The Barefoot Innovation podcast, hosted by AIR CEO Jo Ann Barefoot, explores better solutions for financial consumers at the intersection of technology innovation and regulation. Join Jo Ann as she sits down with regtech and fintech CEOs, lawmakers, regulators, bankers, and academics, and more for candid discussions on the regtech space.

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SAVING MINORITY DEPOSITORY INSTITUTIONS: NICOLE ELAM AND ROBERT JAMES

My guests today are Nicole Elam, CEO of the National Bankers Association, and Robert James II, who chairs the NBA’s board of directors and is also president of Carver Financial Corporation in Savannah, Georgia. The NBA is the trade association for Minority Depository Institutions, or MDIs. It was founded nearly a century ago, in 1927, to build on the work being done by a group of Black-owned banks that were chartered shortly after the US Civil War, because white-owned banks were not serving the needs of Black communities. 

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Barefoot Innovation Podcast Episodes

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August 2022

INNOVATOR SPOTLIGHT: THE MSRB’S BRIAN ANTHONY AND ADAM CUSSON ON MODERNIZING REGULATION OF MUNICIPAL SECURITIES

Today’s show is required listening for our regulator audience, and is also packed with practical advice for ANY organization, public or private, that has to transition from the analog to the digital age. The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, or MSRB, is a small US regulatory body that’s doing outsized work in technology innovation. Our guests are Chief Data Officer Brian Anthony and CTO Adam Cusson, and they are leading the way in one of the most exciting regulatory technology projects I’ve seen anywhere.

August 09, 2022

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July 2022

INSIGHTS FROM FORMER FEDERAL RESERVE VICE CHAIRMAN RANDAL QUARLES

My guest today is Randal Quarles, Chairman of the Cynosure Group and previously the Federal Reserve Board’s Vice Chair for Supervision, a role in which he also chaired the US Financial Stability Board. He left the Fed at the end of last year, which makes this the perfect time to chat with him – I think it’s always extra-interesting to talk with government officials shortly after they leave office. In this conversation, he shares candid and thoughtful insights drawn from his tenure, including some advice for other policymakers. His thoughts are especially interesting because he served through the crisis of the COVID pandemic.

July 19, 2022

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July 2022

INNOVATOR SPOTLIGHT: DAYLIGHT CEO ROB CURTIS ON SERVING LGBTQ CUSTOMERS

We had hoped to post this episode during Pride Month and didn’t quite make it, but, of course, the topic is timeless. My guest is Rob Curtis, CEO and Cofounder of Daylight, a fintech startup that focuses on serving LGBTQ customers.

July 07, 2022

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June 2022

FORCE OF NATURE: RIBBIT CAPITAL’S SIGAL MANDELKER ON HOW TO MODERNIZE GOVERNMENT TECHNOLOGY

Today’s show is different. My guest, Sigal Mandelker, is the former U.S. Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, and she talks to us with exceptional reflection and, frankly, frustration, about why and how we need our government to work better. That’s not a novel theme, of course – the world is noisy with critiques of government. Sigal’s message is distinct, though, and desperately needs to be heard, because it’s about technology. Now a General Partner at Ribbit Capital, she’s on the cutting edge of understanding the technology gap in financial regulation, specifically in the fight against terrorism and financial crime but also more broadly, because both the public and private sectors are using technology that is several generations out of date.

June 16, 2022

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June 2022

NEW IN NEW YORK: TALKING INNOVATION AND CRYPTO WITH KAITLIN ASROW AND PETER MARTON OF NEW YORK DFS

Given New York’s unique role in global finance, the state always has top notch regulators and is normally at the forefront in addressing market change. It’s not surprising, then, that the state is focused today on the technology transformation underway in finance, including crypto. My two guests today are both leaders at the New York state Department of Financial Services – DFS. Kaitlin Asrow is Executive Deputy Superintendent of Research and Innovation. Peter Marton is Deputy Superintendent of Virtual Currency. 

June 08, 2022

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June 2022

SAVING MINORITY DEPOSITORY INSTITUTIONS: NICOLE ELAM AND ROBERT JAMES

My guests today are Nicole Elam, CEO of the National Bankers Association, and Robert James II, who chairs the NBA’s board of directors and is also president of Carver Financial Corporation in Savannah, Georgia. The NBA is the trade association for Minority Depository Institutions, or MDIs. It was founded nearly a century ago, in 1927, to build on the work being done by a group of Black-owned banks that were chartered shortly after the US Civil War, because white-owned banks were not serving the needs of Black communities. 

June 02, 2022

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May 2022

CASTLES AND SANDBOXES: GATES FOUNDATION DEPUTY DIRECTOR KONSTANTIN PERIC

Jo Ann's guest today is Kosta Peric, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Deputy Director of Financial Services for the Poor. In this episode, he talks to us about the art of how to do the uniquely difficult type of problem solving required to achieve full financial inclusion in the world’s emerging markets.

May 11, 2022

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May 2022

TAKING REGULATORY INNOVATION TO A NEW LEVEL: RAJESH BANSAL, CEO OF THE RESERVE BANK OF INDIA INNOVATION HUB

My guest today is one of the world’s leading innovators in this effort. Rajesh Bansal is the CEO of the Reserve Bank of India’s Innovation Hub. In April, AIR worked with the RBIH and other partners on the Swanari TechSprint, named for the Hindi word meaning “self-reliant woman.”  I’m excited to have Rajesh on the show today to share a perspective that is  fascinating on so many dimensions. It’s a story of a bold new innovation strategy  invented by a major central bank. It’s a story about taking TechSprints to a whole new level as a method of regulatory innovation

May 05, 2022

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