EPISODE 254

FlyingBinary CEO Jacqui Taylor Pilots the Technology of the Empathy Economy

48 minutes · August 23, 2021

Dr. Jacqui Taylor, co-founder and CEO of FlyingBinary, is on a mission to create an inclusive technological future for everyone. An engineer at heart and by training, she helps companies and governments develop digital strategies and prepare for cyberattacks. She joins the podcast to talk about how she’s bringing her deep expertise to the global effort to develop the digital economy and drive a network of interconnected smart cities. Learn more and keep up with Dr. Taylor's WEF Research here: WEF.jacqui.online.

Speaker 1:

From the library of the New York Stock Exchange, at the corner of Wall and Broad Streets in New York City, you're Inside the ICE House. Our podcast from Intercontinental Exchange on markets, leadership and vision in global business. The dream drivers that have made the NYSE an indispensable institution of global growth for over 225 years. Each week, we feature stories of those who hatch plans, create jobs and harness the engine of capitalism, right here, right now at the NYSE and at ICE Exchanges and clearing houses around the world. And now welcome Inside the ICE House. Here's your host, Josh king of Intercontinental Exchange.

Josh King:

I've had a few throwback moments this summer to my youthful innocence, when I sat riveted to the screen, watching Apollo astronauts take to the heavens. Who could look away really when Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, billionaires both, ascended toward the stratosphere in their rocket powered vehicles, financed on Bezos's part by the work of Amazon employees and his customers. And in Branson's part, capital raised right here at the New York Stock Exchange, through the SPAC combination, making a publicly traded company, a Virgin Galactic. That's NYSE ticker symbol SPCE. I'll be aging myself to admit that it was 50 years ago that Apollo 15 went even further by landing a car on the moon. The two astronauts spent nearly 20 hours on a road trip across the lunar surface, collecting geological samples and surveying the topography. And to make the trip, the lunar Rover, as it was known, needed to weigh less than 500 pounds, bear the weight of two astronauts and their cargo, work within extreme temperature swings and withstand the trail rated Tundra, talk about an engineering problem.

Josh King:

The New York Times noted that the formidable electric vehicle was seen by many as a crowning achievement of the Apollo program, built by two NYSE listed companies, that's Boeing, NYSE ticker symbol BA and General Motors, our ticker symbol, GM. Engineering is all about solving problems, it's a core value of Intercontinental Exchange. And whether it's on the moon, in a fuse box, or even in a line of code, identifying needs and then creating solutions is what engineers do. Exhaustive observation, creative thinking and careful measurement go into figuring out what the best next step looks like. And then comes a ton of teamwork, discussion and debate. The cathartic nature of cracking a puzzle with a team is exceptionally motivating, especially when you combine ideas that don't intuitively go together, like driving a car on the moon.

Josh King:

Problem solving has always come naturally to today's guest. She started her career in aerospace and then left the physical engineering world and embraced technology and the fast evolving internet. She spent much of her career focused on digital inclusion, making sure nobody is left behind on this great mission we're on together in cyberspace. Dr. Jacqui Taylor is co-founder and CEO of FlyingBinary, a web science company that changes the world with data and helps companies and governments adopt IT strategies and solutions. She was awarded an honorary doctorate of science in recognition of her international web science work, has been recognized as one of the 100 most powerful UK entrepreneurs, and is one of the most influential women in technology and web science in the United Kingdom. Our conversation with Jacqui Taylor is coming up right after this.

Speaker 3:

Whether it's markets, exchanges or networks, connection makes everything possible. The connection between data and technology, innovation and expertise, and most of all, between people and opportunity. For over 20 years, ICE has transformed markets, products and processes to make things work better, faster, smarter. From modernizing energy and commodity trading to revolutionizing the bond markets, whether it's the world's largest stock exchange or the dream of home ownership, we do more than see the big picture, we create it. You may not know our name, but we bet you know our network. ICE, make the connection.

Josh King:

Our guest today, Dr. Jacqui Taylor, is co-founder and CEO of FlyingBinary. An information and technology services company that helps companies and governments develop and adopt cloud-based IT strategies and other IT tools and solutions. The company remains committed to a broader mission of inclusion and connectivity. Jacqui's been recognized as one of the 100 most powerful UK entrepreneurs, one of the most influential women in tech and web science and a top global entrepreneur to watch. She's also an expert advisor to the G20 members on the future of digital economies and an expert advisor to the United Nations for the UN's 2030 plan. Welcome Jacqui, Inside the ICE House.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

Delighted to be here. Thanks for the introduction Josh.

