With less than 2 weeks before we kickoff WinterHack 2020, it’s time to talk about this year’s theme: Digital Ecosystems. Today, we discuss the concept behind digital ecosystems, why they matter, and how they can benefit insurers who are looking to thrive in the digital era.
What is a digital ecosystem?
Simply put, a digital ecosystem is a network of companies, their customers, and third-party service providers that share digital platforms. These stakeholders combine their offerings to provide services more efficiently, thereby creating greater value for all their customers. Digital ecosystems integrate several industries, allowing participating companies to create targeted products that are better tailored to changing customer needs and preferences.
Why are digital ecosystems important?
Customer expectations are rapidly changing — and providers must evolve in order to keep up with these changes.
Modern customers want customized insurance products, and they want these offerings to be available immediately. They want transactions with their provider to be smooth, quick, and simple. They want the best possible value for the price they pay. And they want to be able to trust their provider to protect their personal data.
In a digital ecosystem, insurers partner with digital service providers to create cross-industry product and service offerings that capitalize on technological capabilities to serve these customer expectations. These ecosystems enable insurers to quickly modify products and services based on changing customer preferences. By collaborating with experts in other fields, the insurer can create true customer value in an efficient, cost-effective, and mutually beneficial way — which is the first step towards building a long-term relationship directly with the customer.
How can you benefit from digital ecosystems?
According to a report published by Accenture in 2019, insurers who do not quickly respond to these changes will miss out on growth opportunities worth USD $177 billion over the next five years.
Collaborations through digital ecosystems allow companies to scale faster than if they stood alone. For example, access to partners’ technological resources makes it easier to roll out new offerings quickly. These cross-industry partnerships provide opportunities for insurers in local and global markets and expand into new sectors by offering complementary products and services with already-trusted partner brands.
Data aggregated from these combined products can be used to generate new leads and lower operational costs, McKinsey says, as well as create targeted products with increased value. It further suggests that insurers can use this data to offer risk assessment, predictive modelling, and other analytics capabilities as a serviceto partners in the ecosystem.
Insurers must move quickly to adopt a more active role in their customers’ daily lives. By shifting to a digital ecosystem strategy, these insurers can improve product offerings, distribution, and customer relationships while capitalizing on collaboration opportunities that can take them well beyond borders and into a whole new era of globally focused growth.
Wondering how you can adopt digital ecosystems in your insurance organization?
At WinterHack 2020, our Certified Innovation Experts will guide your team through the Design Thinking methodology to help you create an innovative solution around our “Digital Ecosystems” challenges. At the end of the Ideathon, pitch your solution to our esteemed panel of judges and global audience for a chance to win our big prize!
In the next part of our series, I had the pleasure to chat with Team Quantummy, winner of our Best Solution – Greater China Area prize and overall 2nd Place in our main SummerHack category. I chatted with Natasha Gibe, Derek Jones, and their Mentor Tommy Kim about the team’s two-time winning solution and how staying awake the whole 24 hours helped them develop their idea!
Natasha, Derek, and Tommy, thank you for joining us today and congratulations on winning in 2 major categories! Before we talk about the incredible experience and outcome, we’d love to know more about you.
Natasha: I live in Toronto and I work in contract software development. I have been in the industry for less than a year now — I actually transitioned from dentistry into software development!
Derek: I live in Toronto as well and work in software development. I work for a SaaS startup called Uberflip and I have been in the industry for over 7 years.
Tommy: I have been in the Property and Casualty insurance industry for almost in 8 years now, and am currently working as a Senior Actuarial Analyst at Munich Reinsurance.
Thank you for the intro! Tell us, what inspired you to join SummerHack 2020?
Natasha: We enjoyed the last hackathon we joined on Hackworks, and so I went on the platform and searched the upcoming hackathons they were supporting. I came across the IoT SummerHack 2020, and asked Derek if he wanted to join. Registrations were closing on the same night, so we signed up!
Looking at your double-win, that was definitely a good call! How did you prepare for the 24-hour event?
Derek: We didn’t prep too much, but we did try to learn about the insurance industry. We watched some YouTube videos and learned the basics of how insurance works and some common terms, like what an actuary is. There were all these things that we didn’t know about, and that was our prep. It wasn’t super extensive, it was learning the basics. We tried to learn about IoT trends as well.
Which of the three challenges did you choose, and why?
Natasha: We choose to tackle the small business challenge around how small businesses manage risks that they are exposed to. We related to this one the most, especially seeing small businesses in Toronto that were highly affected by COVID-19.
Could you walk us through the process of how you developed your solution?
Derek: Everything was remote, so the Zoom call was up and running. We had our webcams on all the time and collaborated with Tommy, which was really cool. We checked in with each other every hour or so. We talked about our workflow pretty early on; we decided to spend a lot of time understanding the problems that small businesses face, which would really be useful at the end of the day. We went ahead and discarded a lot of ideas through the first 12 hours, so we really only started solidifying and forming a more developed solution around midnight. We ended up staying awake the whole 24 hours to get to the final product — I don’t think we had any naps!
Tommy: Most of the focus was placed on empathy. Team Quantummy was more practical and realistic rather than visionary. We really understood the pain points of the small business owners, and we tried to simulate that and research to get to the exact point that we were heading to. At the end of the 24 hours, it was very effective. Our team was very confident and we were able to achieve that delivery.
On that note, tell us about how your mentor supported you throughout the journey.
Natasha: Tommy was on the Zoom call basically the whole time. He had such high energy the entire time, and he even stayed up the entire 24 hours! He taught us a lot about how the industry works and shared some links to studies and data that helped support our solution. He was a really great guide for us.
Tommy: Well, thank you!
It’s really great to hear about the collaboration and commitment within your team! It definitely paid off, because your solution was clearly a crowd favorite. Could you explain the concept of your solution for us?
Derek: The specific problem that we zoomed in on was that small businesses are very exposed to risks within their supply chains. Supply chains can get pretty complicated, and most small business owners are not experts at evaluating risk. Our solution was to create a certification program and an application that would end up creating a database of suppliers that are following industry best practices and risk prevention. Essentially, it would be a database of really low risk suppliers. Primarily, it focused on ensuring that suppliers are leveraging internet of things technology, so IoT tech. It had really shown to improve delivery, and would prevent destruction in manufacturing delivery, so we have a database of those suppliers. Small businesses could partner with those suppliers so that small businesses can build a reliable supply chain without having to analyze and understand all those risks.
Your solution won two prizes; it came 2nd in the main prize category and also won the Best Solution – Greater China Area special prize. How does it feel to have such a big win?
Natasha: We were surprised the first time we won; the first time our team name was announced, we thought, “Really?”. Then, for the second category, we were even more surprised, because a lot of the teams had awesome solutions, so we weren’t really expecting it. We were happy to hear that the solution resonated with them, and that the challenges really resonated with real life challenges and the problem that small business owners were facing. Throughout the event, we were trying to understand small businesses and the industry.
Tommy: It’s wonderful to see all the passion and hard work from Team Quantummy! Natasha showed the humble side of it, but I have to show another side. I would say that we were capable of it, because as we were dealing with all the different criteria, and the solution effectively met them and was very solid from my perspective. And at the end, yes, I really enjoyed hearing Quantummy announced as winners, and two times in a row, as well.
Team Quantummy, in your opinion, what made you so successful?
Derek: I think there were a couple of things. We definitely benefited from having a mentor who we could bounce ideas off of; that definitely helps the creative process and got rid of the uncertainty that we would have had on how feasible our ideas were. The second thing that I would say is that we decided to focus on understanding the domain. We wanted to understand the industry, IoT and technology, and see how those trending things are currently fitting into the industry. It’s amazing to see what is already in place! We were shocked to see all these devices and technologies that were already out there, and so that helped improve our understanding and it became feasible, helping us decide which ideas worked and which didn’t
Tommy: I would say the collaboration, firstly. I think we acknowledge our current knowledge and also tried to learn from each other too. Even though my title is as a Mentor to a wonderful team, I learned a lot more than I expected, so I think it was a great journey for myself. The second point is that we weren’t afraid to get knocked out in innovation. Sometimes innovation and creativity can be really hefty and a powerful word, and at the same time if we try to connect more dots, we can embrace our creativity and can propose more creative solutions.
