Regulation Innovation: Protecting Consumers Through Technology & Trust

Session 3: Bringing financial services to the world’s poorest 4 billion
February 13, 4:00-5:30pm, Belfer 503 (M-RCBG conference room)

Theo CosmoraOur guest for this session is Theo Cosmora, CEO of Social Eco and inventor of the OneDollarSmartPhone. He has set out to connect the world’s poorest people to the digital economy by providing them with affordable smart phones through a new business model that subsidizes the phones through sponsored apps. The goal is to build universal financial inclusion and empowerment through decentralization of opportunities, to create wealth for the global citizenry.

A former Decathlon champion, Theo is both a social business pioneer and an integrated systems specialist, He was involved in introducing pioneering unified communications technologies into Europe for Vivao Plc, and performed technology and marketing consultancy for telecoms companies Transnet, Euphony and Stanhope. While with Hanson Cooke publishing, he facilitated international public-private partnerships at board and ministerial level for the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Theo received a United Nations Award for the contribution of MDG Game to the Millennium Development Goals. Working closely with the United Nations, which provided official data and guidance on statistical information, Theo designed MDG Game, a fun and easy way to learn about the MDGs and their progress over time on a country basis. MDG Game is recognized as the first and only educational online game on the MDGs that incorporated official United Nations statistical data. It was launched by UN DESA at the Shanghai World Expo 2012.

Theo will talk with us about the economic challenges facing the four billion people who live on less than $8 a day, and how today’s disruptive technology can integrate them into the mainstream economy, to realize global human potential.

Here’s more information:

A video interview:

My January 2017 Barefoot Innovation podcast with Theo:

Please join us!

Jo Ann BarefootJo Ann Barefoot is CEO of Jo Ann Barefoot Group, LLC. She has worked for over thirty-five years in private and public sector roles focused on consumer financial protection, inclusion, and technology. As Deputy Comptroller of the Currency she established the first federal consumer protection oversight function for national banks. She has served on the staff of the U. S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; was Co-chair of Treliant Risk Advisors; and was Partner and Managing Director at KPMG, leading the firm’s privacy practice and a nationwide consumer finance consulting group. Barefoot has advised all of America’s largest financial institutions, many other financial companies, various federal agencies, and numerous community banks and non-profits. She serves on the Consumer Advisory Board to the new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; is a member of the board of the Center for Financial Services Innovation; and serves on advisory boards to several fintech startups. She produces the podcast interview series Barefoot Innovation, speaks annually to thousands of people, has authored four books on bank regulatory matters and has published nearly 200 articles. She was the primary author of Common Ground -- Increasing Consumer Benefits and Reducing Costs in Bank Regulation, published by the University of Wisconsin. She was an International Visitor to the European Community and has worked in rural India with micro-finance and education in leprosy communities. Barefoot’s research project is entitled, “Regulation Innovation – Protecting Consumers through Technology and Trust,” and her faculty sponsor is Brigitte Madrian, Aetna Professor of Public Policy and Corporate Management. Email:

FALL 2016

Session 2: November 4, 2:00-3:30 pm
Belfer 503 (M-RCBG Conference Room)

Session 2: Regulation Innovation – Rethinking the labyrinth: Lyn Farrell on what’s wrong with consumer financial protection regulation and how to fix it.

Lyn FarrellLyn Farrell is one of America’s top experts in consumer financial protection regulation. A lawyer and prominent consultant, she is a Managing Director at Treliant Risk Advisors where she works with most of America’s largest banks and innumerable other financial companies on how to comply with the labyrinthian rules guiding consumer finance. She literally wrote the book on that topic, in that she authors the official textbook that forms the basis of professional recognition as a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager by the American Bankers Association.

Famed for her witty and incisive speaking style, she appears in front of thousands of people annually at financial events. She is also exceptionally thoughtful about the failings of the regulatory system today, which is delivering public policy outcomes that are mixed at best, while imposing very high costs and risks on the system.

Lyn will share her insights on problems and solutions as part of my project, Regulation Innovation: Protecting Consumers through Technology and Trust.

Session 1: October 14, 2:00-3:30 pm
Belfer 503 (M-RCBG Conference Room)

Session 1: Introduction of Jo Ann Barefoot’s project on financial innovation and regulation, with guest speaker Claire Sunderland Hay, Head of the Bank of England’s FinTech Accelerator.

This study group kicks off the second year of Jo Ann Barefoot’s work at M-RCBG on her book, Regulation Innovation – Protecting Consumers through Technology and Trust. Jo Ann will outline her project’s goals and approach and how her concept has evolved since last year. This will include discussion of the trend toward creating “regulatory sandboxes” that can enable government to undertake close-up, rapid learning about financial innovation in the U.S., the U.K. and other parts of the world.

Claire Sunderland HayAfter Jo Ann’s introduction, we will meet with Claire Sunderland Hay, who will discuss how the Bank of England is approaching the challenge of addressing fast-changing technology by creating a new accelerator program.

Claire leads the Bank of England’s engagement with FinTech firms as the Head of its FinTech Accelerator. Prior to this role she was Private Secretary to the Deputy Governor for Financial Stability. Claire joined the Bank from the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority and prior to that was with Ernst & Young. She is a qualified accountant with experience in corporate finance.