Josh King:

So Jacqui, you and I are connected through our mutual friend, Patrick Young, the powerhouse behind the Exchange Invest Newsletter, author of so many bestsellers, including Capital Market Revolution. Prior guests of the show, I should add. Patrick called you a digital renaissance genius. Where did your lives intersect and how did you get to know each other?

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

Well, my journey has been a very interesting one, we'll probably go into that. But essentially I disagreed online with the idea that cyber was for the specialist, that was on the back of my speech at Davos. I was asked to speak about the future of the cyber security industry and I said, there wasn't one. And went on to talk about the unheard voices across our planet that had better ideas. And Patrick was like, "If there's a way of getting an understanding of what you all do from a cyber point of view that means that our world's going to be safer, I'm interested." So I actually said, "Well, let's not talk about it, let's do, because I'm an engineer and doing's what we do."

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

And essentially I put together an offering for a business network that he's connected in, and took people who probably had never heard of cyber and didn't think it related to them and took them through journey 101, and why it's actually accessible to us all now. And that's based on the industrial internet of things, which is the deep tech that FlyingBinary builds, and how it's actually made available to us all, with a different way of thinking, with an engineering way of thinking.

Josh King:

So before you got to that different way of thinking, as I mentioned on the onset, you're trained Jacqui, as an aerospace engineer. How does one go from a world focused on the sky and the heavens to the microchip and processing power?

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

Well, I was very lucky to be able to create an engineering future that solved some of the noise pollution issues in our cities. As part of my training, I was sponsored by [Pershare 00:07:37] Spaces it was at the time, and essentially to look at how we might take a societal view of our aerospace industry. That went really well, I won lots of prizes and what have you for that, until I went back into the company that sponsored me to put that aircraft into production. But the first airplanes off-plan were for the Middle East, and a woman leading that project back in the '70s, which is when it was, was not an option. So that was me out of a job. So I spoke to a pilot friend of mine who was the MD of the company and said, "What will I do?" And he said, "I've always wondered what goes on in that computer service department. Let's see how aerospace and computers mix."

Josh King:

What was that aircraft like that you'd created?

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

I actually get to fly on her regularly, which is fantastic. She's the BA 146, the Whisper Jet. She did do what she set out to do and solve part of the noise pollution in our cities. And I'm lucky enough to fly on her on a fairly regular basis and she's awesome. But at that time it was like, "Well, what might I do if I can't do that?" I discovered that in six weeks software was not an engineering discipline, or it certainly wasn't then, and needed to be. And so what did I do for six weeks? Stock up any software being shipped until we could bring an engineering discipline to it. So aerospace is one of the first sectors to bring software and engineering together, and I was part of that pioneering team.

Josh King:

That BA 146, I've flown a bunch of times as well. The times that I remember it most clearly is taking it from Denver International Airport, the Old Stapleton Airport, into Aspen, where I think the locals don't love Lauder engines. But that's a very small plane with what looks like a 747's worth of very quiet engines on the wings.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

Yes. Well, the engines were newly designed to solve that particular problem. And I got to do some of the wind tunnel testing to put that engineering in place. And so understand that, went on to do some of the carbon fiber technology that followed on from that. But yeah, she was a hub-and-spoke aircraft. The idea that we would bus people in, but actually we would need to in the smaller urban spaces come up with a new solution. I think that was the first time that I understood that we all do what we do in engineering, and we should have a societal view of it, but I didn't know that's what I was getting into, but that was the beginning of it.

Josh King:

So how did you come up with the name FlyingBinary?

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

Well, when you're holding to the Royal Society in London, the building that Isaac Newton built to be the home of science, and you're confronted with Tim Berners-Lee saying, "Okay, there's $200. I need your help, its 20th anniversary of the World Wide Web. We've got 18% of the world online. How is this thing meant to work? Clearly, I don't know. You all need to help." And I was just inspired at the idea of why he created the web and its contribution to the world. And clearly, and back in that day, it wasn't helping. So we came together to say, "Well, we're forming a company to bring disruption to financial services, because we've been asked by 20 banks in Europe to take the crown jewels of their banking system into the cloud," which was considered heresy at the time back in 2009, "And create a regulatory driven approach to that." Because regulation was starting to come in to our financial services industry and we needed change that would support that.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

And so we said, "Well, it's about the clouds, but as an engineer, everything's a binary decision. It works or it doesn't." And that's where it came from. And in originally that reg-tech rather than deep tech, as it is now is what we started with. Regulation as an opportunity, which is a hard sell in the financial services world.