How would you describe your overall experience at the hackathon?
Natasha: We had a really great time, overall. It was really tiring! I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to branch out and learn something new. Staying up for 24 hours is something I don’t recommend doing often, but in this case it was a really rewarding.
Tommy: The experience itself was very enjoyable. I actually worked hard myself during those 24 hours, and we had some very creative ideas too. There were some very innovative solutions proposed too that really made us laugh over the 24-hour journey!
WinterHack 2020 is coming up in November, and as a winning team, we want to know: What advice would you give incoming teams for our upcoming hackathon?
Derek: Keep in mind that from the very start, the main output of everything has to fit into a very short pitch. When you’re pitching, time can go way faster than you expect, so from the very beginning keep in mind that it has to fit into 3 minutes. Make time for a few practice runs so that you make sure you don’t spend all that energy developing the solution and you run out of time before you even get the idea across. We have seen that happen with other teams in various other hackathons before ourselves.
Tommy: Please enjoy the challenge, please enjoy the discussion, and please enjoy the creative ideas that you can come up with after squeezing your brain over 24 hours!
Our mission at Cookhouse Labs is to #MakeInsuranceBetter for the overall industry, and our events are part of our journey. In your opinion, how can events such as SummerHack 2020 help us achieve this?
Natasha: There were so many smart people participating in the hackathon, so events like this can provide a great opportunity to problem solvers that don’t work in the industry. We can still contribute a lot in terms of problem-solving, knowledge, or technology from other domains. I think that getting fresh eyes for the problem will really bring innovative solutions to the surface.
Tommy: Sticking to the hashtag of making insurance better, the term ‘better’ is relative to the previous. Through this hackathon at Cookhouse Labs, we are already ahead of the game to welcoming a new face of innovation. And one day, we will hear positive feedback from policy holders, where insurance is no longer a necessary evil, but instead an angel that can provide more comforting protection eventually.
Team Quantummy, it was a pleasure speaking with you. Thank you so much for sharing your time and thoughts with us, and congratulations once again!
In the next part of our series, I had the pleasure to chat with Team ABC, our 1st Place winners at SummerHack 2020. I spoke with Rachel Fermo, Prinsa Gandhi, and JiaQi Zhao about their experiences as first-time Hackers and how they worked together to come up with their winning idea.
Rachel, Prinsa, and JiaQi, thank you so much for joining us today, and congratulations on conquering your first hackathon! Before we dive into your winning solution and your experience, let’s do a quick intro about yourselves.
Rachel: I’m going into my third year at the University of Toronto, and I am studying Actuarial Science and Statistics, possibly with a minor in Math. Eventually, I want to become an actuary in Canada. I’m not exactly sure which area to go into, possibly Life and Health, but they say it depends on your first internship!
Prinsa: I’m also going into my third year at U of T. I’m a double major in Actuarial Science and Statistics, working towards a minor in Math. I also want to become an actuary. I am interested in Property and Casualty, but I’m not sure yet either.
JiaQi: I’m going into Actuarial Science, and I also study Computer Science. I’m hoping to get a minor in Statistics or Economics.
In line with that, what inspired you to join SummerHack 2020?
Rachel: We get emails from our Statistics department about opportunities related to Statistics, and we got an email invite to SummerHack. We said, “Why not, it sounds really fun and it’s something we can put on our resume for experience”! It was a learning opportunity, and that’s why we wanted to join.
Prinsa: Initially, we were pretty nervous about it! When we went to the Slack webpage, there seemed to be a lot of older participants from the insurance industry, so we joined for the experience.
JiaQi: We thought, “Let’s just try it. No matter how it goes, at least we tried our best”.
As first-time Hackers, how did you prepare for the 24-hour event?
Rachel: The first thing we did after hearing about it is that we tried to search up definitions, because we didn’t really know what IoT was. The Cookhouse Labs team also released prep videos, which Prinsa watched and shared notes about, and that’s how we prepared for it.
Prinsa: We received videos and articles from our Mentor on Slack, so we read those. We also saw the guide you posted about Design Thinking in 24 hours with time stamps, so we read that and watched the videos you shared.
JiaQi: We worked with our Mentor, David Schraub, who shared definitions, videos, and articles, and we asked him a bunch of questions. That was really helpful!
So, which of the three challenges did you pick, and why did you choose that challenge?
Rachel: We ended up picking the challenge about overcoming obesity. We each decided to research a challenge, and then come together with our notes and ideas to see which ones would work. Overcoming obesity was the soundest one, so we choose that challenge.
Prinsa: When you released the challenges, we had a discussion with our Mentor and he explained each topic in the real industry and how it works. Then, we split up and found ideas for each topic. We chose obesity because we had the most ideas for it.
JiaQi: We had to choose between small business bankruptcy mitigation, overcoming obesity, and mobility. We had the idea of an app and we tried linking each challenge to it. We wanted a solution that was possible to implement but was also original.
Once you choose a challenge, how did you go about developing your solution?
Rachel: First, we came up with our idea through research around overcoming obesity and insurance. We talked about our idea with our Mentor, and he gave us ideas about how to further develop the idea. Our idea was a Smart tooth, so we asked, “How do we link that to insurance?” We decided to add an app to our solution and reduce insurance premiums, and so on.
Prinsa: We followed the guide on Design Thinking, and when we decided on overcoming obesity, we did the survey research part on Google. We had a meeting with our mentor, and he told us to think of a specific target group, since this solution wouldn’t work for everyone. So, we created a persona, and we went ahead with it.
JiaQi: When we met with our Mentor, he told us that it was best to choose a target group first, and then create our solution around it.
You mentioned your Mentor, David, helped you quite a bit. Could you tell us more about how he supported you throughout your journey?
Rachel: He was really helpful, because he would notice things that we wouldn’t, like what we should focus on and what we should include in our presentation. He would give us research articles and things to think about when we were researching our idea. We definitely attribute our success to how he helped us throughout.
Prinsa: He also thought about the business side, which we didn’t really think about. He gave us a lot of advice on how insurance really works in the real world, such as pricing. He would join our Zoom call every two hours and would give us suggestions on what would work and what wouldn’t.
JiaQi: He gave us a lot of insights and examples of how internet of things is currently used in insurance. It helped us develop our idea of Smart tooth and link it better to insurance. As we were developing our concept, on our zoom call, he can always bring something new on the table and help us make our solution better. We couldn’t have done this without his support.
You mentioned that your idea was an IoT–powered Smart tooth. Could you tell us more about the concept behind it?
Rachel: It’s a tiny piece of metal glued to your tooth, and depending on what nutrient it absorbs, the metal shifts its electrochemical properties. You can transmit the information from the tooth to your phone, and you can view the data on the app. It’s easily accessible compared to calorie counters that exist right now, where you have to manually input the numbers, which can be inaccurate. Our way was to make it easier for people to access the information and make it helpful for insurance companies, because you can give that information to insurance companies and it will be an incentive to reduce your insurance premiums for healthy living.
Prinsa:When we researched our personas, we found that a common problem with health apps was that the customer didn’t have time to input information. The Smart tooth would automatically tell you the calories that you consumed, so it makes the process a lot easier.
JiaQi: In Design Thinking, we were told to put ourselves in place of the person who would be using the app, and we learned that it wasn’t that people didn’t care about what they were eating; it was that they didn’t have time. This method was very helpful!
What do you think contributed to your success in winning 1st Place at SummerHack 2020?
Rachel: I think our idea was really creative! Personally, I was really impressed with all the work that we accomplished in 24 hours. A big part of our success was that we worked together; this was our first time working together and we all knew what we had to do! We communicated with each other the whole day and we didn’t leave the Zoom call until we finished it and recorded our presentation. Only then did we fall asleep!
Prinsa: We were always on the Zoom call working together, always discussing our ideas.
JiaQi: Listening to each other’s ideas really helped. Rachel came up with the idea for the Smart tooth, we added to it, and that’s how it became the final solution.
How would you describe the overall experience at the event?
