Creative Innovation 2019 (Ci2019)

MC 1: Building the Best Bank in the World through Culture by Design

Paul Cobban (Singapore)

Chief Data & Transformation Officer, DBS
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1 April 2019, 9:00 - 11:30 AM


During this session, Paul Cobban shares his insights on DBS’ Transformation Journey from Development Bank of Singapore, to being named ‘Best Bank in the World’ by Global Finance, and ‘World’s Best Digital Bank’ by Euromoney in 2018. He and his team are fundamentally changing mind-sets and designing the enterprise start-up culture throughout the bank to ultimately drive seamless and invisible banking for its customers. Paul Cobban will also elaborate on how embedding ambitious innovation and data-informed thinking in the bank’s productivity and capabilities are simultaneously making banking joyful for their employees and effortless for their customers.


  • How to improve customer journeys
  • Behavioural changes to get rid of the HiPPO [highest-paid person’s opinion] mentality and how this helps you better understand customer needs
  • How the relationship between business, management and IT  has changed
  • What impact data science and analytics will have on the running of banks and other large organisations in the future

Paul Cobban is Chief Data and Transformation Officer and Managing Director for the Technology and Operations group in DBS. Based in Singapore, his portfolio involves strengthening the bank’s data-driven agenda by laying down a strong digital foundation and driving a future ready mindset at DBS.

In addition, he spearheads the bank’s improvement and transformation programmes to redefine customer and employee experiences by building a strong culture, reimagining the future of work and driving innovation. He led DBS’ bank-wide transformation programmes including driving continuous improvement through process re-engineering and Lean IT.

Paul is one of the region’s foremost technology leaders. He chairs the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) Future-Enabled Skills Work Group and is an IBF Fellow. He also sits on the FinTech Advisory council for the Institute of International Finance (IIF) and is a fin-tech mentor.

"Without a doubt the best conference in Australia with a delightful mix of creativity and big thinking bringing together an eclectic group of industry, community and education leaders. Once again, I’ve come away enthused by new ideas, more aware of future trends, and heartened by the kindness of humanity. We all have a role to play and it should be a collective one." Kerry Anderson, Founder of Operation Next Gen

"Conferences are boring. Creative Innovation is more like a rodeo for ideas, and you are guaranteed to leave wanting to make the world better for everyone." Andrew Despi, A.kin

"Kudos to Tania for organising the the 2019 CI Conference in Melbourne - it is the best I have attended so far. All the speakers and sessions were very well-planned. I have attended many conferences and this is the first I did not have the 'luxury' to skip any sessions. Your effort in this space has truly made Melbourne a global innovation and entrepreneurship hub." Danny Ong, Deakin University

"I wanted to pass along how incredible I thought Creative Innovation was and how much your passion for life and for humanity was inspiring to all of us. It was a privilege to be included and one that I am very grateful for." John Pickering, Chief Behavioural Scientist

"Creative Innovation is a transformational platform built by changemakers for changemakers. It is an educational adventure showcasing the forefront of ideas internationally." Melissa Warner, Ci2019 Scholarship Winner & Education Officer, Mind Medicine Australia

"Creative Innovation 2019 was one of the most well-organised events I’ve ever taken part in. From beginning to the end, every detail had been planned through and taken care of. Secondly, are the production values. As a result, it was possible to attend all the sessions without suffering conference burn-out, happy in the knowledge that the next piece of content was guaranteed to delight and challenge the senses." Richard Claydon (Singapore)

"Well done on another successful Ci conference. Your energy, passion and sheer determination to ensure the conference delegates get a fantastic experience is admirable." VP People & Global Capability | P&GC, Woodside Energy


There are a host of incredible opportunities to partner with us on this world class innovation event. If you are interested in becoming a partner or creative collaborator for the upcoming conference, please contact:

Tania de Jong AM // Founder and Executive Producer
Tel: +61 (0)3 8679 6000

Alrick Pagnon
Tel: +61 (0)3 8679 6000

“Remarkable, mind blowing, brilliantly choreographed – easily the best conference ever and I’ve been to plenty. Truly wonderful and amazing.”

Jim Grant, Partner, Dattner Grant

“Thank you for a challenging and rewarding couple of days. The quality of the team you had at the conference was extraordinary! These events will change people and thereby the world.”

Craig Carolan, Director Private Wealth, ANZ

“I came to learn – I came away inspired! Best conference ever.”

Paul Duldig, University of Melbourne