Josh King:

Right. You started FlyingBinary, it's 2009, you're working with your co-founder and your CTO, Ian Taylor. So after implementing this banking regulatory change program with the web 3.0 tools that helped found the company, can you walk us through where you went from there, what types of clients do FlyingBinary serve now?

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

So there were two things that happened. We were given the opportunity to meet Ed Tufte, who I consider to be the father of data visualization. And we picked up the baton on his work because that was not part of technology deployment, to be able to use really the pre-attentive cognition, the science and the engineering together. And so we were already investigating that and I got delayed at Schiphol Airport, having done a speaking engagement with the editor of the Data Blog at the Guardian. We had a meeting and he said, "I've been watching what you've been doing at FlyingBinary, bringing messaging to people that don't understand technology, I think that's amazing. So as a journalist, I do that with words, you do it with data. How about we put that together?"

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

And so we did do just that. We create the data journalism industry, and three of the books that I've written now with colleagues in the industry are now primers for our PhD cohorts. Where we actually explained that in order to bring change in society, you have to be able to communicate not only with the written word, but back it with evidence, facts are sacred. And so how do you combine the engineering and the human capability of non-specialists?

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

So we have 34 million people across the world that help us with that work today. And where anything you might do online might be between 30 seconds and a minute and a half useful to somebody, with web science that we've pioneered, between eight and 10 minutes is the average of any content online, if it's built the way that we build, if it's engineered the way we engineer it. And so essentially that just broke the whole world open. And we've been pretty much in every sector, helping clients to understand what an innovation path might be. As I say, founded the industry and opened the doors to a new way of working with our newer cohort that was coming online, generation Y, the millennials, as they consume in images and not in text, so it was right at the time that we did that.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

And effectively, I think there's not a sector that didn't take some of that technology. But also the metrics we had within about a year was, 8% of what technology is enabling is constrained within an IT department. And if you take the web science approach that we pioneered, you can get 80% of your people involved. If you can get a 10 times multiplier in anything you're doing in an organization, if nobody else listens, the CFO listens, because there's positive P&L in that, and they recognize it. But quite frankly, the CEOs recognize it too. Today, the clients that you mentioned, the fortune 100, because they understand that mobilizing an organization in an online world is actually what they need to do in serving a different population, a global population. But even back in 2010, that happened.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

But again, challenge is probably my domain because I was challenged by a member of the cabinet office in the UK who orchestrate change in the UK government to say, "Yes, but is that possible here?" And it's like, "Okay, then." And so bring their contributions, all the departments in the UK government create and rank them for their contributions. Which is enough to cause mayhem around a boardroom table across the UK government, but also a signal change of government. And really what we did then was pioneered some of the work we'd already done in the private sector and bring that to the UK government and created something that's gone across 180 governments across the world now. Which is, a new approach to digital transformation by using off-the shelf technology, cloud technology, that's off-the shelf.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

Now there's different elements of that. But essentially once we helped the UK government go cloud first... I will say this now, and I think if you've heard me speak before, you'll know, "Oh, she's going to say it again." But I am. No cloud, no AI, no artificial intelligence. You have to have that. If you're going to unlock deep tech and the globalized opportunity, and the changes that the industrial internet of things brings, you have to do cloud, no choices. So these days our clients are cloud only, not cloud first.

Josh King:

You mentioned your work with the UK government and along those lines, Jacqui, you described yourself in an interview as we might call a pivot expert. A title that captures something dynamic about you, but also the world of technology. You've talked about how in 2016, Brexit forced you to reevaluate your business and how you work with your clients. What opportunities and challenges existed in the context of Brexit, and how do you believe FlyingBinary was uniquely positioned to help answer the call?