Rachel: We had never done anything like this before! When we heard that we had 3 minutes to pitch our ideas, we always had that in the back of our minds. We recorded the video a couple of times so that it was under 3 minutes. We were pretty good go-getters and we didn’t back down from the challenge. We continued the whole way through.
Prinsa: It was a fun experience because it had to do with real life industry issues. While working on the solution, we were completely interested in it because we felt as if we were working on something that was meaningful. It was super fun!
JiaQi: I really liked it, especially because it was 24 hours. Prior to us doing that, I would have never thought that we could create something in such little time. The fact that we actually did it has made me more confident in doing hackathons now!
As you know, WinterHack 2020 is coming up in November! As our 1st Place team, what advice would you give incoming students for the next event?
Rachel: If you’re a student, you might be taken aback by the 24-hours and not know what to do. If you take advice from your mentor, that will be really helpful for you. It’s not always about winning; it’s also about learning, so have fun while you’re doing the hackathon!
Prinsa: I would say, don’t be scared or nervous about what you can contribute! Just enjoy the experience, because you’ll end up learning a lot. That’s why we went into this — we wanted to have a cool experience.
JiaQi:Don’t overthink it! I’m sure all of the participants were nervous but it went really well. It always goes better than you expect!
Final question: How do you think that an event like this can make insurance better?
Rachel: In an event like this, you have to be really creative and think outside the box. The ideas that you come up with are ideas that people don’t normally think about. By doing this, we have ideas that didn’t previously exist and can really help insurance.
Prinsa: The challenges that we were given made us think from the consumer’s point of view. We did what we thought the consumer would want and it really helped in the end.
JiaQi: I think that gathering people from different countries, industries, and experience brings much more diversity and different perspectives on tackling a problem. I believe that an event like this can bring new insights and ideas in insurance.
Team ABC, thank you so much for your time and congratulations once again on your big win at SummerHack 2020!
We’re gearing up for our next global hackathon, WinterHack 2020. To stay informed about the event, follow us on LinkedIn!
Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting down virtually with David Schraub, a Staff Fellow at the Society of Actuaries and the Mentor of our 1st Place team at our 24-Hour Global SummerHack 2020. During the interview, David discussed how his team developed their winning solution and shared advice on how teams at our upcoming WinterHack 2020 can replicate this success.
Thank you, David, for joining us — not only for the interview, but as a SummerHack 2020 Mentor to a student team. Congratulations on your team’s big win! We would love to hear about your experience as a Mentor, but before we do, let’s start with a quick introduction about you.
Thank you for the opportunity to participate! It was my first hackathon and my first interaction with Cookhouse Labs, and I had a lot of fun. Now, about me — I’m a French actuary that moved to the U.S. about 17 years ago and became an American actuary. I’m currently working for the Society of Actuaries (SOA), helping advance professional design and continuing education programs. My background is in Life Insurance; I focused on the ERM and investments side. Now, I’m working on predictive analytics and InsurTech initiatives that bring the SOA and actuaries to the forefront of innovation.
Thank you for that introduction, David! Our students loved having such an experienced Mentor guide them throughout the event. Tell me, what inspired you to mentor a student team?
A member of the Cookhouse Labs team reached out to me with the opportunity to mentor a group of actuarial students, and I became curious about the innovation process and the event itself. So, it was the curiosity, the potential for disruption, and the question, “What can we create in 24 hours?” I wanted to find out!
How did you go about engaging and preparing your team for the hackathon?
We started with an introductory call to get to know each other. The Events Team also suggested using this call to align on how Mentors and students would stay in touch during the event. I was interested in learning about the students’ backgrounds and what they wanted to get out of the experience. They were interested in Data Science and Internet of Things. In advance of the 24-hour period, I shared related articles and background reads to clarify a few concepts and help them prepare.
What process did your team undergo to develop the solution?
The Events Team spelled out a very good process with milestones that we had no reason to challenge — the Design Thinking methodology. Our team started by sharing ideas on each of the 3 challenges given and decided on the first one, Overcoming Obesity. We created a detailed Persona to help us understand the target market. We discussed the size of the target market and the expected profitability of a product. Your product doesn’t have to be relevant to everybody, so long as your target market is large enough to generate a profit. You may have a small group of people that are extremely interested in one topic, and you may be able to build a completely viable product for them. After we had a Persona, we defined their interests and disposable income. We then went about developing a solution, and the next step (if we had time) would have been to develop a business plan around it.
We’re very excited to hear Design Thinking helped your team create their solution around Overcoming Obesity! Could you briefly describe the concept behind the solution?
We came up with an IoT-backed tooth with sensors to monitor what you eat. For example, it can count the calories you consume or your snack times. Let’s say you’re craving a snack — the app will use the information to suggest you go for a walk instead of opening the fridge. The app could also be connected to your doctor, who could use the data to help you manage aspects of your health and wellness that are impacted by your nutrition.
What do you think your team did well that led them to conquering SummerHack 2020?
One thing that they did well was to actually deliver; they had a good presentation that was submitted on time. Another thing is that their solution met the need and was possible to implement. We found a few articles suggesting the concept is already being developed. They also demonstrated a clear link to insurance: there is potential to reduce life insurance premiums.
On that note, what would be your advice to teams going into our upcoming WinterHack 2020 in November?
Fully understand the requirements and deliver based on them! Submit your materials way in advance of the deadline and rehearse your pitch well. In fact, submit a video pitch to avoid technological issues that come with a live presentation. While all this may sound very basic, it is the key to success. Also, know what your solution can achieve and back this knowledge with numbers and statistics.
That’s very valuable advice! In a nutshell, how would you describe your experience at SummerHack 2020?
I’d say it was fun, interactive, and a great opportunity to learn!
How do you think such an event can help #MakeInsuranceBetter?
The basic answer would be to share these ideas with potential startups so that those products can be developed. They may make insurance better because they address the needs of the insured and of the insurance industry.
Thank you, David, for sharing your time with us and for mentoring our students at SummerHack 2020! Congratulations once again on your big win and we look forward to seeing you at our upcoming WinterHack 2020 in November!
Thank you for having me. It was a pleasure!
We’re about to announce the winners of our Best Solution – Greater China Area prize (valued at $1,000 CAD)! The announcement will be made via Facebook live stream on Tuesday, August 25th, 2020 at 8 pm EDT. You don’t want to miss it, so click here to stay connected!
In July, we hosted SummerHack 2020, our first virtual 24-hour global hackathon. We were joined by 100+ insurers and student innovators from 10 countries around the world, mentored by 20+ insurance experts. This year’s theme was “IoT Disruption in Insurance”, and at our Kickoff Event, we announced the 3 challenges our teams could tackle:
Mobility Services How might we develop an IoT-based customer-focused holistic mobility insurance product/service?
Small Businesses How might we develop IoT-based risk-prevention services/products for small businesses?
Fight Obesity How might we develop IoT-based solutions/services to prevent and reduce obesity and overweight?
With that, our 22 teams set off to race against the clock to develop their IoT-powered solutions!
We wanted to provide support to our teams throughout their 24-hour journey – after all, innovation cannot happen without the right environment! At Cookhouse Labs, Design Thinking is our core methodology, and we encouraged our teams to use Design Thinking to guide their solutions. To help our teams prepare, we equipped them with Design Thinking Masterclasses, live topic-specific workshops, and a step-by-step guide on how to structure their time according to the 5 stages.
During the event, our Innovation Team provided live workshops with Q&A sessions to expand on the information shared in the Masterclasses. Whether it was Coach Ibeth’s high energy, UX/UI Designer Adys’s prototyping expertise, or Co-Founder Sven’s tips and tricks on presentation styles, our innovators had full access to our team’s knowledge and guidance. We were available round the clock to provide support – we even held a workshop at 3 in the morning! And man, was that fun!
What inspired us was the level of commitment shown by our participants; Mentors took time away from work to check on their teams, and Hackers worked on their solutions throughout the night, pausing only briefly for short breaks. There was a shared sense of community spirit, coupled with an understanding that innovation cannot thrive without collaboration. Before the event, Mentors shared advice on how to best support their students and took time to expand further on the specific topic and on insurance. During the event, teams tested their solutions with each other. Even our Judges stopped by the Kickoff Event to share in the excitement!
