John Seely Brown Joins Starling Advisory Board

Starling Team
Washington, DC – Starling, an applied behavioral sciences technology company, has announced the appointment of John Seely Brown to its distinguished Scientific & Academic Advisory Board.  He joins current advisors Thomas Malone (director of MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence), Nicholas Christakis (director of Yale’s Human Nature Lab), and Karen Cook (director of Stanford’s Institute for Research in the Social Sciences).

Known to most as “JSB,” John Seely Brown was the Chief Scientist of Xerox Corporation and, for two decades, director of the renowned Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) — birthplace of the PC, Ethernet, laser printer, and other ground-breaking innovations.
JSB served for fourteen years on the board of directors at Amazon and has served on the boards of the MacArthur Foundation, In-Q-Tel, and numerous other firms, both public and private.  A leading thinker and writer on the AI-enabled workplace of the future, JSB has been awarded 11 honorary doctorate degrees, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Education, and is a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence.  He has published nine books and over a hundred papers in scientific journals.
“Starling is building what I like to call ‘Epic Tech,’ and I’m delighted to join their advisory team,” said Seely Brown.  “Invisible networks of social ties within organizations facilitate the flow of critical but intangible dynamics, like trust, identity, and social capital.  These dynamics shape how we think, what we believe, and how we behave,” he added.  “By making such forces visible and actionable, Starling’s Predictive Behavioral Analytics tools enable management foresight, and allow us to work proactively to mitigate behavioral risks and to optimize organizational performance.  This is important work.”
“JSB is a Silicon Valley legend,” said Starling founder & CEO Stephen Scott.  “For decades he has led the way in demonstrating how complex systems science can – and must – be brought to the design of solutions to real world challenges.  In so doing, he has inspired countless tech pioneers, and we are incredibly fortunate to have him with us at Starling,” he added.  “I look forward to building our next-generation management tools with his guidance and continued inspiration.”

 About John Seely Brown

JSB is currently the Independent Co-Chairman for Deloitte’s Center for the Edge, where he pursues research on institutional innovation and a reimagined workplace.  In his more than two decades as head of PARC, JSB transformed the organization into a truly multidisciplinary research center, integrating social sciences and the arts into the traditional physics and computer science research, and expanding the role of corporate research to include topics such as the management of radical innovation, organizational learning, and complex adaptive systems. 
JSB has received 11 honorary doctorate degrees in four fields (science, design, public policy, humane letters) and a PhD from the University of Michigan.  He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Education, and a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence.  JSB has published nine books and well over a hundred papers in scientific journals.  His most recent book is:  Design Unbound – Designing for Emergence in a White Water World, with Ann Pendleton-Jullian.

JSB is a visiting scholar and adviser to the provost at the University of Southern California, where he facilitates collaboration between the schools for communication and media and the Institute for Creative Technologies.  He was a co-founder of the Institute for Research on Learning, and his personal research interests include new approaches to learning, digital youth culture, digital media, and the application of technology to accelerate deep learning within and across organizational boundaries—in brief, to design for emergence in a constantly changing world.

About Starling

Starling is an applied behavioral sciences company using machine learning and network science to build what it calls “augmented management intelligence” tools.  Its predictive behavioral analytics technology reveals the performance impact of relational trust dynamics within organizations.  Based on this data, Starling’s proprietary algorithms generate actionable insights, displayed through intuitive and customizable dashboards, enabling business leaders to drive improved performance and desired culture – and to identify and mitigate behavior-related risks before they cascade into crises.

Bank of England Tells Insurers to Improve Workplace Culture| The Guardian

Starling Team

The Bank of England is pushing insurance companies to improve their corporate culture as cases of sexual harassment and bullying plague the industry.

In a letter to chief executives of general insurance companies, the PRA’s acting director of insurance supervision, Gareth Truran said “Instances of non‐financial misconduct could speak to personal integrity and may have implications for our view of the fitness and propriety of individuals within our senior managers and certification regime.”

This is unprecedented for this sector, as conduct will directly impact the employment of all individuals in the insurance space.

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Starling Featured in Harvard Business School Case Studies

Starling Team

We’re very flattered that Starling’s story has been featured in two case studies just published by Harvard Business School.  Both cases are to be taught in the coming Spring term.

The first case, entitled “Starling Trust Sciences:  Measuring Trust in Organizations,” is intended for use in classes on entrepreneurship and strategy.  Set in late 2017, the case tracks Starling’s origin, development of our Predictive Behavioral Analytics software tools, and the factors that informed our decision-making as to whether we should devote scarce entrepreneurial resources to targeting opportunities in the “People Analytics” space or in the then emerging field of “RegTech.”

Download here

The second case, “Regtech at HSBC,” reflects Starling’s decision to pursue opportunities in the RegTech space, and is intended for courses that focus on innovation and risk management.  Set in 2019, the case focuses on HSBC’s Global Head of Operational Risk, Mark Cooke.  Non-financial risk management failures had cost HSBC billions in fines and settlements over the previous decade.  In response, HSBC had hired thousands of risk and compliance staff and invested billions in traditional control systems. Cooke was unsure whether these traditional methods were sufficient or sustainable.

A pilot test of Starling’s Predictive Behavioral Analytics solution demonstrated an ability to anticipate risk failures, positioning Cooke and his team to intervene proactively, and do so at a much lower cost than traditional systems. Should HSBC double down on the promise of such RegTech capabilities, or persist in its reliance on past risk management methodologies?

Download here

We look forward to participating in the teaching of relevant courses at HBS, and to learning how students and others react to both cases


Conduct Risk: Moving Up the Agenda | 1LoD

Starling Team

1LoD’s 2019 survey reveals that conduct risk is being taken more seriously. Regulators have made it clear that they will target misconduct and score firms on culture.

According to this survey, 41% of firms ranked global roll out of conduct risk controls as high priority and 82% of firms said conduct risk is now given the same priority as financial risk inside businesses. There’s also a focus on having a standardised approach to discussing and measuring non-financial risk. Firms are also attempting to show regulators they are speaking the same language by standardising measurements of risk.

As this important research from 1LoD makes clear, a regulatory focus on culture and conduct related risk has led to significant changes in the way the financial sector is grappling with non-financial risks more broadly. We expect to see this trend continue and to build further steam, creating greater demand for innovative regtech solutions.

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Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology | Parliament of Australia

Starling Team

On September 11th 2019, the Senate resolved to establish a Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology. This committee will inquire and report on matters including:

  • “The size and scope of the opportunity for Australian consumers and business arising from financial technology and regulatory technology
  • Barriers to the uptake of new technologies in the financial sector;
  • The progress of fintech facilitation reform and the benchmarking of comparable global regimes;
  • Current tegtech practices and the opportunities for the regtech industry to strengthen compliance but also reduce costs;
  • The effectiveness of current initiatives in promoting a positive environment for tintech and regtech start-ups; and any related matters.”

Australian consumers and businesses will reap the benefits of technology but only if our policies are properly calibrated,” Senator Bragg said. “The fintech and regtech sectors are critical to the future of our jobs and lifestyles.”

Submissions will close December 31st and the committee plan to present its final report by October 2020.

Starling is pleased to have been selected by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission for the inaugural cohort of regtech firms that will conduct a cross border trial of their tools under the auspices of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN). As we extend our footprint in the Australian Market, Starling looks forward to any opportunity to support the work of the Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology.

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