It’s hard to believe it’s only been one year since FinovateEurope 2020 wrapped. What a year it’s been! We were fortunate to get the event in before the onslaught of travel restrictions and lockdown measures, and it’s really interesting to go back and look at the videos that came from that event.

The 2020 demo and speaker videos feel notable precisely because of how “normal” they all look. So much of the past year has been spent dealing with specific challenges and simply trying to weather the storm. It almost seems bizarre to see innovations that don’t specifically address COVID-related problems. But that’s exactly what we have to start doing again.

As we inch towards a gradual re-opening process and, with any luck, a new, more sustainable status quo, it’s vital that we don’t forget one of the biggest lessons of 2020: to prepare for the future, we have to look beyond the problems we can already see. It’s tempting to focus efforts entirely on the weaknesses the pandemic exposed. After all, as much progress as we’ve made as an industry, there is clearly more work to be done before anyone can begin resting easy again.

Don’t be fooled, though; that’s not the only work to be done. Fintech is an industry that rewards those who see problems before they arise, and there are no shortage of opportunities waiting just around the corner. Now is the time to look upstream and maybe even dust off projects you shelved a year ago. Put simply, it’s time to stop playing defense all the time and approach fintech with optimism again.

The writing is on the wall – we are going to return to “normal” again. Now it’s up to all of us to imagine how good “normal” can be.

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