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

Well, it was interesting because FlyingBinary is one of the original 250 companies that created the digital economy in the UK. And we regularly get together with the other founders. Not all of them are still doing what we do, but many of us are. And I was having a conversation with those founders, our general get together for Christmas. And I was explaining that I was getting involved in the Brexit process, but I could see there was a huge opportunity. And the response I got back from the other founders, "Well, this is your world, the industrial internet of things is your world. So tell us what to do." And quite frankly, answering that question took me a year. So given we do what we do already, what do we need to do differently? And essentially what it is the world we have online today was founded on a business model that is called the sharing economy. The idea that there's a freemium commercial model, you get this for free, you pay for this. And technology itself has rolled out across the world using that model.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

And that model is actually broken because it doesn't serve us the way we imagined it to be. That's a big, long conversation, happy to pick up questions on that. So what would replace it? How would you change it? And essentially what it was was, the business model needs to change, but what did it need to be? If every business model needed to change, then so did ours. So set about understanding what opportunities Brexit gave us as a company and what new business model we might then evolve to and effectively, support other entrepreneurs to do the same thing.

Josh King:

Did you see a similar inflection point during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

Well, that's a very interesting story and a great question. Essentially, and setting off on that Brexit journey on 2016, solving the problem, starting to roll it out in 2018, through to December, 2019, when I was recognized as one of the top 20 impact entrepreneurs, because by that time, we'd already positively impacted half the world's population. I flew out of Saudi Arabia, the G20 summit in February with a plan, I would say the G20 members would have been happy with a five-year plan. I insisted on a three year plan driven by an inclusion agenda, but very much having a set of countries, members around the table who thought that that was more of a stretch than anybody could do, but then within three months executing on that plan, because bringing a billion additional people online changed the inflection point for the whole world.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

Now obviously G20 is 60% of the world's GDP, so it isn't the whole world. But that drives change that the G20 members have innovation and change within their economies. So driving that change from there meant that the whole world change was in. So we were literally executing on what was supposedly a three year horizon within three months of the pandemic.

Josh King:

So financial services providers have long looked to regulatory technology to help spot patterns and trends and data to help meet regulatory requirements, you were mentioning that just at the beginning of our conversation. But as someone who's for so long been in the reg-tech space, how does this continually changing regulatory framework affect your approach to problem solving? And how does it impact your work with your clients?

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

Back in 2009, those 20 European banks who were just going to get on a new journey with a reg-tech approach to solving the payment services directive, cross border payments, they were very much pioneers. Where we are now ism my regular appointments with financial services companies around a tsunami of regulation. We're no longer in a place where not taking a reg-tech approach is an option because ultimately [inaudible 00:20:36] of it, and we can't afford to. We still have the technical debt of a pre-reg-tech age, so how do you square that circle particularly in Europe? Because in Europe, it's not about just demonstrating a compliance anymore, in Europe it's about an audit process for that, to show that no human has been involved, that's very difficult with a technical debt. So the reason that we are in a different place now is effectively the design of all our services is actually the design using the regulation itself.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

So to give you an example. We're just in partnership with the UK's information commissioner about the next set of requirements. Everybody I'm sure will be familiar with the general data protection regulation that came out of Europe, that's being followed by a CCPA and the changes in Japan, and it's becoming an online mechanism that everybody's looking to in the way we build services. There's a new component of that that goes live in just one month time, the 2nd of September, that is around the age appropriate design, looking at the way in which children are catered for with online services. And if you get technology like artificial intelligence, how do you prove that you've actually met the regulation? And how do you prove that from an audit perspective? That is a very, very different problem. And so essentially, we've taken that reg-tech approach as part of the design.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

So we are designing in a full view, in a sandbox environment with the regulator, that new AI service that we're building, which has got its code name of Social Guardian. And it's looking to support our young people with the emerging mental health issues this pandemic has created. But we are literally designing that, and the guidance that comes on the back of that regulation will be designed from the service that we're putting through a sandbox. So I think that for many organizations now, if reg-tech is not part of your approach in the way you procure services, the way you build services, I don't believe that the children's code as it's called, the age appropriate design code of GDPR is something that anybody will be able to avoid because there's an ethical and a moral component about our young people and what they consume online.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

And being able to build online with that as part of the design of your service, is what that regulation requires. And really where we're not in a non-negotiable world now about reg-tech. I would be happy to talk to anybody, I am happy to talk [inaudible 00:23:22] anybody who thinks that that's not an option, because I don't know a sector where that isn't an option now. But obviously in our financial services sector, it's what we live with, heavily regulated, ever-changing. It should be part of how we plan and build and deploy, in my view.

Josh King:

So The Wall Street Journal recently reported that although many businesses had treated Amazon and Microsoft as really the only two options for cloud computing, many IT managers across the public and private sectors are realizing that there's so much more competition and leverage in the industry. One of the services FlyingBinary offers is a click buy experience for her Majesty's government approved cloud services. What trends are you seeing in the public sector as departments and agencies begin to move to the cloud? And what benefits do you believe they'll capture when they make this transition?

