At the Consensus 2017 blockchain conference — the biggest of its kind — Iliana Oris Valiente’s name rung out as she rode down an escalator. Waiting at the bottom amidst the sea of attendees was the CFO of a major automotive manufacturer.
“He said, ‘I wanted to say thank you’,” Iliana tells us. Four months prior, she was with the CFO at a conference in San Francisco where she adamantly insisted that he meet with a Toronto startup. They laughed as the CFO recalled how she led them to a room, bound and determined to collaborate.
It worked: the manufacturer and the startup decided to partner after their ideas-based conversation. “Two days later, they were on stage presenting the prototype they built for a connected car,” says Iliana, smiling at the memory. “You never know what ideas other people will have and how your slight interaction will impact their trajectory.”
“You never know what ideas other people will have and how your slight interaction will impact their trajectory.”
Iliana has not only made a name for herself as an authority in the blockchain space, but she’s also earned a reputation for building bridges between business and the tech world — often with highly profitable results. That connector mindset has helped pave the way for Iliana as the managing director of Accenture’s Canada Innovation Hub and its Canadian blockchain practice lead. Her focus is on growing the Accenture team to drive a broad innovation agenda to help clients tap into new opportunity spaces.
It can be a challenging trek: navigating uncharted waters while convincing others to embrace new technology such as blockchain — especially one they may only have a faint understanding of. However, Iliana’s powerful drive and futuristic vision have proven a potent combo for success.
“Innovation isn’t something that can be neatly summarized in one playbook,” says Iliana. “As a result, a fairly significant portion of my role at Accenture is to educate our clients about emerging technologies and how to think about them in the context of their business challenges and opportunities. Once it clicks, they say, yes, this makes total sense. Then, the real innovation journey begins.”
Iliana Oris Valiente recently joined the advisory team of CPA Ontario’s Emerging Leaders community. She is a managing director at Accenture where she helps Fortune 500 companies transform their businesses, leveraging human centered design principles and emerging technologies such as blockchain and AI. Her passion in the blockchain space led her to launch ColliderX, an open R&D hub for the innovative technology.