting pollution.”

The report, which examines policies and programs adopted through July, scores states on 32 metrics in five areas. No state earned all 50 possible points (California got 43), showing that each has considerable room for improvement. For the first time, the report highlights top scorers regionally:

  • California, in the top spot nationally and the West’s leader, has long been a trendsetter for its adoption of net zero energy building codes and stringent vehicle emissions standards. It has taken important steps to improve energy program access for low-income and disadvantaged communities and measure progress through energy equity indicators. The state has led the charge on vehicle electrification and has strengthened lighting and appliance standards amid federal rollback efforts.
  • Massachusetts (#2), the leader in the Northeast, continues to excel on multiple fronts, including advanced efforts to integrate and align efficiency rules with electrification and building decarbonization strategies.
  • Minnesota (#9), the Midwest’s leader, continues to report strong results from utility-run programs that help customers save energy and is developing draft rules for a Clean Cars program that would adopt California’s tailpipe and zero-emission vehicle standards.
  • Colorado (#11), the leader in the Southwest/Mountain region, is working on plans to meet statewide climate goals signed last year, which target a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In September, Governor Jared Polis released a roadmap to meet those goals.
  • Virginia (#25), the South/Southeast region’s leader and a top energy story of 2020, adopted its first-ever energy-saving target—known as an energy efficiency resource standard (EERS)—and raised minimum funding levels for efficiency programs for low-income, elderly, or disabled individuals as well as veterans. It became the first Southeastern state to set a 100% clean electricity goal.

Nevada (#21) was the most improved state in the scorecard, moving up five places. It has adopted standards for light bulbs, strengthened building energy codes, and moved to implement strong vehicle standards.

In contrast, Iowa (#36) fell the farthest in the rankings, losing 13 places. Its slide occurred primarily as a result of 2018 legislation that capped certain efficiency investments, leading to a steep decline in progress in reducing electricity and gas use.

The bottom five states, each earning 7 or fewer points, are Kansas (#47), Mississippi (#48), North Dakota (#48), West Virginia (#48) and Wyoming (#51).

In each region, the report identifies a “state to watch,” where promising developments are emerging. Along with Virginia, New Jersey (#17) is the most recent to adopt specific energy-saving targets for utilities, and regulators there are seeking to ensure that low-income customers have equitable access to energy efficiency programs. Michigan (#13) regulators recently approved utilities’ plans to expand efficiency programs, North Carolina (#27) is advancing opportunities to strengthen programs, and Arizona (#23) regulators recently approved a path toward 100% carbon-free electricity, including an extension and expansion of the state’s energy efficiency goals. Washington (#11) is working to implement 2019 laws requiring 100% clean energy by 2045 and a first-of-its-kind statewide standard for reducing energy use in existing large commercial buildings.

California Governor Gavin Newsom said: “Energy efficiency has been a foundational part of California’s environmental efforts for the last four decades. Choosing to embrace a smarter way of using energy will save people and businesses money, and by leaning into energy efficient policies we will drive new technologies, creating the economy of the future.  That’s why I’m proud that California is receiving this top honor from ACEEE, recognizing not only the state’s national leadership but also the ongoing role energy efficiency continues to play as a key pillar in our economic health and our fight against the climate crisis. Good climate sense is good economic sense.”

Colorado Governor Jared Polis said: “My administration is dedicated to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2040, reducing air pollution, and taking bold climate action across our economy. This work will protect the health and well-being of our residents and also generate enormous economic and job growth opportunities. We’ve made significant progress in meeting our goals, and continue to leverage our lowest cost resource—energy efficiency—to modernize the way we heat and power our homes and travel across the state.”

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak said: “I’m proud to see Nevada leading the way on energy efficiency—an important part of what we can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I look forward to continuing our climate action progress in this arena and helping consumers save money on their energy bills.”

ACEEE found that a number of states have made efforts to foster equity in efficiency policies and programs. For example, multiple states, including California, New Jersey, and Oregon, have taken steps to expand programs for and better meet the needs of customers with lower incomes. Still, states can do much more to ensure that policy and program outcomes are equitable.

The Five Primary Areas Of Energy Efficiency

The report examined energy efficiency policies across five primary areas, identifying states that have adopted best practices in each, as well as opportunities ahead.

  • Energy-saving targets. Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont have adopted energy efficiency resource standards—with efficiency programs saving more than 2% of retail sales, the highest levels in the nation. As of 2020, 27 states have adopted some form of EERS.
  • Vehicle efficiency. Twelve states have adopted California’s Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV) standards and Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program. Many of these states, including California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington, have also set goals to reduce vehicle miles traveled or transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions. Since late 2019, Minnesota, Nevada, and New Mexico have also moved forward with plans to adopt California’s vehicle emissions rules.
  • Building codes. Close to a dozen states and DC made significant progress strengthening efficiency standards for new construction. These include many states in which the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) has gone into effect in recent months, including Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Vermont. A new model code, the 2021 IECC, offers states an important opportunity to ensure that new buildings lock in low energy costs for generations of future residents.
  • Appliance and equipment standards. California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New York, Vermont, and Washington have each passed appliance standards updates since early 2019 that are expected to save consumers hundreds of millions of dollars on utility bills. A few of these standards counter rollbacks of federal standards.
  • State government initiatives. California, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont led in in offering loan and grant programs to spur energy savings, setting efficiency standards for public buildings and fleets, and investing proceeds from carbon pricing policies in efficiency programs.

