Innovating The Innovators

By taking a different approach this year, Global Finance was able to explore a new range of innovation.

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After five years of honoring innovation in financial services, the editors of Global Finance wanted to take a more expansive view for The Innovators 2018.

We ditched the narrow categories and strict methodology we used in the past, giving us greater freedom to recognize and honor innovators wherever they occur—covering a much broader spectrum of disciplines and departments.

The new approach allowed us to look beyond new tools and techniques in the finance sector to innovations that have financial impact on businesses of all types, nonprofits and governments.

North America
Latin America
Western Europe
Central and Eastern Europe
Middle East

This year we celebrate not only innovative financial institutions, but also forward-looking corporate entities and individuals with outstanding vision, in order to provide a more complete picture of the pioneers and pace of innovation around the globe. We look beyond innovations that are solely technology-based to the plethora of meaningful solutions that improve lives, increase customer engagement, grow revenues and improve efficiencies.

Furthermore, we expanded the time-frame. Rather than focus on specific innovations of the past year, we sought to honor companies and individuals that show an inventive mindset that enables them to devise and implement multiple innovations over time.

As a result, this year’s winners include big names often associated with forging new ground, such as Amazon in North America and DBS in Asia, but also less famous entities, such as African Parks, for its savvy use of technology in wildlife conservation, or Dr. Consulta in Brazil, for its original approach to improving medical access. The individuals we chose to honor likewise span a range—from well-known Asian entrepreneur and investor Masayoshi Son to the mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, who revived the city with a range of inventive policies.

Recognizing that what constitutes innovation can vary greatly according to location—Africa outpaces the West in mobile adoption, for example, while the West is way ahead in Big Data—this year’s honors are broken down by region. The following pages showcase our choices for the most consistently innovative companies, individuals and financial institutions in each region.

Our methodology began with a call for entries, which yielded a robust crop from financial institutions worldwide. Entries were evaluated by the editorial board of Global Finance, including reporters expert on the functions being served and correspondents with knowledge of each region. Additional nominations from the editors and correspondents were vetted with our own research.