The 24-hour hackathon period ended with an adrenaline-fueled final hour, where Hackers rushed to add last-minute details to their IoT-powered solutions before the submission deadline. Once this deadline passed, our Live Pitch Event began – the moment of truth, where each team had 3 minutes to pitch their solution to our panel of esteemed Judges.
Our panel comprised of 5 Judges with over 120 years of industry experience between them. Our Judges were Kin Lee-Yow (CIO, CAA Club Group of Companies), Manisha Dias (AVP Business Development, SCOR), Thomas Börtzler (Chief Innovation Officer, Munich Re of Canada), Till Heydel (VP Strategy & Corporate Development, BI&I Canada), and Sven Roehl (Co-Founder, Cookhouse Labs and Head of Innovation, msg global). After a fast-paced round of pitches, our Judges stepped away for deliberation.
During this break, Coach Ibeth shared interesting facts about our 100+ innovators, a compilation of results from polls and questionnaires our teams had answered before the event. As we learned, for over 70% of participants, SummerHack 2020 was their first hackathon – an amazing surprise!
Our Judges returned and it was time to announce the winners. Based on the Judges’ feedback, the top solutions were:
1. Team ABC
2. Team Quantummy
3. Team HackerExplo
Stay tuned as we interview the winning teams and we share more details about their solutions on our upcoming series “SummerHack 2020 – A Race Against the Clock”.
The students won a total of $4,000 CAD in prizes, sponsored by msg global solutions Canada. Our 1st Place Mentor won a virtual Design Thinking session (valued at $2,000 CAD), hosted by our Innovation Team! We celebrated all teams, and in that moment, all teams shared a sense of accomplishment, of true community – they had just conquered a 24-hour global hackathon!
The competition is not over yet; we still have 1 more prize!
In the upcoming days, we will announce the winner of our Best Solution – Greater China Area prize. Sponsored by Besurance China Limited, this prize is valued at $1,000 CAD and will be awarded to the solution that best serves the Greater China Area. We will be announcing this prize via social media live stream – you don’t want to miss it, so click here to stay updated!
A big thank-you to our sponsors, partners, participants, Mentors, and Judges for helping us create an exciting global innovation experience! A special thank-you to our platform partner, Hackworks, for their continued support in organizing and executing SummerHack 2020. Your support made this journey a lot easier and fun!
We are grateful for the support we have received from the community in our journey to #MakeInsuranceBetter. We hope everyone enjoyed our first virtual hackathon! We look forward to seeing our innovators again at our upcoming virtual events, especially our WinterHack 2020, which is scheduled for November 3rd and 4th 2020.
Follow us for more details as we announce the dates, format, and topics – click here to stay connected!
If you’re joining us as a Hacker or Mentor this summer, you’re probably wondering how you’ll create a disruptive IoT-powered solution in just 24 hours. To help you prepare for our upcoming virtual hackathon, we’ve put together this quick guide on how to disrupt the insurance industry using Design Thinking in time for Friday’s deadline!
What is Design Thinking?
Previously in the insurance space, most insurers took the approach of creating solutions based solely on assumptions and hoped that their products or solutions would resonate with target audiences. Design Thinking reverses this logic by first identifying the root(s) of the problem, observing how people think and behave, and gathering customer insights. From there, they create practical solutions. Using this methodology invites teams to look at a problem through the eyes of the customer, put themselves in their shoes and fully empathize with the customer – who is ultimately the people impacted directly by the solution.
Stages of Design Thinking
The following are the stages of the Design Thinking process:
Empathize with the customer and other stakeholders
Define the opportunity or problem
Design a solution
Create and build a Minimum Viable Product/Concept/Service
Test the solution with customers and users
How to Use Design Thinking at SummerHack 2020
While the stages listed above may sound time-consuming, it’s possible to walk through each of them within a short timeframe. As a reminder, our Innovation Team will be available via regular check-in calls to answer any questions and provide support on how to follow Design Thinking to develop impactful solutions.
Below, we’ve broken down the 24-hour hackathon period using the Design Thinking process to help you structure your time (should you choose to do so) and succeed in SummerHack 2020!
Thursday, July 30th
9 AM – Empathize
At 9 am EDT, the Cookhouse Labs team will announce our IoT-based challenge and you will have 24 hours to create your solution!
Your Design Thinking journey begins with the first stage, Empathize. This is where you will begin to understand your target group, which can be done in 2 ways: internet research and interviews with your target group. You can’t create a customer-centric solution without putting yourself in the shoes of the customer, and a good way to do this is to speak directly with the potential customer and listen.
Deliverables: By the end of this stage, you will have:
An Empathy Map to help you visualize how the user thinks/feels and documents their pain points
1st Check-In: Our Innovation Experts will be available from 11 am to 12 pm!
3 PM – Define
The next stage focuses on constructing a point of view based on the user’s needs. Here, you will take time to reflect on what the user has shared with you and to visualize their experience. By doing so, you can define what problem you are trying to solve, which will help you shape a better experience for the user.
Deliverables: By the end of this stage, you will have:
A Journey Map, which is a narrative of your user’s steps to accomplish a specific goal. This is mapped out in 2 layers: a timeline of the user’s actions and their thoughts/emotions while completing each task. You want to identify areas where the user encounters obstacles or barriers along their journey
How Might We (HMW) statements, which are short questions that focus on specific problem areas from the Journey Map and identifies the benefits or gains the solution will bring. In the same project about bankruptcy mitigation, our team created 20 HMW statements and selected, “How might we reduce the risk of financial impact of current economic events?”
2nd Check-In: Our Innovation Experts will be available from 3 pm to 4 pm!
7 PM – Design
After selecting a single HMW statement to focus on, it’s time to ideate! This stage is all about connecting to your inner child and using your imagination to come up with multiple solutions to the problem your team identified. Quantity is important here, so remember to list as many possibilities as you can!
Deliverables: By the end of this stage, you will have:
Multiple possible solutions to tackle the challenge in various timeframes
A chosen idea to begin prototyping!
3rd Check-In: Our Innovation Experts will be available from 7 pm to 8 pm!
11 PM – Create
Once your team has voted on a winning idea, you are now ready to build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). You will begin by creating a low-fidelity prototype, which could take the form of a sketch, Excel spreadsheet, or PowerPoint presentation.
Deliverables: By the end of this stage, you will have:
A sketch of your Lo-Fi prototype to help visualize and test the solution
4th Check-In: Our Innovation Experts will be available from 11 pm to 12 am!
Friday, July 31st
3 AM – Test
Now that the solution has taken shape, it’s time to test and retest the idea with different users. The objective is to receive feedback on the content, design, and usability of the prototype and is usually done via surveys and interviews. It is important to remain open to feedback and fully engage with the potential end-user in order to understand their thoughts and improve your prototype. Note that if it is not possible to test with actual personas, you can either test within the team, with friends or connections you have in your network, your Mentor, or ask the Cookhouse Labs team if they have a chance to check out your solution.
Deliverables: By the end of this stage, you will have:
A final MVP that is ready to be presented
5th Check-In: Our Innovation Experts will be available from 3 am to 4 am!
7 AM – Wrap-Up
In 2 hours, you will submit your final solution!
At this time, you should begin to practice your presentation and prepare any materials required (such as PowerPoint slides). Remember, you will only have three minutes to pitch your solution to our panel of judges!
Deliverables: By the end of this stage, you will have:
Submitted your solution on our platform, including a brief description and any additional materials
Prepared your presentation for our Live Pitch Event beginning at 9:30 am
6th Check-In: Our Innovation Experts will be available from 6 am to 7 am!
To provide even further support, our Innovation Team has prepared a Design Thinking video series to walk you through each stage in more detail, which you will have access to before the event.
And remember – along the way, you will have support from your Mentor, an industry expert dedicated to providing your team with valuable knowledge and expertise.
And with that, you are now ready to disrupt the insurance industry!
We wish all our teams the best of luck for SummerHack 2020! We invite our community members to join the Live Pitch Event on Friday, July 31st at 9:30 am EDT to see the exciting solutions our teams of student and corporate innovations develop.
