Smart Service Summit 2021, Zurich


This key note was delivered at the Smart Service Summit in Zürich on Octover 21, 2021. 

Good morning. My name is Frank Melis, Founder, and CEO of We are a Total Talent Company from The Netherlands with a passion to grow people and regions. I am sorry that I can not be with you in person but I appreciate that the organizers have allowed me to speak to you through this video. 

In this short presentation, I will share with you four subjects:

First, I will introduce; And to illustrate our capabilities, I will present three use cases we are working on; Then, I will explain the N-1-N Project; And finally, I would like to invite you to join our project

The most precious resource of all - human talent - is under threat. Unemployment figures speak of unrealized potential and wasted talents. Companies and especially Micro SMEs, representing 55% of the European workforce, struggle to find the best person for the job. Regions plan for a changing economy that needs a new mix of capabilities and knowledge. While the education sector struggles to meet current needs.

The job market works inefficiently because the key actors - Individuals, Employers, and Education in most Regions - are disconnected from each other and dancing to different music. We need to break down these industrial-age operating silos to grow the economy at a large scale and high speed.

Micro-enterprises need an equal playing field with the large corporates when it comes to recruiting and training talent. A start-up should have the same access to qualified people as the Fortune 500. Because it is the small companies and local initiatives that create the most new jobs.

To grow the economy at a large scale and at high speed, we need to break down the silos and let the fractals take the lead. Let me explain.

Fractals are as old as Nature itself. We live in a world of fractals. From the nautilus shell to Romanesco broccoli and raindrops. From rivers to our own network of blood vessels. A fractal is a simple pattern that the laws of nature repeat at different scales. Trees for example are fractals, with small and miniature copies that create the biodiversity of a forest.

The economy is also a pattern made from millions of fractals, each an ideal blend of the candidate, job opportunity, qualification, and regional aspiration. It is macro-planning to the power of one. collects, slices, and dices big data to match each individual with both work opportunities and personal learning advice. Job seekers, micro and small enterprises dramatically extend their reach. We have algorithms that anticipate the qualifications needed, any gaps a candidate may have, with an offer of the relevant course to take. Regional aspirations are fed into the system and realities are fed back in real-time, showing trends and blockages as they form, allowing for timely course corrections to be made.

Let me share three use cases: 

Groningen in the Netherlands is transforming its economy from carbon and natural gas to hydrogen affecting 15,000 workers in a region of roughly 650K people. For them, it is crucial to have a good understanding of the needs of the jobs of the future and the missing skills for people working in today’s jobs. It is also crucial to adjust the offering from educational institutions to deliver the workforce that is needed in 4-6 years from now.

In Durban the situation can not be more different: the unemployment levels are on average 40% with peaks for youngsters under 27 at levels of 70%+. I am sure you have seen the riots and the looting a couple of months ago. The region with 3-4 M people need more work - preferably in the formal sector but we should not close our eyes to initiatives in the informal market. is asked to analyze the skills in the region and to create new jobs and adjust the educational offering. This has to be done at a large scale and high speed. As of JAN 2022, we will grow our team in Durban from 15 to 300 staff to make this happen.

Krakow is located in the South-East part of Poland. Near the border of Ukraine. In the last 3-5 years, more than 1M people from Ukraine and Russia have moved to Poland to live and work and to make a good living. As the demand for e-skills in Europe is still growing, there is not only a need for hard IT skills but also for designers and for people with a background in arts. Again, scale and speed are requested by the region and the economy. And that is what we are working on together with our partners

Let’s turn to the N-1-N project now.

When we start in a new Region, we implement a program called ‘Jobs of Today’. We create an impact in the Region by welcoming as many people as possible on our platform and helping them to move to ‘Jobs of the Future’ through re- and upskilling themselves. And to create these Jobs of the Future, there is a need to qualify potential people to become entrepreneurs or innovators. We believe we can alert qualified people to become an entrepreneur even before they know it themselves. And by doing so we think we can create new jobs faster to serve more people to make a decent income. has developed the Social Architecture and the data model that comes with it. We have the basic infrastructure in place. And we have big data analysis available. What we need to do now is to analyze the effect we can deliver on a region in terms of supporting more people to re- and upskill themselves and to create new jobs for the region. That is the goal of the N-1-N project. It is a project to analyze what is happening in different regions and it is a project to benchmark different approaches within these regions so that we can develop the best recipe to build an inclusive economy.

We see three specific goals for the project:

1st. Profile potential entrepreneurs and innovators even before they know it themselves: we do that by making use of psychometric analysis of the users. Within the project, we will develop different approaches to profile people making use of our data model. One of the approaches is to add moderated chats to the profiling capabilities and to make use of natural language analysis based on AI and ML. 

2nd. We need to improve the productivity of the funnel from the idea stage to the company or project stage so that we can push more people through the funnel with limited resources making use of technology. For this task, we will implement a funnel management system including thresholds to decide the level of services that are needed to support each individual passing these thresholds.

And finally, we will develop reporting tools to analyze the job creation process in terms of speed, quality of work, and the actual number of jobs created through the recipe.

We are looking for 

3 to 5 academic partners in Europe

For a period of 24 to 36 months including market testing

With Final project definition to be done by all consortium members

And where Financing needs to be defined to serve all 

In case you would be interested to join the N-1-N Project or if you are interested to receive more information, please visit http://www.IgniteFuture.Today/eng/info/N-1-N 

Thanks for having me.

Wishing you a great Summit - and for later today: safe travels back home!

Thank you!