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

The first one that I would say, I'd repeat the thing I said before, no cloud, no AI. From a government point of view to serve the citizens, we can't expect to be able to do that without leveraging tech to do it. And deep tech itself needs to be sat on cloud because of the way it consumes, et cetera. I would say that in the private sector, both myself and my co-founder were both Google engineers. And we have seen an increasing take-up with the Google compute platform. And because there is not just the regulatory piece that Google have done on that, but also around the Net Zero agenda. Many organizations we work with are mobilizing around that agenda, and Google are very forward-thinking in terms of the sustainability elements of that cloud service. One of the things that I see all the time and pretty much we have to deal with whenever we're dealing with starting a client across that journey to cloud is the migration of it.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

What is the roadmap? How do you find the low hanging fruit to get the organization mobilized, and how do you do that increasingly in a sustainable way? And then many of our clients, public cloud provision is not something they would consider, particularly in financial services, they would want something other than that. And that's something that we build at FlyingBinary from the tin up. So we effectively commissioned that. Again, sustainability is core at what we do as well, so we would commission that and put that in place. So that would take us all the way up to say military secrets. So we're finding there's a difference between private and public sector, but in public sector, the journey's non-negotiable, it's a question of what the migration path is they need to follow.

Josh King:

Sustainability is one thing Jacqui, security is another. Earlier this year, state actors pulled a broad range of attacks against the US government and enforce the executive and legislative branches to re-examine, how it should protect itself against cyber threats. How should businesses and governments be thinking about cybersecurity now?

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

Well, if you've got another hour... But what I say to people is the idea when I speak to boards or CXOs about this, I say that there's three top things that all of our clients have told us that they need to do. And one of them is the move to cloud and navigate that journey, they have to do that. The other one of it is understanding at what point they need to make the transition, or do they need a hybrid environment. But the security side of it is many clients that come to us as a first client, are still attempting to secure the perimeter. Many other governments are attempting to secure the perimeter. The UK government hasn't taken that approach since 2012, because it's not possible to secure the perimeter. I can't say lots about it, but one of the key assessments I made at G20 for the G20 nations was this particular piece.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

And I put that on the table in February, 2020 before the incident you're talking about had happened. When I stood up at Davos in January, 2019, I said, "There is no future for the cybersecurity industry, because it is still attempting to manage the threats, which is no longer possible with over 50% of the world online. And so what you have to do is take a risk-based approach." And it's really that risk-based approach that needs to change for most people. And then the other thing I always say is, "Your cyber insurance is absolutely critical, and that needs to take that same risk-based approach and be appropriate."

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

But when we're talking about the critical national infrastructure that you are, that was a specific assessment I did for the G20 members, about the changes we'd done in the UK to manage that differently and was taken account of by the other members. And in fact, I did some follow on training of my peers in the cybersecurity industry around that assessment, which was obviously closed door so that it's not done in public. But it's been an issue. I spoke about it publicly at Davos in January, 2019.

Josh King:

A lot of the infrastructures that we're talking about so far are big national ones, government, large corporates. The problems that we also see in the headlines, Jacqui are smaller municipalities with less protections, less expertise in-house. And you've said, I think in several talks that about 58 to 60% of all cyber crime has targeted small businesses, the lifeblood of most economies. Many of these businesses don't have the deep pockets to protect themselves in any way. What should smaller businesses be considering when thinking about trying to create safeguards in the dangers of cyber crime, and should their approach differ from larger organizations?

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

Yeah, you should do because you're quite right, resourcing is one of the key things. Yes, that's the world economic forum research after the Davos speech I did, 58% of cyber crime is targeted against small businesses. And if you think of in Europe where I'm an expert advisor, 95% of our economy is small businesses. So across the 27 countries. And so actually where the headlines are always grabbed by the state actors and the large amounts, particularly the ransomware attacks that are going on now, but really what slips under the radar is small businesses on average are losing 12% of their turnover in the attacks that are perpetrated against them. And quite frankly, there's a number of answers to that, but I've got to the place that said I should provide that. So I talked about the sharing economy earlier.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

So in producing the plan for the G20 and the United Nations, what we're moving to is what I call the empathy economy. And the empathy economy, I'm making an offer to up to a million entrepreneurs because I calculated the numbers because I've got the data across the world. If I can socialize that change that you're asking to a million entrepreneurs, it can be networked across the world. And I've done that, some testing on that with 110 million entrepreneurs in 170 countries that helped me understand that landscape. So I'm building out an offering because quite frankly, I think I have to give them the tech and give them the knowledge. It's not something that you can acquire. Certainly you can't bring in cyber resources like ourselves, that the big corporations or governments have. So it's something that effectively that's our next push is to provide that, not just the technology, but the support and the knowledge to move the needle for the small businesses.

