Basware Conference – A Chance To See The Undercover Economist

Through this conference season, we are keeping a mental note of our imaginary awards. The best venue; the best snacks and the finest dinner; the best practitioner presentation; the most impressive non-procurement keynote speaker; the most amazing venue for the dinner (we’ve had a couple of strong contenders for that in recent weeks); and the best freebie branded giveaway. But of course we can’t tell you which we would choose or we might upset some of the lovely marketing managers we work with who put considerable effort into these things …

Anyway, one of the last conferences of this season is Basware’s event, on November 23rd in London, which is aimed at customers, prospects and relevant others; “registration is free of charge to finance, treasury, procurement and P2P professionals”.

And in that category of most impressive keynote speaker, this event must be in with a chance, having engaged Tim Harford. Harford is known as the Undercover Economist, which started out as a column in the Financial Times but grew into books, his website, TV and radio work and more. He still works for the FT and is a visiting fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, so he is impressive all round. Harford looks at familiar situations in unfamiliar ways, giving fresh explanations of the fundamental principles of the modern economy – perhaps asking who really makes money from fair trade coffee, or why it is so difficult to buy a decent second hand car?

His very recent book Messy attempts to show that if you want to be creative and resilient, you need a little more disorder in your life. Personally, looking at my office desk at this moment (heaps of papers, business cards strewn around, an old Waitrose receipt, two mugs, an empty wine glass, three magic markers …) I find that very re-assuring.  Anyway, I’m really rather excited about seeing him at the event, and his topic is Innovation: Marginal Gains vs The Big Idea.

There is also a good range of more conventional speakers, from our friend and colleague Guy Allen on the procurement side and Jimmy LeFever, Research Director, PayStream Advisors talking about AP, e-Invoicing and such matters. Then there’s Andrew Burgess, who will be talking about robots. Well, artificial intelligence, robotic process automation and the more business related side of robotics, all related to P2P and procurement, but it sounds like it might be fun.

The venue is The Crystal in London’s Docklands. We have never come across it before, but it also sounds interesting. It is “a sustainable cities initiative by Siemens …  home to the world's largest exhibition on the future of cities, as well as one of the world's most sustainable buildings and events venues”.

You can apply for a ticket for the event here – see you at The Crystal!

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