Rhetoriq podcast co-hosted by Arunkumar Krishnakumar, Efi Pylarinou, Theodora Lau and Bradley Leimer brings purposeful innovation to spotlight. Its where impact meets innovation. We speak to startup founders, investors, industry players, thought leaders and policy makers in the innovation ecosystem and get their views. While there have been a lot discussed about innovation in the western world, we believe that impact at scale can be achieved in the emerging markets. In recent times we have seen several leap frog moments across the emerging world. What Alibaba and Tencent have achieved in China, PayTM in India and MPesa in Africa are great examples of impactful stories. We talk to many emerging market players and highlight their efforts to create such leap frog moments.The first season of the podcast is hosted by Arun Krishnakumar who is a VC in London, and Efi Pylarinou a Fintech Influencer based out of Switzerland. The focus for Season 1 of the podcast is Blockchain and Financial Inclusion. Season 2, titled "Shades of Grey", is co-hosted by Arun, Theodora Lau and Bradley Leimer. The focus for this season is innovation and Longevity. We believe there are many innovation stories that are creating huge impact in people's life across the world. We identify these stories and talk to them about their journeys, successes and challenges they have had to overcome. In providing a stage for these entrepreneurs, thought leaders and innovators, we hope to inspire a generation looking to effect positive change. Rhetoriq is your go-to place if you are looking for stories of innovation with purpose.


  • Shades of Grey: Inequality of Ageing

    05/02/2019 Duration: 24min

    According to AARP, more than 10 million people aged 50 and above live in poverty in the U.S., and more than 37 million are just one life event away from slipping into it. Amongst those who are 65 and older, more than twice as many women as men live in poverty. And the problem is even more acute for African American, Hispanic, and Native Americans.In this episode of Shades of Grey, Theodora Lau and  Arunkumar Krishnakumar talk to Paolo Narciso, VP AARP Foundation. After 36 years of leading companies in the Education, Financial Services, Technology, and Government sectors to drive rapid revenue growth and scale, Paolo still has so much enthusiasm with a vision to eradicate poverty and inequality.To move the needle on poverty will require partnership between private and public sectors, including vehicles to help workers earn a living wage and save more. It will also require a change in mindset, and a substantial increase in financial literacy that must begin at younger age.Listen in for insights from Paolo'

  • Shades of Grey: Kindle the human connection with voice

    29/01/2019 Duration: 35min

    “When you get to be my age (93), just to hear another person’s voice gets you through the day. I never thought I’d get to see this in my lifetime.”When it comes to the next big disruption, voice technology is undoubtedly one of the mosttalked about. And no one is more enthusiastic about this than Dave Isbitski, Chief Evangelist, Alexa at Amazon. Theodora Lau and Arun Krishnakumar speak to Dave about how voice is now starting to be the new user interface. According to Dave, voice will be transformative in how we conduct our day-to-day lives. Not only does voice technology allow us to meet people in the moment, it brings generations that were not exposed to technology together – the young and the aged. It provides children with access to information even before they can read or write, and older adults with a digital companion and connection to the outside world. Above all, it provides them a sense of empowerment that they otherwise wouldn’t have had.While voice is the new user interface – it is only one of

  • Shades of Grey: Introduction

    22/01/2019 Duration: 10min

    Shades of Grey is a podcast about living. This season of Rhetoriq is hosted by Arun Krishnakumar, Theodora Lau and Bradley Leimer.It is a collection of stories from a diverse universe of entrepreneurs and thought leaders, using their collective power and intellect to change the narrative of aging. It is a testament that technology and innovation should be inclusive and age-agnostic. It is a call for action – for the society to not to just focus on the short-term gains, but on what can be done for the long-term well-being of all.If all aspects of our lives are changing, then why not the way we plan and manage our finances? As innovators, how do we design products with all people in mind as we age – so that we can bring communities and generations closer together? And how do we leverage emerging technologies such as voice, artificial intelligence, and advanced data analytics to create solutions that address the challenges of an aging demographics – where nearly a quarter of all caregivers in the U.S. are millen