Josh King:

So with the empathy economy, I think you're making the tools, techniques, technologies, and these new business models that are required to unlock the benefits of the empathy economy. You're putting them all online with a membership program. When should we expect the program to launch and how are you going to evaluate its success?

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

Well, I would have had a really fair [inaudible 00:31:05] when we booked this podcast, but what's happened since is I've been asked to put the principles together that the global technology and industry needs to use for the empathy economy, because actually we need some grounding to create those business models. So I've taken a time-out to do that. I've just started that work at the end of July, I'm hoping to be able to get an answer on the table, at least the initial answer for all of the countries that are participating, 147. And those core principles that the global technology industry will get to see and will be the basis of where I start with the empathy economy. Because I was actually just going to start with the basics and start with cyber, but now I'll be able to start with the changes that global tech is going to introduce.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

So I know I won't be able to get back to the build-out of that, although my team effectively are. We've for example, built... It will be all our tech. So we've built the platform it sits on, we won't be using any of the social platforms that are in the sharing economy and we'll have our own built for the empathy economy. So we will be starting to pick that project back up again from an implementation point of view in September. And in terms of launch date, as soon as humanly possible I think. Squaring the circle of what principles should the global technology industry use the empathy economy is not a small job, but we've made a good start and I've got collaboration and cooperation from across the world. So I'm quite excited that that's able to be done. And certainly the core of that I should have in September. We're looking to have that launched by at least the end of this year, if not sooner, by the end of 2021.

Josh King:

Now after the break, Jacqui and I'll dive deeper into her work with the empathy economy, smart cities and the future. That's all coming up right after this.

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Josh King:

Welcome back. Before the break, Dr. Jacqui Taylor, co-founder and CEO of FlyingBinary and I, were discussing her background, her company's mission, its approach to cybersecurity and the empathy economy. Jacqui, I want to spend some time on a book that you worked on recently, Resilient Voices, True Stories of Resilience, Positivity and Hope from a Pandemic. The anthology, which was compiled by Brenda Dempsey, really captures the stories of doctors, nurses, parents and entrepreneurs, and raises their voices to show hope encouraged during the COVID-19 pandemic. With all of the profits from book sales going to the NHS charities together. How did you get involved in the project?

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

Well, I'm the only technologist that's ever put technology across the NHS, the National Health Service in the UK, so it's dear to my heart, and I've always got some support I'm doing. But this pandemic has proven across the world to be a point that I think, in respective of your experience of the pandemic and which country you're in, it's focused and highlighted the heroes in our health services. Many of us obviously haven't been safe and we've had many deaths, but for them, they stand between us and this disease. And so I was talking to... Brenda is a publisher friend of mine. And she said, "I'm looking to tell the story of the empathy economy, but how would we do it?" And we discussed that actually mine wasn't the only story of hope. There was a resilience about some of us as entrepreneurs in our various fields, in the medical field, wherever, where we'd actually all taken this pandemic and created a story of hope and of change.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

And what we came up with was that those voices were all resilient voices in times of great change and tragedy. There were voices that needed to be heard, were resilient voice. I talk a lot from an inclusion point of view about on unheard voices, but we felt that the message of hope was around resilient voices and what better to do than to do that as a giveback book. And every penny that we raise would be to be given to our heroes in the National Health Service in the UK. So we launched the e-book on the 73rd anniversary of the NHS, and then we've got our launch towards the end of August of the physical book, because it wasn't possible having a great idea and get a physical book out in the timescale.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

But for me, it was about that message of hope, socializing the empathy economy, alongside those other people that had said, "This is not going to define us. We will move on from here." And it will be a journey of in my case, courage, confidence, insight and energy. How I had to put what I call an infant mindset together, because everything that I experienced before, and I'm no stranger to change, was actually proven to be more of a problem than I've ever experienced. So it was to give that story out to the world, to put somebody else to be able to take that and roll with it, see what they could make of it.