The scorecard, now in its 14th edition, is based on data collected from states, utilities, and numerous publicly available sources. Government staff members from all 50 states and Washington, DC, were given the opportunity to comment on a preliminary draft of the findings.

Interview Damu Winston – Founder of, And Fintech Trainer

Damu Winston is an International Digital Advisor & Founder, serial entrepreneur, founder of and lead Fintech trainer for all of the Banks within the United Arab Emirates. Damu is an Amazon best selling author of I Don’t Trust You, But Blockchain and Bitcoin Will Help. Having led globally distributed teams in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, India, Mexico, and US domestically, Damu is an expert at building innovative solutions that empower organizations, harness diversity, and leverage cutting-edge technology to exceed expectations.

Damu Winston Interview Focus

1. An introduction from you – background, overview, education… from US to middle East, culture and multi dimensional things part of your personality
2. Perspective of your education in US and west Africa – different cultures – diversity when it comes to the present challenges – growth mindset
3. Can you give us some of your career highlights – special the platforms,
4. How does work and some insights of the work in fintech and financial empowerment?
5. Can you tell us some of your highlights on education and difference techniques and ways to get people to learn and get expertise – certifications?
6. Can you tell us about your book: I Don’t Trust You: But Blockchain and Bitcoin Will Help?
7. How do you see fintech multiple areas and future proof banking?
8. We are getting into Society 5.04IR and all areas of digital transformation. What are your views on our society, technology and all 360 degrees areas of digital transformations?
9. What are your goals and how do you see the society challenges with Covid-19?
10. What ways do you envision to redesign our work ecosystems, the lack of energy, integration in an increasingly collaborative society, and banks with technology and social impact?
11. What are your visions for the present and future and a positive message for people listening to us?

Damu Winston Interview Notes

About Damu Winston’s background. We are limited by what we are surrounded ourselves by and that is what makes us who we are. The more we can broaden that the richer we become as individuals. I was born in the US but I grew up in West Africa. I had a photographic memory so I was able to recall almost everything I have seen. At a young age I was kind of forced to be really good at maths and science. I did my undergraduate in North Carolina and started my career in Nuclear energy. In my career I have been involved in different projects, including fintech -the sector I am more focused on right now- in different places from Dubai to San Francisco through Davos and the World Economic Forum.

About career highlights. Finteachable is an ecommerce marketplace for industry-leading Fintech experts that are now teachers. We offer hands-on experiences covering a wide range of topics such as Artificial Intelligence, blockchain & bitcoin, Design Thinking, Open Banking, Project Management, Big Data & Analytics, Cybersecurity, Full Stack Development and so much more.

I am also an EIBFS Lead Fintech Lecture, where I’ve personally trained over 400 banking professionals in the UAE with over 500+ classroom hours since Dec 2018.

Because of COVID-19, I have other projects based on that in the US. One of them is based on the economic injury we saw in the beginning of the pandemic, we saw that SMEs and entrepreneurs were struggling to get funding so we created this platform to precisely sort that need for capital. Introducing, a platform to help businesses gain access to much needed financial capital during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) economic injury. The platform’s roadmap is to offer a pathway to fast cash and access to a full range of products and services (including basic consulting, compliance reporting capabilities, and digital solutions for managing and streamlining organizational and operational small business needs.

Finteachable educational approach. We offer webinars and different educational solutions to entrepreneurs and businesses how to implement cutting-edge technologies and fintech solutions into their businesses. Our approach to the learning process is through very tailored solutions to every one of our users’ needs. One of the things we teach is to start locally and then scale once they are ready. Another important aspect in our world today, something we also share is the importance of collaboration.

About financial inclusion and fintech trends. The whole financial system is being transformed. Technology and new processes, including a new mindset, are creating an opportunity to disrupt the entire financial system. And that means that financial inclusion is more real than it has ever been.

I see a big trend coming in the form of Central Bank Digital Currencies. We will see different national institutions embracing CBDCs in the next few years.

Another trend is regarding value and currencies. What is happening today with our FIAT currencies is that the concept of value is being broken. Hyperinflation, the role of central banks, the economic crisis, etc is making the currency’s value to change. On the other hand we have emerging cryptocurrencies, which are based on other rules, are more distributed, are borderless and worldwide which value is created differently.

And that is because -or highly fueled by- technology: technology allows us to be more efficient and therefore drive more profit, while also improving the ROI, which is key too in our current financing system. And that not only applies to business growth but also healthcare, governments departments, etc.

About 4IR technologies and governments. As I understand it, governments see these technologies as highly disruptive but others see their advantages and try to harness them. For example, Apple is using a technology for their payment system that is used in the dark web, but Estonia does that too. There are some governments and businesses that make use of technologies that are highly disruptive for good. And even if they harness these technologies for good, their impact on society are of great importance. That is why open conversations, tests and not leaving anyone behind is so important right now.

As an author. I feel there is a lack of trust today towards our financial system, technology, among peers, etc. When I think about blockchain, I see a solution for that lack of trust. Blockchain is an infrastructure that actually leverages trust in existing systems. In my book, I try to explain how blockchain works and use cases where blockchain is already implemented and working.

We are now shifting to what I call intellectual service. However, our academic system teaches us to just do and repeat. Now, the world is forcing people to become entrepreneurs and change a system that has been in place for years and years. But becoming an entrepreneur is hard and can drive to many challenges. In this aspect, we need to learn to fail and see it as an opportunity to learn and improve in the future. And to collaborate with each other as the only way to be stronger and successful.

