Françoise Mercadal-Delasalles Group Head of Corporate Resources and Innovation
In a world of rapid technological and interpersonal change, Societe Generale is drawing on the strength and innovation capacity of a multitude of internal and external players to reinvent the banking industry. Open innovation gives us an opportunity to open up to new worlds and experiences, to think out of the box and to learn from this digital ecosystem in order to capitalise on its agility and technological expertise. The Group intends to pursue and step up its cooperation with startups and FinTechs.
The first priority of the Group’s open innovation strategy is to increase contacts and investments with the digital ecosystem to better qualify the startups and FinTechs that could meet the business lines needs. Societe Generale is increasing its contacts with FrenchTech startups in Paris and across France. Societe Generale is also ramping up its investments in the global digital ecosystem. Rather than limiting itself to a corporate venture initiative, the Group favours active equity investments in the ecosystem, dividing up its presence across several locations and prioritising operational cooperation.
The second priority of Societe Generale’s open innovation initiative is to promote internal innovation capacity with new workspaces and alternative ways of working. To take its acculturation further, the Group organises events that reach out to the digital ecosystem, such as hackathons (in Africa and India, for example), Meet-Ups hosted by Societe Generale and around ten Learning Experience events (in particular in China, India, Israel and Berlin this year).
Several cross-business communities have been set up to work on strategic trends such as big data, the blockchain and robotisation, bringing together several thousand employees via the internal social network. Societe Generale also encourages alternative working methods inspired by startups to foster innovation: agile working, pizza teams, lean startups, design thinking, the Test & Learn method and the user experience.
Le Plateau, located in the Les Dunes complex, has an important place in the network of existing external coworking sites. To foster cooperation between internal and external project teams and FrenchTech ecosystems, Le Plateau hosts external and internal startups in an innovative environment, providing support and making its resources available to them. By creating a community for sharing resources, experience and knowledge, Le Plateau offers ideal conditions that foster innovation and value creation for startups.
Across all its businesses, Societe Generale is using digital technologies to transform the banking relationship with its clients. Our Global Banking and Investor Solutions business, which serves institutional clients, large corporates and private banking clients, has also placed digital and innovation at the centre of its strategy.
Objectives: delivering more value-added for clients and increasing our agility in a fast-changing environment.