Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Dan White, Founder and CEO, Ninety Consulting

We’re asking some of our industry’s leading figures to nominate their digital hero and to explain what’s so special about them.

Dan White is the Founder and CEO of Ninety Consulting, an innovation agency which gives 90% of its profits to charity with a vision to generate >$1bn for charitable grants and investment over a 30-year period.

Dan was picked by TSB CMO Pete Markey as his digital hero in the very first My Digital Hero interview.

Who is your digital hero?

 Mike Bracken, who set up the UK’s Government Digital Service, the GDS, before moving to the Co-op Group as its Chief Digital Officer.

He now does a variety of roles, including work with Lloyd’s of London, an organisation in an industry that I am giving my career to help digitise and innovate.

What has he done to win hero status in your eyes?

It was Mike’s work at GDS that really caught my eye. He created a unit that became a trailblazer of digital transformation in – I think – an area with some of the most intractable challenges in digital.

Not that it was all easy, as he admits himself, but if I was going to geek-out and put digital transformation posters on my post-teenager bedroom walls, many of them would feature GDS and Mike.

How has his heroism helped drive digital?

Mike tackled some of the thorniest challenges in digital, in one of the most unlikely places for it succeed. And yet it did.

Perhaps more than anything, Mike gave the rest of us digital people ‘belief’. Belief that it is possible to change large, complex organisations, and belief in the power of digital to make this world a better place.

What the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?

I’m going to stick to my knitting here, and talk about insurance.

There are loads of challenges here that we still need heroes to solve. I’ll mention three.

First is a new Life Insurance 2.0 product – a re-imagining of what life insurance means and how it works, powered by digital ecosystems, genetics profiling, and wearables.

Second is to turn Lloyd’s of London on its head: is any other institution in the developed world still full of people transacting major international deals on pieces of paper?

Third is to use digital to orchestrate and interrogate the collective global risk management expertise of major insurers, and apply it to major systemic world challenges, such as climate change.

These are just three of many. Insurance, as a sector, does more than most to protect and defend humanity. It needs digital enabling to do this more effectively.