More Interviews

Interview with Edwin Diender: CDTO and VP, Huawei Enterprise – Leading the World in Digital Transformation Smart Cities

Interview with Daniel Sloan, co-founder Future Tech, ‘RebuildTheChain’ – Building Blockchain and AI solutions

Video Interview with Dr Jamal Ouenniche, Professor & Chair in Business Analytics, University of Edinburgh – Business Analytics, AI Data Road Maps

Interview with Ben Goertzel Founder SingularityNet, OpenCog – Benevolent And Open AI, What Kind Of Evolutionary Mind Can We Engineer?

Interview With Anish Mohammed, Blockchain Researcher. Head of Research – IIS , SRH Berlin – Building Blockchain and AI Foundations and Ethics 

Damu Winston Biography

Over the years, Damu Winston has learned a person’s name is so much more than just an identifier. Most parent(s) spend countless hours deciding, fighting, and praying over the name of their soon to be child. Damu Winston says that “So, even before the child is born, he or she has begun an internal journey to learn what it means to become that name. It’s no coincidence we ask ourselves, “Who am I?”, “Who am I supposed to be?”, “Why am I here?”, “What is my purpose”… I truly believe that when your name has meaning, you go through life learning what it means to embody that name; to own it, to make it just as memorable as you are.”

Damu Winston is a digital strategy, products and services expert. Damu Winston is a serious entrepreneur and innovator that likes to make complex problems simple.

Damu Winston expertise includes digital strategy, enterprise digital transformations, blockchain and artificial intelligence.

Damu Winston knows his purpose, and he looks forward to helping others find theirs.

Damu Winston Career Highlights

Fintechable, the marketplace for Fintech trainers.

The Advisory, Digital Delivery, and Marketplace of Financial Services Technology (Fintech) related solutions/products.

EIBFS Lead Fintech Lecture:

Damu has personally trained over 500 banking professionals in the UAE since 2018. Courses range between:

– Future Proof Banker / Next Generation Banker

– Future of Banking: Embracing Technology Disruption

– Blockchain 101 and Blockchain Applications

– FinTech 101

AI 101

The Amazon Besting Selling book, I Don’t Trust You, But Blockchain and Bitcoin Will Help, explores the whys and hows of Blockchain from a business perspective, cutting through the technical jargon, and making this emerging technology easy to understand for anyone who reads it. is a platform to help businesses gain access to much needed financial capital during the Covid-19 (coronavirus) economic injury. The platform’s roadmap is to offer a pathway to fast cash and access to a full range of products and services (including basic consulting, compliance reporting capabilities, and digital solutions for managing and streamlining organizational and operational small business needs.

Damu Winston Links and Sources

Vilnius Awards Scholarship to Honour Biotechnological Pioneer Virginijus Šikšnys for Discoveries in CRISPR-Cas9 Technology

Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, celebrated the Nobel Prize ceremony by honouring one of the most prominent Lithuanian pioneers in life sciences –  Prof Virginijus Šikšnys – whose contributions led to important discoveries in the Nobel Prize-worthy CRISPR-Cas9 technology. Vilnius is funding a scholarship in the name of the scientist, and has commissioned a sculpture for the achievements made in the life sciences field.

Vilnius has honoured one of the most prominent Lithuanian pioneers in life sciences – Prof Virginijus Šikšnys – whose contributions led to important discoveries in the Nobel Prize-worthy CRISPR-Cas9 technology. Vilnius is funding a scholarship in the name of the scientist and has commissioned a sculpture for the achievements made in the life sciences field.

Because of the input contributed immensely by Prof V. Šikšnys to the discoveries in CRISPR-Cas9 technology – a field that received the Nobel Prize this year, Vilnius is funding a scholarship for the most gifted students in the life sciences field, which will be named after the professor.  Since Vilnius University Life Sciences Centre has been recognized as one of the global leaders in life sciences, the aim of the scholarship is to inspire local and foreign talents with the example of Prof V. Šikšnys, and to motivate them to continue with their studies and work in Vilnius. The scholarship of 10 000 EUR each year will be financed for 5 years with the possibility of the extension.

“The achievements of Prof Virginijus Šikšnys are important not only to academia but to our entire society. They direct global attention to Vilnius as one of the leading cities in life sciences. The scholarship gives the opportunity for young scientists to work alongside globally-recognised scientists such as Prof Šikšnys and for Vilnius University to be discovered by gifted people from all over the world,” Remigijus Šimašius, Mayor of Vilnius says.

A Lithuanian-native Prof V. Šikšnys is one of the most important pioneers in CRISPR-Cas9 technology, which enables geneticists and medical researchers to alter, remove, and add sections of the DNA sequence in this way editing parts of the genome. The discoveries in this field were awarded the Nobel Prize this year, and the professor contributed greatly to this global award by being the first to show that the CRISPR-Cas9 system could be transferred from one bacterium to another.

The professor’s achievements have not been left out. He received the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize for his remarkable input in CRISPR bacterial defence system discoveries in 2016. The scientist was also awarded the Novozymes Prize in biotechnology in 2017, and the Kavli Prize in nanoscience together with this year’s Nobel Prize winners in 2018. The scientific community holds the professor in the highest regard as one of the most important scientists to contribute significantly in the progress towards the development of CRISPR-Cas9 technology.

Šikšnys says he is pleasantly surprised by the honours: “I see this as an outstanding initiative to attract more talented people to biotechnologies and support the scientists in the field. At the same time, I could not be more proud that my life’s work might inspire other young scientists to aim high in their paths towards new discoveries.”

