Innovation Project 2017 Set to Convene the Most Influential Players in Payments, Commerce, and Retail in Cambridge, MA on March 15-16

One-On-One Conversations Include CEOs and Presidents from Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Verifone, First Data and American Express

BOSTON--()--On March 15-16 will convene its fifth annual Innovation Project, an event that gathers the most influential players in payments, commerce, and retail for two days of closed door, off-the-record conversations on the campus of Harvard University*. Dubbed by attendees as “The Davos of Payments,” this gathering of innovators from across the ecosystem and around the world inspires discussion and debate its future. After a 2016 that saw a number of strategic moves made by many of the largest players in the space, this year’s theme will focus on the impact of these big bets on their future and the future of the industry.

Among the many who will share their insights in one-on-one fireside chats are the Visa CEO, PayPal CEOWorldpay NA CEO, First Data CEO, and Verifone CEO. Topics discussed will include the future of banking and credit, the regulatory and commercial realities of a world in which billions of devices conduct commerce, the slog that has been in-store mobile payments, the federal/state debate over short term lending and cannabis commerce, and what rails are needed to power the future of this very dynamic ecosystem.

A hallmark of the Innovation Project is also the mix of perceptions and insights that surface when industry leaders and public intellectuals meet on stage.

Conversations like those with author JD Vance (Hillbilly Elegy) and Walmart’s Daniel Eckert will challenge conference attendees to think about the need to make commerce innovation more inclusive. Harvard PhD, data scientist, and author Cathy O’Neil (Weapons of Math Destruction) will lead a panel of alt-lending experts on what happens when algorithms, developed by humans, show those biases in payments and commerce-related use cases. Admiral James Stavridis and the brightest minds in fraud and risk will describe how the world of international defense is fundamentally changing before our eyes, and how that change will impact business, personal life, and the global marketplace. Nest Cofounder Tony Fadell and Visa’s Jim McCarthy will stretch attendees’ thinking about the role of connected devices and commerce in disrupting – and enhancing – commerce and payments as it now exists.

#IP2017 also includes developer challenges around AR/VR, Next Gen B2B Payments, and Voice Activated Ecosystems, along with access to more than 40 emerging innovators who will showcase their innovations during the Innovators Expo.

The event concludes with a gala Innovator Awards Dinner at Fenway Park hosted by Jason Alexander. Millions of people know Alexander for his role as George Constanza on “Seinfeld.” Now new and seasoned payment executives will have the chance to interact with him at a dinner honoring inductees to the Payments Hall of Fame®, plus 90 finalists to receive best in class awards. Judges choose from hundreds of submissions for each of the 15 Innovation Awards prize categories, including the coveted “Most Innovative Payments Player.”

The full list of speakers and the agenda can be found at the Innovation Project website.

About PYMNTS: is reinventing the way that companies share relevant information about the initiatives that shape the future of payments and commerce and makes news. This powerful B2B platform is the #1 site for the payments industry by traffic and the premier source of information about “What’s Next” in payments and commerce. C-suite executives, company founders, and investors turn to it daily for these insights, making the audience the most valuable in the industry. It provides an interactive platform for companies to demonstrate thought leadership, popularize products and, most importantly, capture the mindshare of global decision-makers. It’s where the best minds and best content meet on the web. Innovations in payments and commerce have become highly intertwined. PYMNTS covers every aspect from retail reinvention to the Internet of Things.

* The Innovation Project® and® are not affiliated with Harvard University, nor is the Innovation Project® 2017 a Harvard University program or activity.

Melisa Filipos, 617-851-0814

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