Unfolding Guenther Dobrauz-Saldapenna’s Appetite for Disruption

Unfolding Guenther Dobrauz’s Appetite for Disruption
Unfolding Guenther Dobrauz’s Appetite for Disruption

A dark screen. And then, suddenly, a fuzzy black mirror style logo fades in and shakes the screen with a shattering noise. Black again. A few seconds later, a rowdy drum solo from the rock band ‘The Dead Daisis’ gives way to the main character of this story. “For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by the new. By change. Innovation… and disruption.” Dr. Guenther Dobrauz-Saldapenna makes his first appearance on screen, sitting behind a desk, writing down his last thoughts and wearing a smart suit. He stands up, walks through the modern-style building he is in and towards a massive hall. And he stops, looks at the camera and says loudly his two most-compelling words: innovation and disruption.

What I just described is Guenther Dobrauz-Saldapenna’s Appetite For Disruption trailer, a series focused on telling the world about the challenges of our times, doing it through a perspective that not so many industry leaders would dare. It is appealing, fresh, accessible and for everyone.

The same can be said of Guenther Dobrauz-Saldapenna, the mastermind behind the Appetite For Disruption series. This law specialist is considered to be one of the leading European Banking, Investment and Blockchain/Crypto Law experts, working for the second largest professional services firm in the world, PwC. He isn’t, in fact, the business-type-of-guy someone would picture. On the contrary, he is as innovative as his videos, with an utterly love for rock music and motorbikes.

And his professional career is the best evidence we can find. Guenther specializes in supporting the structuring, authorization and ongoing lifecycle management of financial intermediaries and their products. In addition he is focused on leading and supporting the implementation of large scale regulatory change and compliance alignment projects at Swiss and international financial institutions with particular focus on EU and Swiss regulations. Guenther is also the trusted advisor to several governments, international organisations and supervisory authorities. His passion is innovation linked to Exponential Technologies and working with the unfolding dynamics of LegalTech, RegTech, and DLT.

And besides his broad professional career, Guenther is the author of eight books on innovation and the European, Swiss and Liechtenstein legal regulatory framework as well as of 100+ publications in international expert magazines and has to date been speaking at more than 200 conferences worldwide. Guenther is a permanent member of the Swiss Fund & Asset Management Association’s Specialists Committee “Legal & Compliance Asset Management”, of the ecomomiesuisse “Financial Market Regulation” working group, of the Regulatory Working Group at Swiss Fintech Innovations, a Member of the Advisory Board of the Swiss LegalTech Association and of European Law Observatory on New Technologies (ELONTech), Co-Host of Legal Hackers Zurich and a lecturer at various universities around the world. And that are only few of the projects Guenther is involved with.

And frankly, I think we need more Guenther-type experts, because in today’s world, where things happen at such high speed, we sometimes need to sit down and understand everything that is going on around us. Every other day, we look at the news and see how another revolutionary idea is reshaping the industry. We need to truly understand what innovation is all about, and we, as consumers or future entrepreneurs, want to know what these new ideas, services and technologies can help with in the future. More importantly, if we are to change the world – we all can agree  that is urgently needed right now – we want to know where are we heading and what form the disruption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is going to take.

It all started with an Austrian Economist

 Mr Guenther Dobrauz-Saldapenna provides exactly that fresh view about innovation in the first chapter of his series: “I guess my fascination with innovation and disruption started way way back when I first read the works of Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter. It was from him that I learnt to distinguish invention: the generation of ideas or concepts for products or processes from innovation: the translation of these ideas into marketable products or processes.”

Innovation, however, is nothing new. Electricity has always been there as a natural force, but it was through innovation that Nicola Tesla managed to use it to our advantage. What is really a novelty, f is the speed at which all these new ideas, boosted by continuous technological innovation, have changed drastically our way of life in just a matter of years. When I was born, computers were a luxury. Now, I spend my whole day working on one. That is the disruption Mr Guenther Dobrauz-Saldapenna and his Appetite for Disruption speaks about.

“Above all,” says Guenther in the video, “I was truly captivated by his concept of creative destruction, which describes the process of industrial transformation through radical innovation. What it essentially means is that the introduction of revolutionary products and services by successful entrepreneurs is the fundamental driving force for sustained long-term economic growth, but at the same time, destroys the power of established institutions and organizations in the short-term.”

Unfolding the Appetite For Disruption
Unfolding the Appetite For Disruption

Unfolding the Appetite For Disruption

Being truthful to the dynamics of innovation and disruption, Appetite for Disruption runs across seven more chapters narrating all the forces, synergies and constraints that make the world as innovative and disruptive as it is today. This disruption is something real that can be felt across multiple traditionally reluctant sectors. We call the new financial industry FinTech. The insurance sector is going all-out tech too (Insurtech), while technology is facilitating the delivery of regulatory requirements in a new branch called RegTech. Technology is, therefore, the engine and the way it is applied into companies and their services is critical to bring innovation and the right disruption we all seek.

And Guenther continues with the narrative step by step, from the very first phases of how an idea takes shape to the point where that idea, fostered by technology, can become disruptive. Appetite for Disruption is thus a journey about the economic and business forces that are changing the world, explaining in high detail how they actually take place.

Swiss watch engineer Elmar Mock, Norwegian philosopher Anders Indset, Swiss rock musician Chris von Rohr or American heavy metal musician Jon Schaffer are some of the influential names that Guenther is lucky enough to talk to in the conversation series. It is very interesting how, from different perspectives and sectors, they all tried to be innovative in what they do and tell a story of success and positivity.

Appetite for Disruption runs across seven more chapters unfolding and breaking down all the forces, synergies and constraints that make the world as innovative and disruptive as it is today

But Appetite for Disruption is just a tiny part of a much larger project. Guenther Dobrauz-Saldapenna describes himself as a disruption disciple, and that not only refers to a quite creative adjective but a whole movement.

The movement sets events where Guenther and other top-notch collaborators give talks about the disruption we are living and how to embrace it through mutual collaboration. They all follow the same objectives and share the same axioms. “Different fields are converging at an increasingly rapid pace. Value is created at their intersections. At the same time, there are social, economic and ecological challenges that can only be met by mastering complexity and collaboration. Technological progress enables us to do this on a hitherto unimagined level. But we are confronted with many barriers that limit us in achieving our potential: lack of knowledge, creativity and collaboration. To reverse this, we need to reorient and inspire the synapses of the system. We are here to do exactly this: year down the barriers and accelerate change.”

Innovation, disruption – and tech revolution to its extent – are words that are buzzing around, making it to the headlines and being highlighted in almost all new startups. These three concepts are highly interlinked with technology as the main driver of today’s innovation and its subsequent disruption. Technology is not something we need to be scared of but a key concept in the world of tomorrow. Disruption Disciples have already embraced that, and maybe it is time we start doing it too.