At the beginning of next year, Vilnius will also be unveiling a sculpture to honour the CRISPR-Cas9 tool also called “genetic scissors” near Vilnius University Life Sciences Centre. It has been commissioned in order to spread the understanding of the CRISPR-Cas9 technology more publicly and show that Vilnius city and Vilnius University are proud to house scientists whose work has led to globally recognised achievements and made the Nobel Prize-worthy ideas come to life. The sculpture is created by the artist Eglė Žvirblytė who has a close connection to biotechnologies herself.

“Both of my parents are well-known biotechnologists in Lithuania. Even though I decided to take on another path, I want Vilnius to have this sculpture which symbolizes both my roots and the importance of having scientists that make our entire nation proud,” says the artist.

The capital of Lithuania has been continuously strong and famous for the achievements made by its scientists in life sciences and biotechnologies. This year Vilnius University students won the Undergraduate Grand Prize at the iGEM 2020 competition. The Vilnius-Lithuania iGEM team has been participating in the competition for six year and this year outmatched more than 250 of the world’s strongest teams by presenting FlavoFlow project dedicated for exogenous fish infections. Vilnius has also been chosen by many global biotechnology companies, such as Thermo Fisher Scientific, which provides reagents that may be used for the development of COVID-19 vaccine.

Innovation In The UK: HMRC R&D Tax Relief Schemes And Patent Box Boosts Business Revenue And Innovative Spending

  • Large companies stimulated to spend between £5.8bn and £6.5bn on innovation
  • Increase in patents filed after first year of claim
  • SME claimants on average have ten times revenue size compared to non-claimants
  • Firms using the Patent Box Scheme display a 10% increase in capital investment

The R&D tax relief schemes and R&D expenditure credit (RDEC) have driven greater innovation in the UK, according to analysis by HMRC. A review of these schemes, as well as the Patent Box, highlighted that there were both positive direct and indirect impacts on business for those that utilised the schemes whilst also spurring on innovation.

For companies that applied for the RDEC in 2017/18, the overall cost of the scheme claims was £2.4 billion, which HMRC believes could have stimulated between £5.8bn and £6.5bn of additional investment in R&D initiatives. The RDEC scheme is aimed at companies with more than 500 employees in the UK and replaced the Large Company Scheme in 2016.

The R&D Tax Relief Scheme, which is aimed at SMEs, has also proved to have wider benefits for companies that claim under it. The analysis showed that the total R&D expenditure associated with the scheme for 2015/16 was approximately £6.3 billion. The additionality ratios from HMRC’s workings suggest that, of this, between £1.2 billion and £2.1 billion may have been stimulated by the scheme.

In addition, the analysis showed that there is a link between increased expenditure on R&D and increased turnover. A 1% increase in R&D expenditure on a conservative estimate was linked to a 0.02% increase in revenue in the same year, which does not take into account the longer period that it may take for the R&D project to materialise or translate into a commercial product.

Companies that filed R&D claims also on average have a turnover that is approximately ten times larger than the average for all other businesses in the private sector. The average turnover for claimants was also recorded to have increased between 2010 and 2013.

Businesses with fewer than 250 employees made the most claims, with the average value being £46,527 per business (2015/16). More recent figures from HMRC show that businesses claimed £84,548 on average across the UK in 2017/18. For 2018/19 the average claim value was already at £90,132 in October with months left for applications.

Another mark of the success of both schemes can be seen in the increase in the number of patent applications filed by claimants. The average number of patent applications per business per year increased after their first claim highlighting a link between R&D spend and successful innovation.

Similarly, the relatively new Patent Box policy (2012) has been evaluated by HMRC and found that whilst it may take a year for the policy to have an effect, it did have an impact on investment by a potential 10% increase. Similarly, firms that used the UK Patent Box were more likely to increase their investment in the UK compared to equivalent firms, which is a key aim of the scheme.

Radeep Mathew from leading innovation funding specialist, Leyton UK,  said: “The evaluation of the R&D schemes completed by HMRC shows that there is real value in these schemes, which go far beyond encouraging innovation. An increase in revenue, patents filed and the benefit of recouping cash back into the business are all added benefits. In the current climate, these benefits have even more to offer businesses as many feel the squeeze. These schemes can offer those struggling a vital lifeline. We hope this analysis will encourage businesses of all size and sectors to utilise the resources available to them.”

Khalid Saad FinTech Venture, Ecosystem Builder, Neobanks, Islamic Finance, From Bahrain to the World

Khalid Saad a FinTech entrepreneur and advisor that is passionate about starting new ventures and supporting existing ones. Khalid has worked closely over the years with numerous startups and companies on their digital and market entry strategies. Khalid is the new guest in this Dinis Guarda citiesabc openbusinesscouncil YouTube series.

Khalid Saad Interview Focus

1. An introduction from you – background, overview, education… Bahrain, UK
2. Can you get us some of your career highlights?
3. Can you tell us about Bahrain and the country’s business and financial ecosystem?
4. Your company / companies, organisations and focus?
5. From the work you have been doing with multiple chambers of commerce, business and finance which highlights can you share with us?
6. From companies wanting to get to Barhein can you highlight some of the main things you offer special in the regulatory frame, taxes and vision?
7. Bahrain has released cutting edge regulatory frames unique in the world can you highlight this?
8. How do you see Fintech and all areas of innovation around traditional finance, emerging new fintech platforms and more advanced crypto digital assets players?
9. You touched islamic banking, Halal economics – can you highlight that?
10. How do you see blockchain and digital currencies going forward?
11. What are your views on our society, technology and digital transformations? Special with Covid-19 what ways do you envision to redesign our society with technology and social impact?

