Reimagining the Future: A Journey Through the Looking Glass – Highlights

(l-r): Debra Curran, Lauren Kozora and Laura Ryan (WIN – event organizers), Frank Diana, Cheryl Mills, WIN Member, FWA Committee Co-chairs Arminda Youse-Warde and Stephanie Hauge. Far right is Arminda’s daughter.

Here’s What Happened When FWA NJ and Pershing’s Women’s Initiatives Network (WIN) Met with Leader and Strategist, Frank Diana, for A Journey Through the Looking Glass

Last Thursday, Frank Diana, Principal, Tata Consultancy Services took a room of FWA members, guests and WIN Members on a trip back in time. Before social media, before bitcoin, and even before the invention of the first modern era computer, community bank branches were the heart of American banking. Advancements in technology now allow us to deposit checks by using a smartphone, invest in stock with a swipe on an app, and the last decade has proven that you don’t have to step foot in a brick- and-mortar building to apply for a loan. But can we do better and do mistakes of the past still haunt us today?

In his hour-long presentation with Q&A at BNY Mellon’s Jersey City location, Frank Diana encouraged his audience to reflect on their own experiences and inspired them to consider the lessons learned over the last 100 years by “Reimagining the Future”. He briefly focused on key areas that are converging including: economics, science, technology, politics, society, and ethics. He looked at specific factors in selected areas to give us a glimpse at significant changes and leaps into a new way to experience work and life.

“It is an exponential progression versus linear that produces a gap that causes both significant disruption and opportunity: AI (artificial intelligence), AR (augmented reality), robotics, human/machine, etc.  It is the right brain characteristics that humans will need as everything becomes increasingly automated, if we are to be successful.”

(l-r): Andrea Pfenning, Pershing WIN, Frank Diana and Debra Curran, FWA relationship manager for BNYMellon

During the Q&A, moderated by Cheryl Mills, Managing Director, Head of Technology Product Management, BNY Mellon, Frank discussed how transitions in the past may not have gone well, as some were left behind and that the pace of shifts today, are much faster, and the need for mindset shifts is critical as we face the next revolution – energy, communications and transport. This digital and technological revolution is already fundamentally altering the way we think and live.

Future thinking needs to focus on Purpose, value, structure, scenarios, ethics and viability.  As audience members raised questions it was clear that the future is both scary but hopeful.  Frank has a much longer slide presentation available at his blog at A two-week course is also available on the site.

Special thanks to Andrea Pfenning of WIN for welcoming attendees, Debra Curran, FWA’s BNY Mellon relationship manager, and VP, and Asset Management Controller, Financial Services, New York Life for a wonderful introduction the FWA way, and to Pershing/BNY Mellon WIN for hosting this wonderful event.