CONFERENCE REVIEW: The 21st International Business Networking Event

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Just recently, Riga held the biggest networking event in the Baltics, the 21stInternational Business Networking Event. Organized by the IBNC (International Business and Networking Consortium) it gathered participants from more than 30 countries. The main theme for the speakers was “The Modern World”. Participants’ subjects were ranging from such humane topics like civilization and cancer to trendy ones like virtual reality and digitalization of governments.

The attendants were greeted with a song from one of the participants.

Digitalization

When speaking about a such topic as The Modern World, digitalization is the first thing that pops in our minds. Coincidentally, this theme was widely overlooked by the presenters. A representative from Indonesia, Mrs. Tanti Widyastuti, mentioned that Indonesia is pushing the digitalization of their governments and government related instances. However, the overall statistics, presented by the speaker, showed that Indonesia still has a long way to go. Such small European countries like Latvia and Estonia were ahead of Indonesia in terms of digital growth.

Mrs. Tanti Widyastuti with her presentation about Indonesia.

Moreover, Mr. Toufic Kawar touched the subject of communication in the digital world. He highlighted that never in the human history we have been more closer to each other, but at the same time, we have never been more lonely than we are now. We no longer speak to each other, we text or chat. He stressed it as a generally significant problem that needs solving.

Mr. Toufic Kawar with his presentation about the benefits and possible losses of contemporary civilization.

Interestingly enough, nobody spoke about money in terms of digitalization. Our payment methods are changing and most of the cryptocurrency enthusiasts anticipate a change in our monetary system.

Money, money, money…

However, there were a couple of guys, Mr. Arturs Boss and Mr. Kristaps Strelis from Amber Capital Holdings, who talked about the money topic, but in a different way. They presented their new payment Service, Willow&Birch, which would differ from the conventional banking that we know today. Arturs and Kristaps spoke about the problems that the conventional banking faces today and the ways how they offer to change that.

Mr. Arturs Boss and Mr. Kristaps Strelis from Amber Capital Holding and their Vietnamese associate Ms. Chi Bui preparing for their presentation.

Both guys stressed that nowadays niche market customers are not welcome to open a bank account. Banks today have lost their touch in terms of philosophy and communication with the customer. Willow&Birch will offer a completely new way how a bank will communicate with its customers. They will put customer as the number one priority and promises to look into every case individually. A different approach into KYC applications. Both guys highlighted that nowadays operating with conventional banks might seem very distant and people simply haven’t got an option to talk to somebody in person. With all the chat-bots and automatic algorithmic replies, banks have lost the personal touch with their clients. And that is what Willow&Birch is offering – a different approach in customer service.

However, their PSP license in Lithuania is still pending.

Technology

Along with digitalization and money comes another very important aspect – technology. It is constantly evolving and being developed. Of course “The Modern World” featured topics related to this phenomena. A representative from Bite Latvia, Mr. Gatis Ruluks, shared their company’s views on the development of telecommunication. Bite Latvia is the fastest growing mobile operator in Latvia and it provides innovative mobile services to their customers. Gatis talked about the advantages that a private branch exchange (PBX) can offer to companies. An interesting fact that he shared was that U.K. companies loose around 30 billion pounds each year from unanswered telephone calls.

Mr. Gatis Ruluks from Bite Latvia.

Another interesting concept came from the CTO and co-founder of Exonicus Inc, Anatomy Next, Mr. Janis Kondrats. They have figured out a way how to link virtual reality with healthcare. Exonicus have developed a tool for medical students, a virtual reality emergency medicine training simulator – Trauma Simulator. With this device, medical students in various environments can practice before becoming an expert. Students are put in critical emergency environments that allows them to develop their skills with real/virtual tools. Also, they have a partnership with the U.S. Army Medical Research team which means that they are offering their services to military instances as well.

Mr. Janis Kondrats from Anatomy Next presenting Virtual Reality medicine training simulator.
Mr. Janis Kondrats showing off old techniques of medical training.

The shape of the Modern World

The extensiveness of the term – Modern World, gathered a wide range of different topics. The Modern World speaks about globalization, growth, economy, technology, banking, but all these areas of expertise have one thing in common. Interaction. How we interact with banks, with technology, medicine and more importantly – with each other. It sure seems like the future, where we live now, brings so many advantages, but fails in certain very important areas like communication. This statement should be wrong in so many ways since we have Facebook, WhatsApp and every other social platform which actually brings the whole world together, but at the same time distances us. The Modern World is all about bringing back the communication that we had before we had all these new social, digital features.

Mr. Samson Ajikobi and Mr. Maris Luks from Amber Life Clinic with their presentation about cancer, how they treat it.
Mr. Clevas Tuscano with a presentation about Estonia’s success story – e-Residency. How Estonia is the best place for new Start-ups. In the slide you can see some of the most popular start-ups that come from Estonia.
Mr. Karlis Jonass with his presentation about how important is UX design in the digital age.

Overall, this was a very comprehensive event, it overlooked many important social topics and ideas. As always, since it is a networking event, not a conference, the time for communicating, or networking with others, was significantly longer than you see in similar events. The combined time that was reserved for getting to know various business environments was around two and a half hours.

Topic – cryptocurrency

It seems like this event is slowly forming its way to do a cryptocurrency related event some time in the future. Although nobody mentioned cryptocurrencies this year, it sure feels like some time in the future it will be one of the core elements of this event. To be honest, the development of cryptocurrencies is the key factor when it could get widely covered in this event. At the moment, the popularity of cryptocurrency related areas are very small in the region of Eastern Europe. I believe that is the main factor why businesses come to Latvia to talk about more general topics. Once cryptocurrencies are more widely accepted in business environments around European or Asian governments, I believe the IBNC (International Business and Networking Consortium) will integrate it as one of the core topics of their events.

Of course, as a cryptocurrency news outlet, we wanted to hear more about what cryptocurrencies can bring to the concept of modern world. Since cryptocurrency threatens our current monetary system and offers so many advantages in almost any business area, we believe that the topics covered ties together with the growth of crypto and blockchain in general. It is only a matter of time.

The Global World

Additionally, at the end of the event, they presented the next theme for the forthcoming 22ndInternational Business and Networking event which will take place on 18thof October, 2019. Next time the participants will be covering topics revolving around the concept of “The Global World”. This sounds like a more general topic and can contain almost anything. I believe the emphasis will be put on topics regards globalization and the environment. Also, human interaction with technology and how it will evolve in the near future. It could overlook basic universal income and a borderless society principles, but this is just a guess.

If you want to reserve a ticket for the next event, head over to this address (https://sfk.lv/index.php/en/apply) and get yours for only 140 Euros. That way you will support the organizers and help them in making the largest networking event in Eastern Europe. 

If you want to read about the topics that were covered in the previous event, click HERE.

Best Coin Investments are proud to be a part of this event and thankful for the opportunity to attend it. Talivaldis Kreislers and Mara Kreislere are doing a great job in bringing such events to Latvia for more than 10 years. Best of luck to them!

Also, we managed to interview Kristaps Strelis about their new payment and bank service – Willow&Birch. We asked him about how would they differ from a conventional bank and what was his opinion on cryptocurrencies and bitcoin. We will publish the interview soon!

All photos by SFK.lv