Khalid Saad Interview Notes

About Khalid Saad’s background. I am now based in Bahrain and have spent some time in the UK. I am passionate about computers and technology and my university undergraduate education was focused on that. For my postgraduate studies, I focused on management and I hold an MSC from Imperial College London and a BSc from the University of Exeter (First Class Honors).

When I was back in Bahrain, I wanted to contribute to the development of my country as much as I could. I got a role working closely with the government to attract investments and creating meaningful jobs in Bahrain’s financial services sector. Additionally, we were helping Bahrain internally to further strengthen its business ecosystem and infrastructure to make it a powerhouse in the region.

During this time I learned how important embracing Fintech was. From a government POV, we realized how important it was to have the right regulations & policies, enabling infrastructure, stakeholder engagement and alignment and a continued culture of openness to help build the momentum to create a thriving Fintech ecosystem.

We needed to make it attractive for international players to come in and mix with the local and regional fintech ecosystem that was already here and we have had focused on that ever since, creating different solutions and platforms for that end. That is when the Bahrain FinTech Bay was born.

Since then I have based my career and experience on helping Bahrain’s fintech and startups ecosystem to thrive by putting together all the pieces and players to make sure Bahrain is a growing and attractive place now.

I truly believe that there is potential for Bahrain to become a strong global FinTech hub.

About Bahrain. Bahrain is the smallest country in the Middle East region and one of the smallest countries in the world actually. Bahrain is an innovative country in many sectors. This culture has helped us develop over the years. We discovered oil and that helped greatly in development, but we realized early on how important it was to diversify our economy. Our economy now is more diversified than ever before from financial services, manufacturing to tourism among other sectors. It is ranked highly in many expat lists as one of the best countries to live in globally due to its social and welcoming environment.

Bahrain has a strategic location in the region with a robust logistics infrastructure, comprehensive regulatory framework, a strong bilingual and capable workforce and an open culture.

Within FinTech, we are focused on developing many verticals alongside the enabling regulation. This includes an active regulatory sandbox and open banking framework. One of these verticals is crypto assets (including crypto ATMs) where we have comprehensive regulations that are praised worldwide. This is a relatively new industry and traditional financial institutions need to understand how they can collaborate with this industry to enable it and benefit from it.

About fintech and 4IR Digital Transformation. When we talk about 4IR and Digital Transformation we are talking about new ways of doing business. Some companies struggle to truly understand the scope of it all, and some even see it as a threat to their market position. What I believe is that the potential is huge and cannot be ignored simply because it changes the rules of the game. So I think what we need to promote is collaboration and education across all industries and sectors, even governments, so they can understand every detail and how they can benefit from it. It is a process that takes time and a lot of effort but is imperative and needs to take place.

About fintech and Islamic finance. You will find many financial sharia-compliant institutions that have embraced many fintech solutions. We are now in a stage that I like to call “Islamic Finance 2.0” where growth and operational efficiency will be attained and significantly aided through the adoption of technology. Financial inclusion is an important and ever growing theme and through FinTech, such institutions would be able to bank and service an increasingly large number of people in a relatively cost-effective way. The industry is at a crossroads where it needs to grow further and technology is the best way to achieve that.

More Interviews

Interview with Edwin Diender: CDTO and VP, Huawei Enterprise – Leading the World in Digital Transformation Smart Cities

Interview with Daniel Sloan, co-founder Future Tech, ‘RebuildTheChain’ – Building Blockchain and AI solutions

Video Interview with Dr Jamal Ouenniche, Professor & Chair in Business Analytics, University of Edinburgh – Business Analytics, AI Data Road Maps

Interview with Ben Goertzel Founder SingularityNet, OpenCog – Benevolent And Open AI, What Kind Of Evolutionary Mind Can We Engineer?

Interview With Anish Mohammed, Blockchain Researcher. Head of Research – IIS , SRH Berlin – Building Blockchain and AI Foundations and Ethics 

Khalid Saad Biography

Khalid Saad is a FinTech entrepreneur and advisor that is passionate about starting new ventures and supporting existing ones. Khalid has worked closely over the years with numerous startups and companies on their digital, market entry and business development strategies.

Khalid Saad is a board member of Oqal – Bahrain Chapter, which is the largest and most active angel investing network in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the region. He is also a Board Member of CoinMENA, a regulated crypto assets exchange. He is a member of the Finance, Insurance and Tax Committee of the Bahrain Chamber.

Khalid Saad was the Founding Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain FinTech Bay, which is the largest FinTech platform in the MENA region. It is also Bahrain’s first FinTech platform development platform which brings together around 100 different stakeholders from the public and private sector. These stakeholders include public agencies, regulators, banks, asset managers, technology companies, FinTechs, Telcos, family businesses, educational bodies and others from Bahrain, the region and internationally. It is also home to around 50 companies focused on blockchain, data analytics, robo advisory, crypto assets, crowdfunding, artificial intelligence and payments. Bahrain FinTech Bay was recognized by S&P Global Ratings as one of the two most advanced FinTech ecosystems in the MENA region.