Josh King:

Another anthology of sorts I think that you contributed to is Tech City. A technology cluster in East London, similar to Silicon Valley in the US which has attracted a lot of heavy hitting technology names and startups. That program has grown into a national movement to champion tech businesses across the UK and at every stage of their business lifecycle. How did you get involved with that effort, and why was fostering a local tech ecosystem really so important?

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

When we formed Tech City, it was... it doesn't actually exist. To anybody listening to this, you can't go there, it's not real, it's a virtual city. But when we formed it, we formed it in an area of London, which is known as Shoreditch, which was ripe for development. And so rents were cheap and there were great warehousing spaces, it's not like the Valley at all. And so we literally, it was a place we could congregate and we just made it our own. And as founders, when we founded our companies, all of us in the worst financial crisis we'd ever known, but for us, that was an opportunity for change. And obviously from a FlyingBinary point of view, financial services was our core expertise. And so we wanted to contribute to the recovery from the financial crash.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

But we literally, knowing a few people as entrepreneurs, we're networked in a way that Facebook and LinkedIn doesn't know about. And we literally got together and we used to be... The same Friday every month, we all used to get together. And then eventually it grew up and I opened Google campus. And half a plane load of Googlers came over and there was this space that actually had a roof on it, because what we used to use was a car park with a tarpaulin over it. And we just invented it. We caught the imagination of the local people. We caught the imagination of the UK government and we just called it Tech City because that's what we were about. We felt we had a contribution with the technology we were all building to grow out of the financial crisis, and build it so that we have a new foundation.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

Not everybody was in financial services like FlyingBinary and we were the first reg-tech company, but people were doing all sorts of other things about tech being an enabler for growth. And now we have 33 hubs, not just Tech City in the UK. We stole the crown from New York originally, but we don't own the crown anymore in UK because we've actually got Countrywide now. So the backbone of the UK now has these 33 hubs where tech is the core of the cluster, but actually the sectors are built around it. So if you want to go to Clerkenwell, if you want to go for fashion technology and you want to go somewhere else. If you want a different piece, we effectively build out offering. If you want to be in the west of the country, if you're looking at cyber, pretty much it's all there.

Josh King:

Beyond London, beyond all of the UK, I noted at the top of the show that you're an expert advisor to the G20, the group made up of the world's largest economies on the future of digital economies. Jacqui, this is a massive focus for developed and developing countries and COVID-19 has underscored how important it is to have the right infrastructure. Why is global cooperation in cybersecurity and tech so important?

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

Well, the reality of it is we do have a globalized world. We might choose to still think as nations, but collaboration is actually the key to it. I often say the sharing economy was around competition, and the smart money is now in the empathy economy, which is about collaboration. It started as a core for the G20, but then that's building out across the UN. And that G20 plan I created in February, 2020 is now at the core of the European 27 nations, because technology has often been in the sharing economy, the outcome, "What have you got? I've got a platform." If I've heard that once, I've heard it a million times. But in the empathy economy, it's enabling change. So the tech, yes, it's there. It's deep tech, so it's not stuff that everybody can build. But what we are is not just connected organizations anymore, we're connected nations. And you mentioned the critical national infrastructure that sits individually in countries, but there's many things that join this pandemic we've had to rely on, and the core of it's been what tech has enabled essentially.

Josh King:

The United Nations has adopted its 17 sustainable development goals as part of its 2030 agenda for sustainable development. At the core of those goals, Jacqui, are actions to tackle poverty, empower women, address climate change. Now I guess with only nine years left to achieve all that stuff, the UN secretary general has called on global, local and individual action to help close the gap. How are you using your own expertise to help meet those goals laid out by the UN?

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

Well, there's a couple of answers to that. Number one, the G20 plan wouldn't work for the UN. And so beyond the G20 nations, that was a plan assessed and ready for them. But the rest of the world doesn't work like that. So we've chosen an intervention to do, which I started pretty much straight after delivering the G20 plan in April of 2020. And we're pulling that together with partners in OACD. And effectively, what we're tackling is the thing that I tackled back in 2012 in the UK government, procurement. Because whatever we talk about in tech and all the rest of it, somebody has to supply it, somebody has to buy it. And that procurement activity is not focused on delivering Net Zero. It will be now. And so essentially what we've built out as a UN team is an offering about how you change that. How do you collaborate using procurement tools in order to be able to deliver a Net Zero agenda? So the UK government is shifting the needle on that as of September, that will be required for all of the major organizations that supply to the UK. And the G-7 nations have had that discussion and is starting to change it.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