In just 1 week, Cookhouse Labs will launch WinterHack 2020: Global Design Thinking Ideathon in partnership with InsurLab Germany and msg!
From our experience with hosting (physical) ideathons in previous years, we’ve found that these events are a great way to get innovators’ creative juices flowing. While there are prizes and glory at stake, there are many additional cool benefits to getting involved in WinterHack 2020. Let’s check out those benefits!
1. Time crunch encourages focused innovation
Most innovation projects span several weeks, where team members meet occasionally for a few hours to discuss their ideas. In an ideathon, innovators are aware they must present a prototype within 2 days and successfully sell their idea to the judges, meaning little time must be wasted on discussion. The ideathon’s 2-day time crunch encourages innovators to timebox, allowing them to complete tasks within predetermined fixed times.
2. Hackers build holistic solutions
The solution should go beyond solving the problem; innovators must adopt a holistic approach when developing the solution. Many aspects of the business model must be considered, such as the target group, the marketing plan, and how to finance product development. The solution will be evaluated against diverse judging criteria, including ease of implementation. There are many aspects to consider but only 2 days at hand, creating an exciting challenge!
3. Experience Design Thinking in action
Many ideathons do not have a guided process, but at Cookhouse Labs, we want to maximize the experience and use a methodology that fits into the 2-day timeframe. We’ve used Design Thinking in projects that range from ½ a day to 3 months, meaning we know how to tailor the method to fit any project duration. Through our workshops, participants will learn how to:
Empathize with the end-user to understand their needs
Map out the customer journey
Define the real problem
Build their prototypes
Test their solution on real users, and
Create compelling final presentations
We’ve found that following the methodology leads to better results than simply jumping into coding the solution. Our workshops are designed so that one team member can attend while the remaining members continue to develop the solution, thereby making the most of the time available.
4. Learn and build meaningful connections in the process
Mentors are subject matter experts who provide valuable industry knowledge to guide teams towards holistic solutions. Many of our teams are comprised of student hackers, and this is an incredible opportunity to learn from industry veterans and build meaningful connections that can lead to internships and career opportunities.
Mentors are in the unique position to show students how exciting the insurance industry can be! Our brilliant student teams have their own in-depth knowledge of analytics, AI models, and technology, and as a Mentor, you will see what our young talent can bring to the table.
5. A single problem will inspire many innovative solutions
WinterHack 2020 focuses on digital ecosystems in insurance, a major opportunity for the industry to innovate and adopt exciting technology. An internal team addressing this opportunity will likely develop a single solution, but by the end of the 2 days, industry experts will have access to a variety of solutions created by the teams. Often, the output is very robust, especially if team members have coding and design experience. The ideathon is an opportunity to collaborate with our teams to further develop these solutions into viable products which can potentially solve your organization’s challenges and positively impact the industry.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to join this exciting global ideathon – click here to learn more about how you can participate in WinterHack 2020!
The insurance industry is not known for being fast-paced, revolutionary, or innovative in any way. Why would we be? Insurance products and services have changed very little, if at all. We have mastered our skills as a passive risk taker over centuries. Now we are facing the biggest disruption the industry has ever seen — the Internet of Things, or IoT.
How can this type of technology be disruptive?
To answer this, we must first go back and understand how the insurance industry works. Insurance was created to cover the risk of financial loss. Consider any form of insurance — Life insurance covers a loss of income, health insurance covers treatment costs, and auto insurance covers the cost of accidental damage. In order to calculate the probability of this financial loss, actuaries — the mathematicians of insurance — look into the past to predict the future. They study historic claims data, take into account many risk factors, and build models around what they have learned.
Let’s use the example of life insurance. Life insurance is significant because a single policy can run for many decades. For 40-odd years, the risk follows a mathematical model which is based on information provided by a young policy holder who expects a payout when she or he retires. This is truly a long time to predict. In the example of auto insurance, previous data from a similar age group and location as the policy holder, along with a history of accidents in the area, are used to calculate risk.
Why does this matter so much? Think about it this way; approximately 80% of costs borne by insurance organizations are claims disbursements. If the impact of claims is reduced by 1 to 2%, this can translate to millions of dollars saved.
What we are highlighting here is that for centuries, evaluating risk required looking into the past. In the case of health insurance, a younger, healthier policy holder will be offered a lower premium because previous data indicates that this individual is less likely to file a claim.
Let’s focus on the auto sector for a moment. Very little has changed in the past few decades. The layout of roads, the shape of cars, even traffic rules are relatively the same. Yes, safety features have improved, but the risk model still has decades of solid data to follow.
What if we introduce a new and unpredictable risk factor, such as autonomous vehicles?
We return to our aforementioned disruptor — IoT. This technology can offer real-time data that the industry has never accessed before. IoT can calculate the individual risk of the driver and use accurate behavioral data to determine the real risk at hand, allowing insurers to take new risks into consideration and charge fair premiums. Consider the COVID-19 work-from-home situation, where cars sit parked in garages for most of the week. Customers are being charged the same premiums, but if IoT data is used in programs like usage-based insurance, the insurer would know that the car is being used less often, significantly reducing the risk of a claim. Therefore, a lower premium can be charged, which the customer would no doubt appreciate in these challenging times.
Without a doubt, the insurance industry is shifting from being a passive risk taker to becoming an active risk manager. The industry has begun to offer customers valuable information that it has acquired through this real-time data analysis. Insurers now trade discounted premiums for actively reducing the risk. Insurers educate their customers on the importance of sleep and a healthy diet. All the unique data required to manage risk is collected through IoT devices, such as smartwatches. When customers follow this life-changing advice, their individual risk of financial loss is reduced. Fewer claims are filed.
And we know fewer claims means insurers save millions in disbursement money.
Although we have barely scratched the surface of the potential of IoT in insurance, we cannot deny that IoT is the biggest disruptor the industry has ever seen. The availability of real-time, individualized sensor data is doing more than change the risk model; it is transforming our actuaries into data scientists.
The potential for IoT and its new business models is vast within the insurance industry.
What can you accomplish in 24 hours when you bring together a group of curious thinkers?
Cookhouse Lab hosted our first free Innovation Challenge Event last week and the topic of interest was machine learning. Machine learning has been a definite hot topic for manual process optimization in any industry, and our participants were taken through a condensed Cookhouse Lab innovation sprint towards creating insurance-specific use cases.
Inspired by the recent Delays in APS project, we invited the insurance community to embark on a machine learning minimum viable product by piloting a 24-hour innovation challenge. Participants came from all facets of insurance including The Cooperators, Munich Re & RSA. Other diversifying participants included KPMG and Insurance Canada, both of which added greatly to the experience.
After orientation with our in house Cookhouse Lab design thinking team and machine learning experts SortSpoke, the teams enjoyed some networking over a BBQ dinner and a team formation exercise in our rooftop patio.
The group shared many fantastic ideas that spanned automotive, oil & gas and social industries to life and P&C insurance products, but the group narrowed down their choices to the top three.
Teams were formed around three different machine learning themes: Chatbots, Fraud and Social Media.
A facilitated rapid design thinking experience was delivered over the reaming competition timeline. This included defining a problem statement, identifying target personas, designing a solution and most importantly, testing the design with SMEs and customers. Though the team didn’t have the time to generate multiple iterations, the final MPVs presented to judging panel consisted of Chris Murumets, Co-Founder and CEO at LOGiQ3 Group and Cookhouse Lab, Hashmat Rohian, Senior Director, Innovation at The Co-operators and Craig Mauchan, Vice President Sales & Marketing at SortSpoke, were top-notch quality.
Through this Innovation Challenge, I found that the following three key factors enabled success:
Preparing a testing and SME community is key to rapid design thinking experiences, and design thinking is something that can be adapted to any phase of the project.
Whether it may be three months or three hours, keeping a customer centric and lean startup mindset will consistently provide insightful and quality output with any diverse team.
In contrast to traditional work, the ability to instill a close but not perfect attitude helps teams progress when given constrained timeframes. By not focusing on perfection or knowns, teams can continue to experience, experiment, trial and error towards an MVP goal without expending energy validating outputs. Remember there is always another chance at the next iteration!