Previously, Khalid Saad was a Business Development Manager for the Bahrain Economic Development Board, which is a dynamic public agency that is responsible for attracting inward investment into Bahrain, enhancing the investment climate and driving economic development. In this role, Khalid Saad focused on promoting Bahrain’s financial services sector and attracting new investments into this sector. Successes include expanding existing companies and attracting new ones such as banks, asset & wealth managers, insurers and ancillary services providers. Khalid Saad also works with existing financial players, financial associations, central bank, lawyers and others to drive development in the sector and make it more conducive and attractive for business.

Before joining the Bahrain Economic Development Board, Khalid Saad worked for Ernst & Young where his work centered on conducting feasibility and market studies, strategic documents and others for a wide array of clients. Khalid Saad also led the implementation of a governance, risk and compliance platform in the Bahrain office and trained all advisory staff. Prior to that, Khalid Saad worked in SEI Investments in London focusing on UK and European Equities.

Khalid Saad has an MSC from Imperial College London and a BSc from the University of Exeter (First Class Honors).

Khalid Saad Links / Sources

The Future Of Genetics: Interview With Clair Francomano, Leading Professor of Medical & Molecular Genetics

Dr Clair Francomano is a leading genetics professor. Dr. Clair Francomano has been involved in the care of individuals with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and other hereditary disorders of connective tissue throughout her career. During her years at the National Institutes of Health, she spear-headed a longitudinal study on the natural history of EDS that ran for over 20 years.

Since 2019, Dr. Francomano has worked as professor of medical and molecular genetics at the Indiana University School of Medicine and director of the Residency Training Program in Genetics at Indiana University.  She was  Chief of the Human Genetics and Integrative Medicine Section in the Laboratory of Genetics, National Institute on Aging from 2001-2005  and chief of the Medical Genetics Branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health from 1996-2001. Dr. Francomano attended Yale College as an undergraduate and received her M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where she trained in internal medicine and medical genetics.  She has published more than 150 peer-reviewed articles, reviews and book chapters.

Dr. Clair Francomano Interview Focus

1. An introduction from you – background, overview, education…
2. Career highlights
3. Early genetics research: Use Cases
4. How do you see Society 5.04IR and all areas of digital transformation?
5. What are your views on our society, technology and digital transformations?
6. Where are we right now regarding genetics research?
7. With Covid-19 what ways do you envision to redesign our society with technology and social impact?
8. What are your visions for the present and future?

Clair Francomano Interview Notes

About Clair Francomano’s background. My father was an inspiration to me: he was a practitioner whose patients loved him and he loved his patients. That was very important for me and I understood I wanted to become a doctor by the time I was in junior high school. I was introduced to genetics at a young age at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor Maine; I was 17 at the time. When I was in High School I did a 10-week summer program at the Jackson Laboratory where they were conducting research about mouse genetics and I got hooked by the potential of that field. From there I knew what I wanted to do and went on to attend Yale College as an undergraduate and received my M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where I trained in internal medicine and medical genetics. I joined the Hopkins faculty full-time in 1984. My mentor, Dr. Victor McKusick coined the phrase “Hereditary Disorders of Connective Tissue” and wrote the first book on the subject;I became part of his team. There is where my career started.

Early genetics research. At that time, before the human genome project was completed, it was much more difficult to identify the genes underlying hereditary disorders. What we were able to do back then was to find links between specific disorders and molecular markers on specific chromosomes, and then search for “candidate genes” in the ear-marked chromosomal region. The way we were conducting these researches was very primitive compared with what we do right now with the technology and techniques we have.

The Human Genome Project was a true breakthrough in our field. The HGP really catapulted the entire field of genetics and genomics. There is now an unprecedented amount of genetics research, focused on both the rare Mendelian diseases and genetic contributions to common diseases. We recognize more than 22k genes in the human genome, but despite the tremendous advances in technology and computational capacity, there are still many disease genes yet to be found.  Although we have had many achievements thanks to HGP we are still finding challenges, like translating theory to practice, meaning specific practical therapies. We know what genes provoke a specific disease but we still struggle to create specific solutions for them.

Amish Research. As a student, under the tutelage of Dr. Victor McKusick, I was part of a research group that was looking for some recessive disorders in the Amish community. As most of the Amish community in Pennsylvania came from 7 founder families, there was an important component of inbreeding, some of them were developing a condition of short stature or dwarfism called Cartilage-hair hypoplasia. Eventually the gene that caused that condition was found by researchers in Finland. As a student doctor it was a great field experience.

In 2001, I felt I needed to change my job as I was commuting between Baltimore and Bethesda (where the NIH is located) and I had very  little time to spend with my family. So I found an open position as the Chief of the Human Genetics and Integrative Medicine Section in the Laboratory of Genetics, National Institute on Aging, which is located in Baltimore.  By that time, the human genome project was very advanced and once completed they made it publicly available which super-charged our ability to conduct genetic research.

In 2005 I was offered a position as Director of Adult Genetics at the Harvey Institute of Human Genetics, which is part of the Greater Baltimore Medical Center.  The Harvey Institute was founded by Dr. Maimon Cohen with the support of Board members from GBMC who had a very modern and open approach to genetics. They wanted to create tangible solutions from genetics research and bring those solutions to the community. At the Harvey Institute I established  the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation Center for Clinical Care and Research, and since that time work with the Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome has become my purpose, something I am still involved in right now.

