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September 28, 2010



In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king. Awesome story - you have to publish your presentation deck

Dave Birch


Please publish the deck and send a link to it and I will put it on the Digital Money blog.


Ajit Jaokar

a strange tale indeed! look fwd to deck :) tweeted.

Alex Birkhead

Superb -- lol. You surpass yourself!

I can't for a moment believe they were 'afraid' -- what on earth of? Surely the likes of Madoff and self-inflicted global financial meltdown are scarier even than the presence of the mighty Ahonen. The impressive rise of m-transactions in the Balts is not exactly news (and lots of fascinating stuff visibly happening on the ground in Africa and S.E. Asia, too.).

Perhaps you broke [un]written protocol by mentioning beforehand?

They do seem astonishingly rude/inconsiderate, though.

Not sure whether to laugh or cry at your tantrum, nor whether it will be to your [dis]credit outside of Scandinavia -- but fascinated to see how this runs! Could be wrong, but Ian Bennett's reported behaviour suggests he wasn't the culprit; some puppet-master in the backroom I'd guess....or perhaps even a genuine misunderstanding.

Do central banks care about PR, and will a charming Canadian drop off an ingot, a grovelling/flattering apology, and a husky...or will your electronic finances and cards mysteriously stop working!

Can't wait for the next installment...

quick thinker

Come on- Tomi - you are a bit exaggerating.

Its not that you were the one keynote speaker at that conference - if you
check out the programme here:

You were the 4th of 17 speakers that day with a 12 minutes slot.

A 12 minute slot as the 4th of 17 speakers is not really a keynote speech...

If I were you - I wouldn't worry to much about something like that...


> Come on- Tomi - you are a bit
> exaggerating.

I do not think that Tomi is exaggerating, since after checking the
conference site, as you suggest:

> Its not that you were the one keynote
> speaker at that conference - if you
> check out the programme here:

one realizes that Tomi's speech is the
only one whose slide set is not made
available on the programme page. A fact
that is quite consistent with his
suspicion of silencing his message about
mobile payments.


Pretty unbelievable...

Didn't you get a chance to talk to him afterwards and get his explanations ?

Daniel Perry

Tomi - They were incredibly rude. You exhibited class in not standing up and announcing how great you felt - despite your exhausting trip.

Dan Perry

quick thinker

the whole things sounds crazy and incredibly rude.
why did they not think about this before?

could there be some other reason?


Just post your presentation on Slideshare ...

Tomi Ahonen

Thank you to EVERYBODY

I really appreciate the support. The story is getting a lot of Twitter supporters too, and the full blog was reprinted already at Brighter Side of News (thank you!) and I will keep monitoring the space.

I will be showing the slides of course! The first place where they will be seen is now in 2 weeks at the Forum Oxford conference on 15 October..

Thank you all for the comments, I will soon return to answer each of you individually

Tomi Ahonen :-)

James Pearce

Talking to the organisers themselves might have been interesting...

...before you blew them out of the water in public on your blog, of course! ;-)

It does sound bizarre. But sometimes the best conspiracy theories do have benign realities.

Tomi Ahonen

I will start with the first replies..

Hi Aage, Dave, Ajit and Alex

Aage - thanks! I will publish the whole deck of slides but now I am curious to see what they do with my set they have. I cannot believe still what happened, and I am very curious to see if they actually do publish my slides in the proceedings, and if so, is it the complete set, or somehow a reduced set of slides (or no slides).. I will be showing the full set to any audience who wants it haha, and the best bits of the 'forbidden slides' to all audiences of the near future. The first place to see them is Forum Oxford where the 3 critical slides are shown in my opening remarks on Oct 15, so anyone who wants to be there to see them, haha, its also the best event of the year and being a university event, its also one of the cheapest. But yeah, you don't censor Tomi Ahonen for long haha..

Dave - thanks! you are a true friend. I will do that. Lets first see what happens with the official proceedings. Also here in public, we've already agreed in principle with Dave off-line, that he's inviting me to speak to the Digital Money Forum, so the story of the future of money (the full story, not just the forbidden slides highlights) has now a home and a conference. Thank you Dave!