You could tackle many things to move the needle for Net Zero, but when you think about the procurement activities and the sums of money involved, if you can underpin that to create sustainable communities or sustainable cities, then actually you shift the needle much, much faster. Governments have a huge buying power that they can put behind it. So that's how I'm doing it there. In the EU 27, that is part of it on the move to Net Zero, but we've taken it a step further there. What we're organizing there is we've got to put together by 2030, and we've not got all 100 yet, but 100 climate neutral cities to prove that it has to be at a local level, but how do you do it?

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

So we're going to demonstrate that by doing that transition for 100 of our European cities. And then I have another 95,000 cities across Europe that are part of the orchestration behind that. And so all together, the changes will benefit 450 million citizens.

Josh King:

Talking about sustainable cities Jacqui, one of the titles that we haven't used to describe you yet is a Smart City Tsar. What exactly is the Smart City Tsar? And what's your role in playing that capacity?

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

Well, I didn't know what one was either, but the international team at the Telegraph Newspaper got hold of me and said, because obviously I'm a data journalist and one of the international ones, and said, "This stuff's going on, what is this stuff? And you know about smart cities, what is it?" And effectively, I [inaudible 00:45:01] picked a series of failures in smart cities across the world, where essentially they were security issues, they was privacy issues, they were not taking account of citizens. And we put together as part of a series of articles around that. And the final one [Olivia 00:45:21] said, "She is the world's first Smart City Tsar because she knows this stuff and she's got the data." And this was about this misconception that smart cities are about technology. No, they're not. They're about people. The idea that smart cities are homogenous. No, they're not. The one thing that connects all smart cities in the world or sustainable communities and I now talk about them, is that they're all different.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

When I was working with the Beijing government and they had 600 cities, that's true in China too. So you can't give me an example where that's not true. But there is fundamentally what everybody's trying to do is to improve the health and wellbeing of their citizens and deliver a Net Zero agenda. The Net Zero agenda is only recently added with the G20 plan. But essentially what was happening was, smart cities were a technology change, as opposed to smart cities being enabled by technology. So sometimes you don't need tech to do the change you need to do, but what you need, the smart cities are our future hopes of business. Essentially, what they will be is the way in which we navigate our world with this connected landscape at the industrial internet of things I've been talking about in this podcast.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

And so the investment smart money is coming into enabling that change. And personally I've brought in 11 billion Sterling as my contribution to that. But there are trillions being back on the back of this because this change changes the way our society works. But every city will be different. So I think the thing is, I tend to look at a territorial level. So the US cities, European cities, the cities in Japan, the cities in China, but there is a wider agenda at Smart Cities Tsar, where the symbiosis of all those agendas is underpinned by the same approach, and essentially an adaption of the G20 plan for the United Nations.

Josh King:

Amazing. Jacqui Taylor, thanks so much for joining us Inside the ICE House.

Dr. Jacqui Taylor:

You're welcome. It's been a pleasure.

Josh King:

And that's our conversation for this week. Our guest was Dr. Jacqui Taylor, co-founder and CEO of FlyingBinary. If you liked what you heard, please rate us on iTunes so other folks know where to find us. And if you've got a comment or a question you'd like one of our experts to tackle on a future show, email us at [email protected] or tweet at us at ICEHousePodcast. Our show is produced by [Stefan Caprille 00:47:51] with production assistance with Pete Asch and Ian Wolff. I'm Josh king, your host signing off from the library of the New York Stock Exchange. Thanks for listening, and we will talk to you next week.

Speaker 1:

The information contained in this podcast was obtained in part from publicly available sources and not independently verified. Neither ICE nor its affiliates make any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the information, and do not sponsor, approve or endorse any of the content herein, all of which is presented solely for informational and educational purposes. Nothing herein constitutes an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy any security or a recommendation of any security or trading practice. Some portions of the preceding conversation may have been edited for the purpose of Length or clarity.

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Information contained in this podcast was obtained in part from publicly available sources, and not independently verified. Neither ICE nor its affiliates make any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the information and do not sponsor, approve, or endorse any of the content herein, all of which is presented solely for informational and educational purposes. Nothing herein constitutes an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy any security, or a recommendation of any security or trading practice.