The Ehlers-Danlos syndromes are a group of connective tissue disorders that can be inherited and are varied both in how they affect the body and in their genetic causes. They are generally characterized by joint hypermobility (joints that stretch further than normal), skin hyperextensibility (skin that can be stretched further than normal), and tissue fragility. I have been privileged to serve as Chair of the Medical and Scientific Board for the EHlers-Danlos Society since 20016, and on the Steering Committee for the International Consortium on the Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders.  The International Consortium has 18 different working groups  with many prominent researchers from around the world to focus on the  different types of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and various co-morbid conditions associated with EDS.

There has been a discussion in society regarding how to be more inclusive of people with rare conditions and disabilities. There is a strong current that says that society, and all the processes that take place in society, should adapt to the needs of all the people. For example, the deaf community has lobbied for sign language translation to be be made available and elevator buttons have been lowered to accommodate people in wheelchairs and persons of short stature.  I believe that technology is actually helping us have a more inclusive society. We need to promote a more ethical society on all levels and that is what I am involved with right now.

In fact, ethics are critical in genetics. What we do in genetic counseling is provide people with all the information they need to make the best reproductive and treatment decisions.  Our primary rule as physicians and as researchers is “do no harm.” Everything we do with regard to genetic research is intended to improve the human experience. And we, professionals and researchers, have a responsibility to ensure that genetic research and therapies are all utilized in a strictly ethical manner.

More Interviews

Interview with Edwin Diender: CDTO and VP, Huawei Enterprise – Leading the World in Digital Transformation Smart Cities

Interview with Daniel Sloan, co-founder Future Tech, ‘RebuildTheChain’ – Building Blockchain and AI solutions

Video Interview with Dr Jamal Ouenniche, Professor & Chair in Business Analytics, University of Edinburgh – Business Analytics, AI Data Road Maps

Interview with Ben Goertzel Founder SingularityNet, OpenCog – Benevolent And Open AI, What Kind Of Evolutionary Mind Can We Engineer?

Interview With Anish Mohammed, Blockchain Researcher. Head of Research – IIS , SRH Berlin – Building Blockchain and AI Foundations and Ethics 

Bio Dr. Clair Francomano

Dr. Clair A. Francomano is Professor of Medical and Molecular Genetics at Indiana University School of Medicine.  She received a BA in Biology, magna cum laude, from Yale College in 1976 and graduated from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1980.  She remained at Johns Hopkins to complete an internship and residency in Internal Medicine followed by a fellowship in Pediatric and Medical Genetics.  She is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and in Molecular Genetics and Genomics.

Dr. Francomano served on the full-time faculty at Johns Hopkins from 1984 until 1994, when she left Hopkins to join what was then the National Center for Human Genome Research (later to become the National Human Genome Research Institute or NHGRI).  She was the first Clinical Director of the NHGRI and Chief of the Medical Genetics Branch. She directed the Metropolitan Washington Medical Genetics Fellowship Program from 1995-1998.  In 2001 she joined the National Institute on Aging as Chief of the Human Genetics and Integrative Medicine Section in the Laboratory of Genetics.

From 2005-2019 Dr. Francomano was Director of Adult Genetics at the Harvey Institute for Human Genetics at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.  During this time, she established the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation Center for Clinical Care and Research at the Harvey Institute.  She was recruited to Indiana University in 2019 and directs the residency programs in Medical Genetics at IU.  She heads the Ehlers-Danlos Society Center at Indiana University Health.

Dr. Francomano has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers, reviews and book chapters.  Her research has focused on clinical and molecular aspects of the hereditary disorders of connective tissue.  Her laboratory, with Dr. Hal Dietz as the lead author, reported on the identification of FBN1 as the gene causing Marfan syndrome in 1991. She is a Founding Fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics and a member of both the American Society of Human Genetics and the American College of Physicians.

Dr. Francomano’s contributions to multiple patient support groups, including the National Marfan Foundation, Little People of America and the Ehlers-Danlos Society have been recognized with multiple awards over the 40 years she has been in practice.  She currently serves as Chair of the Medical and Scientific Board for the Ehlers-Danlos Society and is a member of the Steering Committee for the International Consortium on Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Hypermobile Spectrum Disorders.  Dr. Francomano also serves as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for Alström Syndrome International.

Dr. Francomano is married to John L.S. Thorpe, who retired in 2019 from 36 years of service as an educator and administrator at St. Paul’s School in Baltimore.  They have 2 adult children, Emily Vesnovskiy of Nutley, NJ, and Charles Thorpe of Seattle, Washington.

Dr Clair Francomano Links and Resources

openbusinesscouncil Summit Offers A Roadmap Of Solutions For The Challenges Of 4IR And Frontier Technologies

· Day 2 kicked off with a double session featuring government’s views on 4IR and frontier technologies with Japanese Minister Naokazu Takemoto, Tina Jabeen, CEO and Managing Director Startup Bangladesh Limited ICT Division and Oleksandr Bornyakov, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation for IT Development Ukraine, among others.
· Top Industry leaders and experts helped build a positive narrative about 4IR challenges and opportunities across 8 different panels
· The openbusinessconcouncil summit ended with a plea to ethical tech and highlighted the need for building solutions that are both accessible and inclusive for everyone.
· All the panels can be watched on Dinis Guarda Youtube Channel.

The openbusinesscouncil summit has come to an end after 2 days full of panels, experts and inspiring insights on the role of 4IR and frontier technologies in the world of tomorrow. In total, there were 19 panels, featuring 77 speakers, from which there were 4 ministers, 13 governmental representatives, and 25 top industry media influencers.