In the end, participants, judges and the Cookhouse Lab team all enjoyed the high energy experience. Many were amazed at the output and the learnings from the 24-hour experience. The judging criteria was based on four factors: MVP Presentation (40%), Innovativeness (25%), Size of Opportunity (20%) and Time to Market (15%). And in the end, the winning team edged out a win by scoring only 0.025 more points than the second place team but, everyone deserved to win!
Do you have what it takes to innovate under time constraints? Does working with a group of diverse peers excite you?
Be sure to subscribe to get the latest announcements on our next 24-hour challenge and release of our next innovation projects!
“Coming up with an idea is the easy part. Bringing that idea to life is the difficult part”
This advice was given to me very early on in my career but still rings true every time I embark on a new innovation project. As innovation professionals can attest to, it is the vetted business value of an innovation that is one of the most difficult elements to overcome when applying for budget or devising a go-to-market strategy.
As the team worked towards the end of the project, the focus was on business casing, and the due diligence supporting the features of the newly created digital experience. All of which were in an attempt to deliver business value planned from the beginning of the project. Some examples of these can be seen below.
INVESTIGATED BUSINESS MODELS
A key component of the delivery is the go-to-market business model. Given the diverse insurance and reinsurance Cookhouse Lab members and the geographies they represent, multiple models were considered to support the post-project launch of the application. Additional details were provided in an innovation report to the project member insurance companies.
Working with actuary project members, the team also produced several financial models that defined the on-going budget available to engage and retain a high lapse probability customer. Several versions were produced along with sensitivity along various lapse rates. The models were also delivered in the innovation report as a due diligence data source and analysis.
Finally, customer engagement is key to the unique value proposition of the MVP. Hence additional rounds of end customer interviews were performed to identify the challenges that would be most interesting. All customer feedback, surveys and interviews were collected and shared in the customer insight section of the innovation report.
Bacon Reward Challenge within the Application
From this customer feedback and testing, the team defined several high interest challenges that would target motivations of several types of customers. As we know, adoption and engagement are key to any digital experience which the team delivered in a gamified challenge feature. This is one of many features that were included based on customer insights.
It was an intense project timeline of ideating, designing, iterating and developing the business elements of the MVP. Captured in details in the innovation report, the deliverable was refined iteratively with customer feedback throughout the entire experience. Although it was a short 90-day journey, it was a fruitful one, as the team was successful in delivering the MVP and report to stakeholders on the final day!
It is truly incredible to see the collaboration efforts and speed that our first project team delivered! The entire Cookhouse Lab team is thrilled to embark our next set of projects! One MVP down and many more on the way!
“I enjoyed the multitude of ideas and the level of engagement. At these events, I get a huge input of ideas in a short period of time, which is what I look for. I also enjoyed seeing how the virtual setup worked and how everyone was able to collaborate, even though they were in different rooms!"
Bernd ScharrerCOO Operations/IT at VHV Holding AG
“I always come away from Cookhouse Labs events with lots of new contacts and lots of new ideas. The types of people I meet at these events are great! Everybody’s willing to help each other out and everybody’s interested in each other’s ideas. The connections you make at these events are brilliant, and I think just having that comradery in the insurance community can only make the industry better.”
Emily Hill Manager, Strategy & Planning, TD Insurance
“WinterHack 2020 was an incredible global event — chapeau to all the amazing participants for an amazing design process and a great job!! Thank you for hosting this ideathon, and hope to see some of these ideas on our portfolio next year!”
Gil AraziFounder and Managing Partner, FinTLV
"First and foremost, Cookhouse Labs was an entryway into meeting a lot of parties within the Canadian insurance industry. We were introduced to senior leaders at MGAs and other insurance companies. We also got to participate in some interesting workshops with people that we deal with every day, like a workshop with underwriters to talk about the future of underwriting. It was interesting to get their point of view on how far we could push the envelope, where some of the constraints are, and why those constraints exist. It was very beneficial for us early on to have those sounding boards for some of our ideas to tell us how feasible they would be! "
Laura McKayCo-Founder of PolicyMe
"When signing up for WinterHack 2020, I was curious about the entirely virtual experience and how it would be managed. It was a wonderful experience, and we had a lot of fun. Cookhouse Labs did an amazing job with sharing resources and guiding teams through all the steps, so thank you!"
“Looking at this collaboration from a corporate viewpoint, I’d want to have the Cookhouse Labs spark of energy for disruption permeate all areas of my organization… It’s always about the people, collaboration & change.”
“This year I had the chance to work with the team at Cookhouse Labs. In a time where we are all grasping on how to enhance collaboration and innovation remotely, it was impressive to see how the team was able to deliver innovation programs and train the trainer teachings online. Not only did we get to be involved in innovation practices, but Cookhouse Labs also modelled how to deliver using collaboration tools that can be applied to working with any group of people. And the bonus? A chance to expand my community of innovation leaders!”
Susan GilbertDirector, Digital Operations at MIG Insurance and Co-Founder, Haekka
"You don't have to be Steve Jobs to be an innovative individual. I have to upsell the support we got from Cookhouse Labs: the templates guided us in the right direction on how to develop and present our solution in the end, so thank you!"
Tommy KimSenior Actuarial Analyst, Munich Re Company of Canada
msg global solutions Canada Inc., and each of its affiliates or programs (“Cookhouse Labs”), is committed to providing transparency to outside parties with respect to the compliance of the organization’s electronic communication with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, in effect as of July 1st, 2014, and its relevant rules and regulations (hereinafter “CASL”). To that end, the Msg global solutions Anti-Spam Commitment is a formal statement of rights and obligations which is made available to outside parties. It is intended to inform outside parties of the type of responsible and transparent practices adopted by Msg global solutions when electronically communicating with outside parties, to inform outside parties about who they may contact at Msg global solutions for any concern pertaining to electronic communications, and to inform such outside parties of where and how they may unsubscribe to any electronic communications from msg global solutions. This document also includes a series of answers to questions about spam and msg global solutions’ practices that are frequently asked by outside parties that msg global solutions may communicate with.
1. APPLICATION AND SCOPE.
This Anti-Spam Commitment generally applies to any electronic communications sent by msg global solutions to outside parties and is protected by a range of business procedures, processes and policies to ensure that such communications are done in compliance with CASL. msg global solutions, in its electronic communications with outside parties, has to comply with the rules established by CASL and enforced by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the Competition Bureau and the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. CASL regulates all commercial electronic messages (“CEM”), which are messages that include among their purposes, the encouragement of participation in a commercial activity.
2. WHAT IS msg global solutions DOING TO COMPLY WITH CASL?
msg global solutions has undertaken various initiatives in order to make sure that it is compliant with CASL. It has adopted this Anti-Spam Commitment to provide transparency to outside parties with respect to the compliance of the organization’s electronic communication practices with CASL, as well as undertaken the following initiatives:
msg global solutions has implemented CASL compliant consent forms
The consent of outside parties is necessary in order for msg global solutions to send a CEM. This consent typically must be “express”, but in certain circumstances consent can be “implied” and in others, messages are specifically exempt from consent requirements. msg global solutions has modified certain consent forms in order to ensure that the express consent obtained from recipients is in compliance with CASL.
Your communication preferences can be updated at any time by visiting the Preference Centre, which can be accessed at any time via our website, and you will be notified via email when changes have been made. You can have your email address removed from our mailing lists at any time, although even if you unsubscribe to receiving CEM from Msg global solutions, you may still receive electronic messages from msg global solutions which relate to an ongoing business relationship or which are exempt under CASL.
msg global solutions has modified its email footers
msg global solutions has modified its email footers to manage CASL’s consent requirements. Under CASL, all CEM sent must include certain prescribed content. For example, msg global solutions must clearly identify itself as the party sending the CEM, provide a method whereby the recipient can readily contact msg global solutions, such as a mailing address and one of (i) a telephone number with active response voicemail; (ii) an email address; or (iii) a web address; and provide a working unsubscribe mechanism. CASL compliant email footers have been updated on all CEM sent from msg global solutions, in order to ensure compliance with CASL.
msg global solutions has incorporated Unsubscribe Mechanisms
msg global solutions has incorporated unsubscribe mechanisms into all CEM, in order to manage CASL’s consent requirements. Under CASL, each CEM must provide a working unsubscribe mechanism (functional for 60 days), which must be processed without delay, within a maximum of 10 business days. msg global solutions has set up a uniform process in order to ensure that all unsubscribe requests will be complied with. You may at any time unsubscribe from receiving CEM from Msg global solutions by following the process laid out in the electronic message you receive, or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. However, even if you unsubscribe to receiving CEM from msg global solutions, you may still receive electronic messages from msg global solutions which relate to an ongoing business relationship or which are exempt under CASL.
