The Age of Digital is only beginning

Rounding up the trio of mini-conferences held in the Helix DCU, Get Digital 2017 did not disappoint. The conference was held by NC4 and this time around the mini-conference was a mini-mini conference as instead of 6 speakers there was only 3! The reason being the first half of the conference, us the students, were being the speakers.

As part of my DICE Module I have to do individual work but also group work and the task set out for the group work was to teach a topic through gamification.

Gamification is the application of game design, game methodology, game approaches and game mechanics to non-game situations for purposes such as student behaviour modification (Killian 2013).

My group’s topic was financial forecasts and you can see the pitch for our game here. At the conference we had designed a research poster for a number of judges to mark and ask us questions on. There was a buzz around the Helix as different groups kept coming over to ask us questions on our poster too and we go to see the great gamification innovations of their posters as well. Our main findings from our research was that we are going to design our game as a mobile app as 69.4% of people we surveyed said they would choose a mobile phone as their preferred gaming platform. Ambient Insight (2013) conducted a study on gamification and they too found that “All roads lead to mobile“. Another positive finding was that even though 16.3% said they wouldn’t play games on their phone, 51% said they would for educational purposes, showing gamification can definitely work as a game based learning platform.

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Play a section of Financial Frenzie by clicking the euro symbols !! €€€

“Just one more room for disruption” 

Dr. Johnny Walker – CEO of Jinga Life

Image result for Dr johnny walker First off the dedication and generousity of this man is endless as, Dr. Johnny Walker took the time out of his highly busy schedual at the hospital to talk to us at the conference, and am I glad that he did. The feet he has covered in his line of work is incredible as he explained the work he has done from working with pregnant aborginals in the bush in Australia right through to being the CEO of Healthfounders and Jinga Life. Johnny told us he set up these organisations as he had a compelling need to redesign healthcare.

FEMTECH. A main point stressed by Johnny through out his talk because female technology is an innovative goldmine emerging into the digital world with endless opportunities to create programmes, products, diagnostics and softwares around women’s healthcare.

femtech : infographic of the gender gap

Johnny asked himself “is there a better way to deliver healthcare?” and he came up with answers fueled by this digital innovation boom the world is undergoing at the moment.

  • Telemedicine
  • Global Diagnostics
  • Personalised technologies: away from the hospital and into the home
  • Teleconsultations

What struck me I found these solutions simple but very compelling and in modern society, very realistic. We have to look at the demands of our people and their demands is that they do… want everything on demand! Johnny mentioned the one word that has cropped its way into each of the conferences. Disruption. With people wanting everything on demand the healthcare market needs to be disrupted and brought into this digital age, so to answer Johnny’s question “is there just one more room for disruption?”, I believe yes there is!

The Future of Fintech !

David Erixon – Head of Digital and Customer Innovation at Ulster Bank

Image result for david erixonDavid gave a talk that really opened my eyes to the world of Fintech. To find out what is Fintech watch this short video. Being from Sweden David as knowledge of financial services in Sweden and a statement that took me by surprise was that “less than 2% of transactions are physical money in Sweden” ! David explain a simple formula that will lead to these digital transactions:

Technology + Regulation = Open Banking 

Physical money will be removed and there will be only trading digitally

To no surprise though was when David mentioned the word that is on the tip of every established business person, entrepreneur, innovator and marketer… Disruption. The fact this concept is recurring shows its importance in the business world. “Technology is the new human behaviour that has disrupted stuff“, as David explained young generations these days expect technology to be a human behaviour, much like Johnny’s ‘on demand concept’. 22 Seven is a banking app mentioned by David which has disrupted the banking sector showing how digital innovations are the way forward. Much like Anne Marie Boyhan’s talk on how Bank of Ireland is pushing towards a stronger social media presence, Ulster Bank are expanding into the Fintech area to have a stronger digital presence. I believe this shows the regular physical banks everyone knows are changing in relation to the times towards more digital banks showing David’s statement that physical money will be removed to be true.

Dapp of Deutsche Bank Research (2014) also believes the same point I just made as in the report he states: “The increasing spread of efficient web-based technologies and the adaptation rates at which people integrate these technologies into different parts of their lives have eroded some of the efficiency gains accruing to traditional banks.”

Where technology hits humanity…

Alistair Croll – Lean Analytics 

Image result for alistair croll Lean Analytics is the world famous book written by Alistair Croll which gives startups all the ins and outs, all the ups and downs in order to accelerate their start up. With Alistair’s knowledge and experience about the business world it became clear to me from the start of his talk that his information about getting digital would be invaluable.

Alistair didn’t talk about disruption but did talk about discontinuity. He explained that it happens time and time again when we introduce new technologies and it changes our perception on life itself before and after the discontinuity of the new tech! I thought this statement to be quite striking as naturally you wouldn’t think it would have that big of an effect on society yet again, if you reflect back on how new technologies have changed our perception on life it has had a massive effect.

A point I found to be very interesting after realising our perecpetion is changed was when Alistair asked “How did we not see this coming?”. His 3 points to answer the question were:

  1. Big changes sneak up on us
  2. We tend to optimize exisiting models
  3. Necessary pieces aren’t obvious

Alistair left us on a question of thought: “What are the unintended consequences of a new technology and can they be good or bad?

A revolution or an evolution?

The Digital Age is only in its youth and no one fully knows its extent but yet we tend to take these great innovations in technology for granted. People like Johnny, David and Alistair work very hard to understand who, what, why, where and how digital has impacted our world and what we can do with it next. I think that this last conference tied together the other two with it to give me a better rounded view on the advancements of our world from startups to social networking through to the digital opportunities.

Take a look at this picture below which shows the internet’s timeline and the growth of digital platforms. It is really incredible the feet we’ve come to develop these technologies. Who’s to know how much further we will go in the next 10-20 years? Have a think about that.

Fintech2 (2)
Dapp (2013) 

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Get Digital 2017‘ was sponsored by:



  • Adkins, S., 2013. The 2012-2017 Worldwide Game-Based Learning and Simultation-Based Markets. Ambient Insights [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 20 April 2017].
  • Dapp, T., 2013. Fintech – The digital (r)evolution in the financial sector [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 20 April 2017].
  • Killian, E., 2013. Gamifcation 2.0 – A Concept: A brief introduction to games followed by a journey through human motivation, behavioural psychology, the concept of flow, ultimately to the realisation of Gamification 1.0 with its structural and content mechanisms p.6.

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