Ajit - thank you my friend. And yes, you'll see the forbidden slides haha, already in two weeks at our conference where you are co-chairing. So you'll see, its no big deal haha. For us in this industry, my slides are simply not astonishing. But the mint guys, who manufacture coins for a living, come on, coins? In an age of SMS and soon when every phone will have near field. Of course the age of coins is coming to an end. They've had a good run, what how many millenia, isn't it about time already haha.. And coins aren't gonna disappear in our lifetimes, we'll all be long dead before the last coin is minted. But the transition has started and that is frightening to the mint guys (apparently).

Alex - I am laughing hysterically at your posting. Yes, in one cup is the global financial melt-down (mints survived) and in the other cup is the Mighty Ahonen haha, and they run away like a scared elephant runs away from a mouse.. So funny. I am still laughing. You really cheered me, my friend. I needed that.

As to the second installment, oh gosh, I haven't even thought of all those issues. Ouch. I better make logs and copies of everything and consider moving to an all-cash economy haha.

More replies soon..

Tomi Ahonen :-)

David Doherty


Agree with DanielPerry - this was an act of incredible rudeness and you exhibited class in not rising to the bait and objecting.

Hopefully (diary permitting) I'll see you in Oxford as I just have to see the slide that shook the mint!

Gerd Leonhard

Incredible story Tomi. Hard to believe someone would be this stupid!!! They are messing with the wrong people. But don't let it get to you - they will have to face the mobile money future, and alternate , virtual currencies, anyway - publish your slides and scratch them off your list of contacts!


I can understand that you did not feel good after such treatment - they were rude! - on the personal level.
On the other way, you could take also it as a victory: you are probably so right on the mobile money that silencing such theories is their only way to delay the inevitable.


This is an incredible story...ironically, I only read this a few minutes ago after something slightly similar happened to me after I came off stage yesterday at Mobile Squared in London.

A senior executive from one of the largest tech companies cornered me and accused me of filling people's heads with confusing information.

Information like 'mobile is ultra personal to we need to adapt our methodologies into being more citizen focussed'

Apparently he thought it would be better for things just to carry on as they are - don't rock the boat - lets just make money whilst the sun shines...

But my case isn't as bad as yours Tomi...

The good news is, regardless of whether people WANT to hear whats really going on, or not - the truth will eventually come out.

No amount of censorship will stop it.

It must scare the bejesus out of people like Ian Bennett who (by the sounds of things) is petrified of rocking any boats or confusing people with information that doesn't fit some silo'd thinking.

Censoring people in this day and age is as realistic a concept as expecting oil not to run out in several decades time.

The speed of information surpasses ridiculous paywalls, egocentric censorship and biased bullying.

Let's pause for a moment and think how scared and confusing the lives of people like that are.

They are not like us - they aren't on a quest for betterment - they are on a quest for getting the pension secured as safely as possible.

Most big business is run by finance people. Due to this, stability and predictability are lauded constructs. Innovation and change is the enemy. Creativity is the devil.....and the system feeds the system.

I was discussing this with my colleague @tmedupin who said - brilliantly:

"Remember, the dinosaurs will always be dinosaurs.....until they become extinct"

I think that covers it from my perspective.


Anyway I would send the organisers or Canadian Mint a bill for costs of travelling, accommodation and opportunity cost (hours you could have earned money elsewhere if not etc....). Come on, the deal was: okay I'll pay myself in exchange for the opportunity to speak. Now they are not allowing you to speak, so they have to pay (all costs including your normal rate for hours).


PS: would really like to be in Oxford @ Forum Oxford event later this month but unfortunately too busy with setting up public screen/mobile project here. Can't you organize this twice per year?



As a Canadian working in the mobile industry I am ashamed at your treatment. For what it's worth - sorry, eh?

Though I'm not surprised at the slipshod/ham-handed nature of the reaction by Bennett. You may or may not know of an incident last year at the Royal Canadian Mint where $15.3M worth of gold was mysteriously unaccounted for. After a detailed public audit(at substantial cost to Canadian taxpayers), it was found officials at the Mint either double-counted or under-estimated "shrinkage" in the process. Of course, all this happened on Bennett's watch as CEO...

Jonathan Marks

Bonkers Bennett. I would send them a bill for the travel and the lost speakers fee. This is outrageous. They had every opportunity to discuss the contents of the speech and their excuse damaged your reputation as a speaker. If I was attending the conference I might not book you for my event because there seemed to have been a last minute problem.

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