Highlights from the first Identiverse Innovation Workshop

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the content below are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the IDPro organization.

On May 28, 2024, the first Innovation Workshop was held at Identiverse. In a packed room, participants held a lively discussion focused on overcoming obstacles to empower innovators to advance identity and security.

Dr. Tina P. Srivastava, Co-Founder of Badge Inc., and Bob Blakley, Co-Founder of Mimic and former Global Director of Information Security Innovation at Citi, two identity leaders, led the workshop. Pam Dingle, Director of Identity Standards at Microsoft, acted as the facilitator.

Why a Workshop?

Identity is becoming a cornerstone of modern IT infrastructure, serving as a new perimeter. Therefore, the need for cutting-edge innovation is not just a nice-to-have but a need-to-have as identity solutions are safeguarding access to the most important networks, information, systems, and our personal data. Teams tackling identity and security, whether in organizations or companies, need to innovate and draw from a diversity of ideas and include new people in identity projects, and yet there are challenges in bringing in and empowering these innovators. Innovating in the context of intellectual property constraints, national security restrictions, and tight budgets is challenging. Yet it is imperative.

Dr. Srivastava shared research from her book Innovating in a Secret World: The Future of National Security and Global Leadership, including examples from the pharmaceutical industry, an industry cloaked in secrecy given the high costs of R&D and need for intellectual property protection.

Identity Innovation is Essential

Identity is essential to access healthcare services, financial systems, and the economy, so innovation must account for the whole spectrum of user experiences. Pam Dingle brought the audience into the conversation. Drawing on their respective experiences from national security defense and financial institutions, two of the most high-security fields, Dr. Srivastava and Dr. Blakley shared practical guidance on navigating these hurdles. During this interactive workshop, Tina and Bob led a discussion about the importance of bringing in new voices, the challenges we’re facing in today’s hybrid work environment, and how to overcome them. Tina shared specific use cases from her research at MIT about how certain classes of innovators are unintentionally excluded, and Bob discussed challenges and strategies to overcome them.

Dr. Blakley shared some key lessons learned as an Innovation leader at Citi. For example, he noted that the system has to want to change and highlighted the importance of working in a diverse team. Bob discussed that innovative solutions arise from conversations with others, not solo meditation.

Bob noted the importance of the conversation about innovation given that the environment is changing as fast as any in his decades of working in identity and security. Discussions from the Innovation Workshop carried into the break and even continued at the IDPro booth later on during Identiverse. Pictured below, Sarah Cecchetti, Mat Hamlin, and Dr. Tina Srivastava share information about IDPro, including about CIDPRO certification, with Identiverse attendees.


Dr. Tina P. Srivastava is an entrepreneur, author, inventor of more than 15 patents, and an MIT-trained rocket scientist. She served as Chief Engineer of electronic warfare programs at Raytheon before founding a cybersecurity startup that was acquired by a public company and global leader in network security. She is an FAA-certified pilot and is a Lecturer at MIT in Aeronautics and Astronautics.

When her identity was stolen in a data breach in 2015, Dr. Srivastava teamed up with a group of MIT cryptography PhDs to crack the code on one of the most common reasons for modern data breaches: stored credentials. Together, they solved a decades-old cryptography problem to remove PII, biometrics and other stored credentials from the authentication equation, eliminating highly vulnerable storage systems as points of attack for hackers. Badge Inc. is the award-winning privacy company enabling Identity without Secrets™.

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