3. WHY ARE YOU RECEIVING AN ELECTRONIC MESSAGE FROM msg global solutions?
The types of CEM msg global solutions may send from time to time could include the following:
CEM sent to msg global solutions’s current or potential clients (whether individuals or businesses), by msg global solutions’s marketing department or msg global solutions’s sales and business development team. For example, this may be for prospecting purposes or in order to answer a request for information or an inquiry;
CEM sent to msg global solutions’s current or potential service providers by various msg global solutions business units. For example, msg global solutions may outsource part of its activities to a third party (such as a maintenance company, a translation service provider, etc.) or, msg global solutions HR department may contact potential employees electronically for recruitment purposes.
CEM sent to msg global solutions’s current or potential business partners. For example, this may be for building or finding new ventures and partnerships with industry companies, groups and associations.
If you have received a CEM from msg global solutions and you believe that you should not have, please assess as to whether you have provided implied or express consent to receive CEMs from msg global solutions, or if an exemption applies.
Express Consent: You can verify that you have provided express consent to msg global solutions (or verify the status of your consent) by reviewing your preferences in the Preference Centre.
Implied Consent: msg global solutions may infer your implied consent if:
msg global solutions has an existing business relationship with you or has a former business relationship with you which terminated less than two years ago (for instance, you are a former client);
msg global solutions received an inquiry from you within the last 6 months;
You disclosed your electronic address to a msg global solutions employee (for example you provided your business card to a msg global solutions employee) or you conspicuously published your electronic address (for example, via a corporate website or in a brochure) and the CEM sent is in connection with your business role and function.
When is an electronic message exempt under CASL?
If you are receiving an electronic communications from msg global solutions, it may be a message that is exempt under CASL. This would be the case if the message is one the following:
you have a personal relationship with the msg global solutions employee who contacted you, meaning that you have previously had a direct, voluntary, two-way communication;
you have a family relationship with the msg global solutions employee who contacted you;
the CEM is sent within msg global solutions (between employees of msg global solutions);
the CEM is sent between msg global solutions and another business, where there is an ongoing relationship between msg global solutions and this other business;
the CEM was sent by msg global solutions to you, in order to respond to your request or inquiry; or
the CEM was sent by msg global solutions to you, in order to enforce a legal right or obligation (for instance, if you have an outstanding debt, or breached a contract that you have with msg global solutions, etc.).
In certain situations, your consent is not required for certain types of messages sent by msg global solutions, although you may still unsubscribe from future transmission of similar messages. The type of messages where msg global solutions does not need your consent is an electronic message that:
is sent once, following a referral by a current msg global solutions client, service provider, business partner or employee who also has a personal or business relationship with you;
only provides you with a request for a quote or an estimate;
only facilitates or confirms a transaction;
only provides msg global solutions warranty, product recall, safety or security information; or
only provides information about your ongoing use of msg global solutions services or products or ongoing purchases (including updates and upgrades).
If you have received a CEM, and you believe that you should not have, please contact us immediately at email@example.com and we will promptly remove your address from our list (within maximum 10 business days).
4. SOCIAL MEDIA.
You may be contacted by a msg global solutions employee via social media, such as LinkedIn, if you are connected on the social network with the msg global solutions employee, or if you have indicated through your preference settings the fact that you are open to receiving messages about new business opportunities or ventures. You may also be contacted if you have conspicuously published your electronic address (for instance, on a social media website), have not indicated that you did not wish to receive CEM, and the CEM sent is in connection with your business role and function.
5. WHAT TO DO IF YOU NO LONGER WISH TO RECEIVE CEM FROM msg global solutions.
At msg global solutions, we take the law very seriously. You may unsubscribe at any time from receiving CEM, by visiting the Preference Centre or clicking on the link in any CEM that you may receive from Msg global solutions, and we will remove you from our list within ten (10) business days.
6. AMENDMENT OF THIS ANTI-SPAM POLICY AND GUIDELINES.
From time to time, Msg global solutions will review and update this Anti-Spam Commitment as required to keep current with rules and regulations, new technologies, standards, our business practices and outside parties’ concerns. We will post any Anti-Spam Commitment changes on this page and, if the changes are significant, we will provide a more prominent notice (including, as the case may be, email notification of Anti-Spam Commitment changes).
7. QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS ABOUT THIS ANTI-SPAM COMMITMENT?
If you need further assistance, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Revised November 11, 2019.
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities
Documents Available Notification (AODA)
Dear Valued Clients and Visitors,
msg global solutions Canada Inc. has created policies and procedures to meet their obligations regarding customer service outlined in the Integrated Accessibility Standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. 2005.
Our accessibility policies are available for your review in a number of formats. Should you wish access to these documents in another way, please notify: email@example.com
Statement of Organizational Commitment
msg global solutions is committed to ensuring equal access and participation for people with disabilities. We are committed to treating people with disabilities in a way that allows them to maintain their dignity and independence. We believe in integration and we are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities in a timely manner. We will do so by removing and preventing barriers to accessibility and meeting our accessibility requirements under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and Ontario’s accessibility laws.
Statement of Commitment to Accessibility
msg global solutions is committed to providing a barrier-free environment for all stakeholders including our clients/customers, employees, job applicants, suppliers, and any visitors who may enter our premises, access our information, or use our services. As an organization, we respect and uphold the requirements set forth under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act(2005), and its associated standards and regulations.
msg global solutions understands that we have a responsibility for ensuring a safe, dignified, and welcoming environment for everyone. We are committed to ensuring our organization’s compliance by incorporating accessibility legislation into our policies, procedures, equipment requirements, training, and best practices. We will review these policies and practices annually, as organizational changes occur, or in anticipation of compliance deadlines. In addition, we will strive to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities in a timely and effective manner.
Providing an accessible and barrier-free environment is a shared effort, and as an organization, msg global solutions is committed to working with the necessary parties to make accessibility for all a reality. For more detailed information on our accessibility policies, plans, and training programs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternate Format Request Form
msg global solutions is committed to providing accessible, quality services. Communications in alternate formats will be made available upon request within a reasonable time period in a mutually agreed upon format. Please complete and submit the below form to email@example.com
Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Record of Customer
Thank you for visiting msg global solutions and Cookhouse Labs. We value all our clients and strive to meet everyone’s needs. We look forward to your feedback. Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ten Privacy Principles
Accountability: We are responsible for personal information under our control and we have designated individuals who are accountable for our compliance with these privacy principles.
Identifying Purposes: We shall disclose the purposes for which we collect your personal information either before or at the time the information is collected.
Consent: Your knowledge and consent is required for our collection, use or disclosure of your personal information, subject to certain exceptions set out in the law. Your consent may be expressed in writing, verbally, electronically, and in certain circumstances, may also be implied.
Limiting Collection: Your personal information shall only be collected by fair and lawful means, and will be limited to that which is necessary for the identified purposes.
Limiting Use, Disclosure and Retention: Your personal information may only be used or disclosed for the purposes for which it was collected, other purposes to which you have consented or if required by law. Your personal information shall be retained only as long as necessary for the fulfillment of identified purposes, or as required or permitted by law.
Accuracy: We shall use reasonable efforts to ensure that your personal information is accurate, complete and as up-to-date as is necessary for the purposes for which it is to be used.
Safeguards: We shall protect your personal information using security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of your information to prevent unwanted release, misuse or intrusion.
Openness: Information about our privacy policies and procedures for handling your personal information shall be made available to you.
