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Painting PAY360 Purple

Project Nemo joined forces with Purple Tuesday and hosted their own stand amongst 100 exhibitors and innovators of payment solutions at Pay360 recently, an industry wide conference attracting 4000+ payment professionals to the ExCel in London.

With thanks to Ben Agnew (CEO, Payments Association, the organisation behind Pay360) and his continued support of our mission, we were a unique exhibit with a rather different offering. An unexpected one, to many, and we welcomed the curiosity. As our first ‘group outing’ it felt like a momentous couple of days and what they held in store would only prove that it was the start of something incredibly special for Project Nemo. Indeed, for the FinTech industry as a whole.

The stand was buzzing with interest and insightful conversations about disability inclusion. It was exciting to speak to people and witness the lightbulb moments when they realised how much of a difference can truly be made by ensuring their businesses and services are accessible, that there is so much they can do and the solutions are often simpler than realised. Many readily shared that disability inclusion is not given enough dedicated consideration in their companies, or they did not feel confident in their knowledge of the area and were grateful we were there to facilitate open conversation in such a collaborative way. Others greeted us with relief, as they or their family members had sought such support and a raising of awareness within the industry and businesses at large. It was also fantastic to hear of initiatives and steps people are already taking and being able to share our ideas and enthusiasm for the cause. People left inspired, educated, and empowered by our presence. We left exhilarated and more determined than ever, encouraged by the overwhelming engagement throughout the day and completely certain of the appetite and demand for the changes we are striving to make.

Pairing with Purple Tuesday felt both natural and a privilege. Their founder and CEO Mike Adams OBE has led in changing the conversation surrounding disability for many years prior to creating the global company, through his own experiences as a disabled individual. He and his team boast a wealth of experience and knowledge which is immensely valuable for anyone keen to unite in the efforts to elevate accessibility and disability inclusion. They were also a fantastic team to spend the day with! 

Quite poignantly, the final engagement of day one felt like an embodiment of the synchronicity that has manifested throughout the Project Nemo journey. The whole team gathered amongst the audience at the Disruption Theatre to see Joanne, Mike (Purple Tuesday) and Whitney Simons, of Missive PR who have been instrumental in assisting us, for a Fireside Chat and call to action for Disability Inclusion and Accessibility in FinTech and Payments. Joanne facilitated the discussion where Mike’s remarkable storytelling and candour brought listeners into his world as a disabled individual. By sharing life experiences and medical vs social models of disability Mike demonstrated that, through empowering people with better knowledge of disability and creating accessible environments, the limiting effects of disability can be reduced for the person as they are enabled by external circumstances, rather than disabled. Whitney’s warmth and empathy reinforced the significance of embracing diversity as good business overall and recognising the need to ensure disability’s valuable status within these considerations.

PAY360 2024 will be remembered by all as a momentous occasion in the story of Project Nemo. The connections made, interactions shared, and impact felt in just these two days are a sure sign that Project Nemo will change the face of FinTech and disability inclusion. Make sure you’re included too!