  • Blockchain and Financial Inclusion: Consensys Ventures and Tachyon

    17/01/2019 Duration: 24min

    In this episode of Blockchain and Financial Inclusion, Arun Krishnakumar and Efi Pylarinou talk to Kavita Gupta - Managing Partner at Consensys Ventures. In her role at Consensys, Kavita also manages Tachyon - an incubator programme for Blockchain startups using Ethereum.The discussion covers the core areas of focus for Consensys Ventures, and some of the investments they have made in the past, and the overarching thesis they have for their investments. Kavita touches upon her views of Blockchain in the emerging markets, and highlights that many firms they have worked with at Consensys ventures and Tachyon are based out of emerging markets, and have tremendous technology potential along with a market to go after.Kavita also shares her vision of Blockchain in Governments, and how a Blockchain based tax system could potentially have significant impact in markets such as India. We close the conversation with her views on the cryptocurrency ban in India, and why she felt Blockchain was still a big opportunit

  • Blockchain and Financial Inclusion: Banker to Blockchain Evangelist

    10/01/2019 Duration: 27min

    Our special guest for this episode of Blockchain and Financial Inclusion is Sandra Ro, the CEO of Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC). Sandra, who is ex-banker, with several years of experience on the trading floors of London, became a believer of Blockchain in 2012. She wears several hats in her journey within Blockchain for Social Impact.Efi Pylarinou and Arun Krishnakumar discuss several topics with Sandra starting from her involvement in Blockchain for farmers. Sandra explains how the on-the-ground challenges faced by farmers in Africa was an eye opener for her, and provides insights based on hands-on experiences in these markets.The discussion touches upon a practical example of how farmers in Senegal benefited from getting their assets on Blockchain. The transparency and trust that the information sitting on a network, allowed them to access further opportunities, globally.Sandra discusses the origins of GBBC - in Sir Richard Branson's island in 2016, and how the working model has benefited enterp

  • Blockchain and Financial Inclusion: Cryptocartoons and Filipinos

    03/01/2019 Duration: 29min

    Luis Buenaventura joins us for this episode of Blockchain and Financial Inclusion. Efi Pylarinou and Arun Krishnakumar join Luis, who is the Chief Strategy Officer at Bloom Solutions also an avid Crypto-Cartoonist.In this episode, they discuss the "reBittance" market in Asia - particularly Philippines. The term reBittance was coined by Luis years ago. Philippines is one of the biggest markets in the world for remittance with an annual volume of $2.5 Billion. Luis highlights the challenges that small ecommerce businesses face in the Philippines due to the lack of payment infrastructure at the end consumer. Through his personal experiences, Luis and Bloom identified a gap that Blockchain could resolve. Initially starting with Bitcoins, Bloom subsequently moved on to Stellar Blockchain.Bloom have now managed $100 Million in Remittances in the corridor, and have expansion plans across other remittance corridors. The discussion also covers why in its current state, the remittance market still requires some of

  • Blockchain and Financial Inclusion: A Latin Tango as a protocol

    27/12/2018 Duration: 27min

    In this episode of Blockchain and Financial Inclusion, Eduardo Salazar, Founder of Forctis joins Efi Pylarinou and Arun Krishnakumar. Eduardo shares his views on the impact of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency in Latin America. With on the ground experience in the inflation hit continent, Eduardo explains the challenges that businesses and people there face. The experience in 2001 when crisis hit Argentina was going through hyper-inflation, was the driver for Eduardo to look at the merits of Blockchain. We discuss the concept of getting assets on to a Blockchain and how a token representing different assets can eventually be used as a medium of transaction.The discussion moves on to Stablecoins, and the reasons that Eduardo and his team are looking at it for their platform. That is then followed by the controversial Petra, and what impact it could have on Venzuela's economy - if any. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Blockchain and Financial Inclusion: Green Finance a la Swiss

    20/12/2018 Duration: 25min

    In this episode of Blockchain and Financial Inclusion, Christian Heyner, President of 1Bank4All joins Efi Pylarinou and Arun Krishnakumar. Christian has decades of experience in financial services, and has several years of experience in sustainable and green investing.Christian discusses the launch of the Green bond, that his team is planning to launch with the Luxembourg exchange. He elaborates on the investment thesis of the bond, and how institutional investors would benefit by participating in the bond offering.The discussion moves on to the strategy that Christian's team have for the expansion of 1Bank4All. He also explains how he plans to use Blockchain alongside his core banking capabilities at 1Bank4All.He also discusses his plans to providing banking services to the unbanked, and how his business model has been tweaked to serve the bottom of the pyramid. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Blockchain and Financial Inclusion: An Australian Workhour

