The founding tales of FreeCom, TransferWise and PolicyPal reflect the next generation’s hunger and anger with this generation’s stoic acceptance of the status-quo and desperate attempts to stay relevant. Today’s leaders who want to be relevant to the future will have to show the same passion to make a real and substantive change
September 11, 2018 | Emmanuel Daniel
- Technology is continuously and rapidly evolving
- Bankers should be seen as individuals
- If there is no hunger, if there is no anger, there is no future
In 2011, Abdul Rahman al-Ashraf became a Syrian refugee. He tells the story of how in his hometown in Syria whenever there is a bombing that he was unable to find his parents, sisters and friends. When there is a bombing in another town he was unable to find news on any of the people who are important to him. And the email came once a week, a text message came every five days and every trickle of message brought tears to his eyes and a sense of desperation. And one day when there was a bombing in another town he did not hear news from his friends for over a month. He said: “It drives you crazy.”
Al-Ashraf moved to Germany after the war like many Syrian refugees. He did a Master’s in Applied Science, and experimented and launched a software called FreeCom. It’s a software that enables mobile phones to talk and relay messages to the next to the next to the next until you’re able to send them all the way from Syria to Argentina without Wi-Fi. The technology is still being commercialised but it is on its way. Imagine the profound effect it’s going to have on the future of telcos, on the future of internet service providers (ISPs), on the future of personalisation where we do not need institutions in order to talk to each other. That future is now. In 2016, Al-Ashraf won the European Youth award as a refugee in an advanced society.
Disrupt current business model
Two friends, Taavet Hinrikus and KristoKäärmann working in London had a small and very interesting problem. Taavet was paid in Euros because he worked for Skype and Kristo was paid in Sterling pounds and both of them were Estonians and needed to send money back home. And so they made a deal where Taavet ...
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Keywords: Money Transfer