Day 2 followed up on the success of the first session, scaling things up as government representatives took the stage. The initial 2 panels put together 3 top government officials: Japanese Minister Naokazu Takemoto; Tina Jabeen, CEO and Managing Director Startup Bangladesh Limited ICT Division and Oleksandr Bornyakov, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation for IT Development Ukraine; and 2 heads of startup accelerators, Luisa Rubio Arribas, Head of Wayra X (Telefonica’s startup wing) and Kieu My (Kimiko) Doan, Vietnam Digital Transformational Leader. All 5 panellists, moderated by Visionary Tech Leader Eric van der Kleij, explored the needed collaborations between decision-makers and business ecosystems to thrive in a hypercompetitive and disruptive environment.

Some of the highlights of “The Global Governmental, Business and Startup Tech Landscape Post Covid – Challenges and Opportunities” panel are:

Japanese Minister Naokazu Takemoto: “We are now developing the new Moonshot Research and Development Program that aims to create disruptive innovations from Japan and promotes challenging R&D based on revolutionary concepts that are not simply the extension of existing technologies, i.e. moonshots. The Moonshot Research and Development (R&D) Program aims to solve various difficult issues in today’s society, such as the declining birthrate, ageing population, large‐scale natural disasters, global warming and many others. Japan will promote international R&D cooperation to solve these issues. By aggressively promoting challenging R&D rather than improving conventional technologies, the Cabinet Office of the Japanese Government and other relevant ministries will facilitate disruptive innovation through enhancing researchers’ trials and errors.”

Tina Jabeen, CEO and Managing Director Startup Bangladesh Limited ICT Division: “The Government of Bangladesh is working on an extremely ambitious program based on technology. Because technology is the way to go if we want to transform our society if we want to bring large scale impact and to achieve the 2030 SDGs. So with that in mind technology has been incorporated into all our national plans. We have two very interesting projects: the Bangladesh Hi-tech Park Authority, which is a government agency dedicated to establish, manage and operate all 39 and growing technology business parks throughout the country. The second one is fostering the Startup Bangladesh ecosystem. We know that startups are agile, flexible and bring innovation. That is why Startup Bangladesh was created in the beginning and that is what we are focusing on right now.

Across the 8 panels, speakers had the chance to explore solutions, challenges and opportunities in different sectors but all linked together by disruptive innovation. Overall, the tone was optimistic and panellists focused on creating a positive narrative based on the ethical development of technology.

Some of the panel highlights are:

Marc Buckley | ALOHAS Resilience Foundation, SDG Advocate, Expert for WEF, and Global Food Reformist I Berlin School for Sustainable Futures University of Applied Sciences Professor – about education: “We need to include future thinking and emerging technologies in education systems worldwide. We need to embrace tech to understand better how we can move forward ethically and sustainably. COVID-19 was a pivotal moment in recent education history and showed the gap in technology adoption in education. It was also an accelerator for tech adoption. We are all citizens of this global world and we need to go all together to make sure the future is better than the world right now. Neoliberalism has expired already.”

Jaewon Peter Chun | President World Smart City Forum about building smart cities: “When you build a smart city, you need to think about who is going to benefit from this new infrastructure and technologies. There are cities that don’t have many people living there but they are important transportation hubs or a touristic destination. So the question is what specific technologies, solutions do you need to implement for the needs of your city? These are the questions that not all the cities ask to themselves but are key to the effectiveness of smart city-related technologies.”

The event ran through to 6 pm GMT, being live-streamed from 5 different channels including YouTube, Facebook and Periscope, all 37+ speakers shared their insights about how 4IR and frontier tech is transforming the world as we know it in these times of COVID-19 uncertainties.

The 2-day event openbusinesscouncil summit came to an end with the ‘Future Governments & Cities: what Roads to Smart Sustainable, Accessibility + Inclusive society?’, a panel discussion key for the future implementation of technology, giving us a much needed ethical POV. The panel was moderated by Debra Ruh, CEO and Founder of Ruh Global IMPACT, Human Potential at Work (HPAW) Talk Show Host and Co-Host of AXSChat and it will feature Maya Zuckerman, COO Luman; Richard Streitz, Chief Operating Officer (COO) Ruh Global IMPACT; Marco Robinson, Founder of NAKED technologies and Uriel Alvarado, Co-founder and CEO of Grupo BienAhora and BienFest.

Some highlights from the panel:

Maya Zuckerman | Luman’s COO said: “Innovation is fun, implementing that innovation is when things get complicated. Also, cities and nations have been built around transportation, cars, not humans, so completing that transition is a real challenge. Now we are getting there, but new challenges arise in terms of security, services, etc. That’s why innovation and public conversations are so important right now.”

The event was catalogued as a success and the statistics speak for themselves. The event, in general, reached these numbers:
· panels over 50k live viewers
· total digital outreach was over 2 million people;
· Generated over 600 articles and PR syndication multiple news assets such as Yahoo Finance, WSJ, MarketWatch etc.

Read here the openbusinesscouncil summit day 1 recap.

Dinis Guarda, founder of and curator of the event said: “We all appreciate your great expertise and insights, and I truly believe we helped build a positive narrative around the challenges and opportunities of 4IR and frontier technologies.
Grateful to have great speakers and experts share their ideas on”.

The summit had a solid focus on businesses and governments’ digital transformation strategies, and it provided a road map of solutions, covering opportunities of how to work and collaborate as governments, businesses, cities, citizens and nations move forward with 4IR – Society 5.0. The summit provided an international business and brand exposure through our media partners.