    12/12/2018 Duration: 24min

    How can Blockchain help the global workforce? Sergei Sergienko, CEO of Chronobank joins Efi Pylarinou and Arun Krishnakumar for this episode of Blockchain and Financial Inclusion. With his background in the recruitment industry, Sergei and his team at Chronobank, based out of Australia, have created a Blockchain based ecosystem for the workforce. Sergei shares the reasons that inspired him to start Chronobank and why he is convinced Blockchain would help him scale his business globally.Sergei explains why he thinks it would be an excellent use case for stable coins, and how the token valuation would be driven in and across different economies. We discuss Chronobank's emerging markets strategy and the reasons on why they are best suited for the developing world.We touch upon Universal Basic Income and how/if Chronobank can help drive the concept to reality. We close the discussion with Sergei's plan for Chronobank's launch, and his preferences between the Northern and the Southern Hemisphere. See acast.co

  • Blockchain and Financial Inclusion: Mark this one

    06/12/2018 Duration: 22min

    AI and Blockchain - the killer combo. Mark Van Rijmenam founder at Datafloq, joins us for an exciting episode discussing trends in AI and Blockchain. Efi and Arun host this episode, where they discuss Mark's explorations across the globe.Mark is also a keynote speaker, a global citizen by his own admission, and is the Author of the book "Blockchain: Transforming Your Business and Our World". Mark also talks about his Doctoral research on how AI, Big Data and Blockchain can help businesses.The discussion then moves onto Silicon Valley and the monopoly of the big tech giants in the AI space, and how Blockchain is benefiting from hubs such as Crypto Valley, Estonia, and Gibraltar.We finally touch upon Mark's travels in Dubai, and how the government in Dubai are trying to evangelise governance using Blockchain, and his thoughts on if Europe can really be the Global hub of Blockchain based innovation.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Blockchain and Financial Inclusion: A Top 10 Digital Frontier Woman

    29/11/2018 Duration: 27min

    To regulate or not to regulate? The answer to that, when it comes to Blockchain and Cryptocurrency is pretty clear. The answer is Yes. How soon, how much and by who is not that clear.In this episode, Arun and Efi talk to Dr.Jane Thomason, the CEO of Blockchain Quantum Impact. Earlier this year, Jane was named one of the "Top 10 Digital Frontier Women" in the emerging blockchain and digital assets market by the Decade Of Women Collaboratory for her efforts to promote Blockchain for Social ImpactJane shares her experience on the projects she is involved in Asia. While the conversation starts to explore Blockchain projects in Asia and their social impact, it soon moves into topics around regulations. Jane was at the OECD Blockchain Policy Forum, earlier this year, and she shares her thoughts on what the mood was around regulating Blockchain.Jane highlights the need for Blockchain education amongst public and government organisations, which will eventually help achieve impact at scale. See acast.com/privacy for p

  • Blockchain and Financial Inclusion: Africa - the world's last mile

    22/11/2018 Duration: 29min

    Is Africa the world's last mile? In this episode Arun and Efi explore the African continent and opportunities for financial inclusion with Chi Nnadi, CEO at Sela Labs and Anton Mozgovoy, CTO at Humaniq.In this episode Chi brings his views on how Blockchain can help the culturally decentralised Nigerian economy. We discuss the challenges that the biggest African nation has culturally, politically and economically have and how Blockchain can help.Anton brings his first hand experience in bringing financial inclusion to 500,000 African consumers. He discusses, what works and what doesn't and the trends he has noticed in Humaniq's growth within Africa.Towards the end, we have an interesting Rapid fire round where Chi describes his coffee preferences - don't miss that one.With inspiring entrepreneurs like Chi and Anton, Africa feels like an opportunity where leap frog moments could happen almost every day.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Blockchain and Financial Inclusion: David and Goliath

    15/11/2018 Duration: 24min

    In this episode of Rhetoriq podcast focused on Blockchain and Financial Inclusion, Arun and Efi speak to David Henderson, Co-Founder and CFO at Sweetbridge. David talks about how at Sweetbridge, they are taking on the monster challenge of adding efficiencies to trade finance using Blockchain technology. Blockchain technology can be used to provide trade finance for merchants across the world. Assets on the Blockchain can provide an easy way to collateralised financing for an otherwise inefficient value chain. He shares insights on how small and medium enterprises across the world are currently struggling to receive trade finance, and ways in which Blockchain can help the status quo. Hear from David on his experience with merchants from Vietnam to Venezuela, and his views on money laundering using this technology. During the conversation with us, David shares how Blockchain enabled businesses evolve from being brittle, inflexible Industrial-era economies to new, flexible digital-era economies through

