Who We Are
Sezoo was launched in 2021, building on 4 years of investment, passion and successful client engagements in the area of digital trust.
Sezoo’s mission is to radically improve trust in digital interactions for the benefit of all. We do this by working with organisations and businesses to enhance the trust people have in their online services and products.
We believe good technology design demands a multi-dimensional perspective, including ethics and social impact – perhaps best summed up as “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”.
With human-centred design underpinning all we do, we take a holistic, healthy and good-humoured approach to our life and our work.
For co-founders John and Jo, Sezoo represents an organisation dedicated to a cause that they deeply believe in. For 460degrees, as the world’s first Expert Management Agency and as a co-founder of Sezoo, this is an opportunity to support John and Jo realise their vision as experts.
Q&A with Sezoo founders John Phillips and Jo Spencer
Q: What background do you bring to the team? How has that led you to Sezoo?
John: Early on, I developed a passion for technology before most people knew it was a career! I’m so lucky to have that enthusiasm fuelled by working with brilliant people on extraordinary projects: from helicopters and space stations to electricity markets and emerging technologies. Looking back, there were three phases that led me to Sezoo: the first was a headlong love of technology; the second was a realisation that technology only works if people want to use it; and the third was a realisation that technology has an active role to play in the quality of our lives and societies.
Jo: I’ve designed and implemented payments solutions for banks and countries across Europe and Asia. In banking, I felt that we spent most of our time trying to comply with regulations and buttoning down risks. I wondered why we were creating more harm than good, rather than really thinking about what would be best for the customer in real scenarios.
When designing our national payments solutions, most interactions were controlled by a central solution. But I saw that the more resilient, more ‘natural’ solutions supported decentralised architectures and independent interactions between only the people and banks involved. The decentralised nature of the SSI model that we promote in Sezoo sits well with my architectural views and the ability for these systems to evolve biologically and change easily.
John Phillips and 460degrees gave me the platform to remain involved with financial services while building the experience with SSI and other digital trust engagements.
Q: When you first learnt about digital trust, why was it a turning point for you?
John: For me, it crystallised many years of thinking across many topics: from technology to ethics and philosophy. When you think about it, trust at a sufficient level is an essential requirement for any of us to perform an action. Increasingly we perform our actions online, for work or for pleasure, and trust in digital systems has never been more important or needed at a personal and societal level.
Jo: We know what when money goes missing it’s a horrible mess and can ruin lives. So, most banking payments systems are designed to make sure everyone’s information (eg a bank identifier and account number) is correct – often substituting a PayID for a phone number or email address.
However, allowing all your bank account transaction information to be shared for one reason and not controlling how it’s used later seems a really bad idea. It was supposed to make your options better, but actually binds you into a banking arrangement and sprays your intimate secrets (who and how you pay for things) to someone that’s allowed to ask for them.
From working on the real-time New Payments Platform to Open Banking, these banking approaches really concerned me and led me to pursue the principles of digital trust.
Q: How do you see digital trust evolving over the next 10 years?
John: I think we’ll see an increasing backlash against the deliberate capture and sale of data about people. Regulators will increasingly look to provide legal frameworks that protect us in the digital age, and these will have an impact on all organisations.
These forces will be mirrored by increasing awareness in organisations of the risk that holding large quantities of data represents, not only from a regulatory perspective but also from the risk of being hacked or blackmailed and being liable for significant damages.
Jo: Down the track, we’ll see a more coordinated, decentralised approach to technology and privacy. Sezoo seeks to create ecosystems of coordinated solution providers – rather than ‘digital deities’ or big tech controlling organisations.
How will this work in reality? With more global standards leading the way, such as open software solutions and visibly governed ecosystems that can grow with changing capabilities. For clients and users, individuals will monitor and control their own information, and can securely change access, at any time. Password fatigue will be a thing of the past (because we won’t have to remember them!).
Q: Sezoo… so what does it mean?
John: You should always know who you’re dealing with. In every scenario that relies on trusted digital (and physical) interactions, you should always ask: “says who?”
Jo: For us, Sezoo also means that we get to do what we’re passionate about and what we genuinely believe can make a positive, lasting, difference to the world we live in. And that’s a rare opportunity and one worth seizing with both hands.
In the future, verifiable credential based solutions will underpin trusted digital relationships between people, organisations and things, allowing the use of earned credentials and the controlled and selective sharing of the associated information.
We want to be seen as a leader in improving digital trust.
We will be successful when organisations and people experience better models of digital trust.
- Commitment to enabling trust
- Commitment to human-centred, accessible designs
- Enabling sustainable and future-aware solutions
- Ethical, always, enabling change for good with integrity and empathy
- A healthy, good humoured approach to life and work
Let's enhance our digital mindset and re-establish trust in our solutions for all.Let's Talk