Individual Access: Upon written request, you will be informed of the existence, use and disclosure of your personal information. In addition, you will be given access to your personal information, as permitted by law. You may also verify the accuracy and completeness of your personal information and, where appropriate, request that it be amended.
Inquiries and Concerns: You may contact us if you have any questions or concerns about our privacy policies and procedures.
1.2. Contact Us
Information We Collect
2.1. When You Visit our Websites
You are free to explore the Websites without providing any information about yourself. However, when you visit the Websites, we may request that you provide Personal Information about yourself and we will collect Navigational Information.
2.2. “Personal Information”
This refers to any information that you voluntarily submit to us through the use of our Websites, and that identifies you personally, including contact information, such as your name, e-mail address, company name, address, phone number, and other information about yourself or your business. Personal Information can also include information about any transactions, both free and paid, that you enter into on the Websites, and information about you that is available on the internet, such as from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Google, or publicly available information that we acquire from service providers.
2.3. “Navigational Information”
This refers to information about your computer and your visits to this website such as your IP address, geographical location, browser type, referral source, length of visit and pages viewed. Please see section 4 the “Navigation Information” section, below.
2.4. Information About Individuals Under 18
The Websites are not intended for or targeted at individuals under 18, and we do not knowingly or intentionally collect information about individuals under 18. If you believe that we have collected information about an individual under 18, please contact us at: email@example.com, or by postal mail at: Cookhouse Labs, 30-34 Duncan Street , Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5H 1A1, Attention: Privacy, so that we may delete the information.
How We Use Information We Collect
3.1. We Never Sell Personal Information
We will never sell your Personal Information to any third party.
3.2. Use of Personal Information
3.3. Use of Navigational Information
We use Navigational Information to operate and improve the Websites and underlying marketing software. We may also use Navigational Information alone or in combination with Personal Information to provide you with personalized information about the Software Provider.
3.4. Customer Testimonials and Comments
We post customer testimonials and comments on our Websites, which may contain Personal Information. We obtain each customer’s consent via email prior to posting the customer’s name and testimonial.
3.4. Use of Credit Card Information
We do not directly collect credit card information from you. We use a third-party service provider to manage credit card processing. This service provider is not permitted to store, retain, or use information you provide except for the sole purpose of credit card processing on our behalf.
3.5. Service Providers
We employ other companies and people to provide services to visitors to our Websites, such as the use of underlying marketing software, and may need to share your information with them to provide information, products or services to you. Examples may include removing repetitive information from prospect lists, analyzing data, providing marketing assistance, processing credit card payments, supplementing the information you provide us in order to provide you with better service, and providing customer service. In all cases where we share your information with such agents, we explicitly require the agent to acknowledge and adhere to our privacy and customer data handling policies.
3.6. Security of your Personal Information
We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your Personal Information from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. We secure the Personal Information you provide on computer servers in a controlled, secure environment, protected from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. When sensitive Personal Information (such as geo-location data) is collected on our Websites and/or transmitted to other websites, it is protected through the use of encryption, such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol.
If you have any questions about the security of your Personal Information, you can contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by postal mail at: Cookhouse Labs, 30-34 Duncan Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5H 1A1, Attention: Privacy.
3.7. Social Media Features
3.8. External Websites
3.9. Retention of Personal Information
We retain Personal Information that you provide us as long as we consider it potentially useful in contacting you about our services and products, or as needed to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes and enforce our agreements, and then we securely delete the information. We will delete this information from the servers at an earlier date if you so request, as described in the “Opting Out and Unsubscribing” section below.
If you have elected to receive marketing communications from us, we retain information about your marketing preferences for a reasonable period of time from the date you last expressed interest in our content, products, or services, such as when you last opened an email. We retain information derived from cookies and other tracking technologies for a reasonable period of time from the date such information was created.
3.10. International Transfer of Information
3.11. Corporate Events
If we (or our assets) are acquired by another company, whether by merger, acquisition, bankruptcy or otherwise, that company would receive all information gathered on the Websites. In this event, you will be notified via email and/or a prominent notice on our Website, of any change in ownership, uses of your Personal Information, and choices you may have regarding your Personal Information.
3.12. Compelled Disclosure
We reserve the right to use or disclose your Personal Information if required by law or if we reasonably believe that use or disclosure is necessary to protect our rights; protect your safety or the safety of others; investigate fraud; or comply with a law, court order or legal process.
We use “cookies” to help you personalize your online experience. A cookie is a text file that is placed on your hard disk by a web server. Cookies are not used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you, and can only be read by a web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you. One of the primary purposes of cookies is to provide a convenience feature to save you time. The purpose of a cookie is to tell the web server that you have returned to a specific page. For example, if you personalize pages on our Websites, a cookie helps us to recall your specific information on subsequent visits. When you return to the same Website, the information you previously provided can be retrieved, so you can easily use the customized features.
You have the ability to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. If you choose to decline cookies, you may not be able to fully experience the interactive features of the Websites you visit. Cookhouse Labs keeps track of the Websites and pages you visit within Cookhouse Labs, in order to determine what portion of the Website is the most popular or most used. This data is used to deliver customized content and promotions within the Website to customers whose behavior indicates that they are interested in a particular subject area.
4.2. Log Files
We may collect demographic information, such as your postal or zip code, age, gender, preferences, interests and favorites using log files that are not associated with your name or other Personal Information. There is also information about your computer hardware and software that is automatically collected by us. This information can include: your IP address, browser type, domain names, internet service provider (ISP), the files viewed on our site (e.g., HTML pages, graphics, etc.), operating system, clickstream data, access times and referring website addresses. This information is used by Cookhouse Labs for marketing purposes, to maintain the quality of the Websites and to provide general statistics regarding use of the Website. For these purposes, we do link this automatically-collected data to Personal Information, such as name, email address, address and phone number.
4.3. Clear Gifs (Web Beacons/Web Bugs)
We employ a software technology called clear gifs (a.k.a. “web beacons” or “web bugs”), that help us better manage the Website by informing us what content is effective. Clear gifs are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the online movements of visitors to our Websites. In contrast to cookies, which are stored on a user’s computer hard drive, clear gifs are embedded invisibly on web pages or in emails and are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. We use clear gifs in our HTML-based emails to let us know which emails have been opened by recipients. This allows us to gauge the effectiveness of certain communications and the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns. We tie the information gathered by clear gifs in emails to our customers’ Personal Information. If you would like to opt-out of these emails, please see “Opting Out and Unsubscribing”.
4.5. Third Party Tracking Technologies
How to Access & Control Your Personal Data
5.1. Reviewing, Correcting and Removing Your Personal Information
Upon request Cookhouse Labs will provide you with information about whether we hold any of your Personal Information. You have the following rights with respect to that information:
To request access, correction, updates or deletion of your personal information;
To object to processing of your personal information;
To restrict processing of your personal information;
To request portability of your personal information; and
To opt out of being solicited by Cookhouse Labs,
To exercise any of these rights, please contact us at: email@example.com, or by postal mail at: Cookhouse Labs, 30-34 Duncan Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5H 1A1, Attention: Privacy. We will respond to your request to change, correct or delete your information within a reasonable timeframe, and notify you of the action we have taken.
If we have collected and process your personal information with your consent, then you can withdraw your consent at any time. Withdrawing your consent will not affect the lawfulness of any processing we conducted prior to your withdrawal, nor will it affect processing of your personal information conducted in reliance on lawful processing grounds other than consent.
You have the right to complain to a data protection authority about our collection and use of your personal information.
5.2. Anti-Spam Policy
Our Acceptable Use Policy, at: www.cookhouselab.com/casl-acceptable-use, applies to us and, among other things, prohibits us from sending unsolicited commercial email in violation of applicable laws, and requires the inclusion of an “opt-out” mechanism in any commercial electronic messages that we send.
5.3. To Unsubscribe From Our Communications
You may unsubscribe from our marketing communications by clicking on the “unsubscribe” link located on the bottom of our commercial electronic messages, contacting us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by postal mail at: Cookhouse Labs, 30-34 Duncan Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5H 1A1, Attention: Privacy.