  • Blockchain and Financial Inclusion: Beware of the kids

    08/11/2018 Duration: 28min

    In this episode of Rhetoriq podcast focused on Blockchain and Financial Inclusion, Arun and Efi speak to Arman Rousta, CEO of Kidcoin. Kidcoin facilitates multi-currency earning, saving, spending and giving amongst family, friends, sponsors and trusted merchants – improving financial literacy from cradle to college.Arman describes how it is critical for kids to understand the concept of value at an early stage. He talks about his journey post university when he lacked the understanding of basic financial understanding. Kidcoin was a result of his life journey, through which he aspires to bring financial education to kids. He describes how it takes a village to raise a kid, and that is exactly what they are doing at kidcoin - help raise a financially aware child.Listen in, to hear his views on everything from the features of Kidcoin, his views on Blockchain and his plans for Kidcoin. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

  • Blockchain and Financial Inclusion: Humanize Technology

    31/10/2018 Duration: 23min

    In this episode of Rhetoriq podcast focused on Blockchain and Financial Inclusion, Arun and Efi speak to Monique Morrow. Monique is the Co-founder and President of the Humanized Internet, a non-profit organization focused on providing digital identity for those individuals most underserved. She focuses on leveraging blockchain as a potential mechanism for this billion people challenge.Monique was without a doubt the most energetic guest we have had on our podcast so far. Through this episode she highlights the importance of using the technology effectively and getting the right narrative across, so that it resonates with the common man. Most of us within the Blockchain community have had the curse of knowledge. Monique and Efi highlight how important it is keep the excitement around the technical details on hold and focus on the life changing moments that it can effect.It was wonderful to hear Monique's views on the gender diversity (or the lack of it) in the Blockchain world, and what the ecosystem can do be

  • Blockchain and Financial Inclusion: We are all agentic

    24/10/2018 Duration: 30min

    In the third episode of Rhetoriq podcast focused on Blockchain and Financial Inclusion, Arun and Efi speak to Rik Willard of the Agentic Group. Rik is a digital pioneer and thought leader focused on the emerging "Internet of Value"​, where the convergence of payments, security, financial inclusion, and the Internet of Things will greatly influence critical aspects of global business and personal value in the near- and long-term. Just as money drives business today, new forms of value will begin to take shape based on emerging digital economies, significantly altering our definitions of value to better suit our interconnected world.In this episode of Rhetoriq podcast, Rik shares his views on how mass adoption of Blockchain is a technosocial challenge. He elaborates on his journey and how his involvement in the Blockchain world led him to setting up the Agentic group. It was  fascinating hearing him describe how this paradigm had the potential to transform a community to an ecosystem to an economy of

  • Blockchain and Financial Inclusion: The Rising Star

    17/10/2018 Duration: 29min

    Agree, the title gives it all away. Today Arun Krishnakumar and Efi Pylarinou talk to Lisa Nestor at Stellar Development Foundation. Stellar, based out of San Francisco, have been expanding their presence across the world quite significantly. They were recently one of the top 5 cryptos in terms of market capitalisation.Lisa is the director of partnerships at the Stellar Development Foundation. She has had a lot of emerging markets experience in both Africa and India and has seen the on-the-ground challenges of providing financial services to consumers in those regions. In today's episode, Lisa shares with us Stellar's work with IBM, and how the partnership is growing. She feels that it is critical for them to be collaborating with incumbent financial services firms to bring about financial inclusion, rather than creating a whole new world of financial services.She gives us a view of her experiences in India, and the microfinance work she did out of Chennai, and clarifies her views on why its important to

  • Blockchain and Financial Inclusion: An African Diamond

    09/10/2018 Duration: 23min

    In the first episode of Rhetoriq podcast focused on Blockchain and Financial Inclusion, Arun and Efi speak to Tricia Martinez of Wala in Africa. Tricia shares with us her reasons that led to her founding Wala and issuing Dala focused on Africa. She discusses her journeys within the African continent and why "Banking the Unbanked" in a conventional sense is actually - nonsense. The Unbanked population of the world don't need banks and can't deal with the traditional system. Is Blockchain the solution? Hear how Wala has grown to be the go-to solution for the people of Africa for fee-less value exchange. While MPesa started the payments revolution, the infrastructure created by them still has interoperability problems and high fees for transactions. Can Wala overcome those issues? Wala Foundation recently won an award as the best firm for Financial Inclusion in Africa from MIT and MasterCard foundation. And Tricia shares how it all happened. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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