Welcome to Sparks & Kindling, a periodic digest of the things that have been fuelling our thinking at Where There’s Smoke over the last few weeks. Most are recent articles but we may drop in a few noteworthy classics. We hope you find it stimulating and hopefully useful too - let us know your thoughts.

Chris Skinner's Blog

Chris Skinner's Blog

The top ten trends in banking innovation

It seems that people have been talking up about how banking is going to change for the last 20 years. But maybe at long last technology is ready to bring banks, which actually work for people, into the real world. These 10 innovations give some encouragement that real changes in how we handle our money are just round the corner. Our current favourite is ways to bring transactions to life, for instance the ‘shattered’ screen when you’ve just broken a personal daily limit. But the real proof that banking innovation is starting to take hold will be when consumers become more willing to change bank than get a divorce! 

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The Observer

The Observer

Francis Crick’s £700m altar to biomedical science

We love the new Francis Crick Institute not only because of it’s size, the science that will be pursued or the stunning architecture. But it’s what’s on the inside that’s really interesting to us. Inside Europe’s newest and largest biomedical research facility is far more radical, specifically in how it is structuring itself for innovation. Organised to accelerate the development of promising research into real innovations and therapies, the usual Departments have been removed and interest groups, shared space, places to overhear and add thinking in, active collaborations are all in. We’re betting they’re using slack.com as well… 

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Fastcodesign

Fastcodesign

The 5 Coolest Pieces Of Wearable Tech At New York Fashion Week

Is wearable technology at last moving out of the hands of techie designers and into the hands of fashion designers? Data may be king but with most wearables being consigned to the drawer after 6 months, it makes longer term data collection a real challenge. Maybe their adoption by one of the most short-termist of industries will finally signal their diffusion into everyday wear. Read more to see some interesting examples of wearable tech in fashion.

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The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe

Disney unveils surge pricing plans for parks

From Cirque De Soleil to Disneyland, dynamic or surge pricing is increasingly being imposed on us. Supposedly to spread demand, clearly it’s a way to make more money when demand is high but there must be a risk associated with customer experience and ultimately how customers feel about these brands.

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P.S. if you subscribe to WSJ, then take a look at this…

The language barrier is about to fall

OK this one is personal. We have been waiting for the babel fish since it popped out of the brilliant mind of Douglas Adams. So, if you never felt fluent enough to actually use that extra language you learnt at school or your excuse is “you’re a scientist not a linguist” you can soon stop feeling bad about it.

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