Formula E, STEM and Argo Group’s grand plans for the future

Formula E, STEM and Argo Group’s grand plans for the future | Insurance Business

Formula E, STEM and Argo Group’s grand plans for the future

On a hot Friday afternoon in Red Hook Brooklyn, NY, a group of local STEM learning and robotics students had the chance to see innovation and engineering come to life in the shape of Formula E, an auto racing circuit with strictly electric powered cars. 

Students from Farmingdale High School in Long Island and George Westinghouse High School of Brooklyn received a tour of the paddock ahead of the New York City Formula E-Prix, as well as the chance to speak to speak with drivers and engineers to learn more about the technology of the cars and the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education.

A team of students from the two high schools also received a $10,000 investment from Argo Group, which sponsors the Formula E DRAGON race team, to go towards their robotics and STEM education. In sponsoring the electric racing event and encouraging high school students to engage with STEM education, the global insurer hopes to build awareness around the insurance industry of the future – one based around innovation, team work and sustainability.

“At Argo Group, we’re very keen to invest in future generations. The insurance industry has all these retirements coming up, so we really need to start appealing to the next generation,” said Gary Grose, global marketing, communications, and producer management leader at Argo Group. “We think engineering and sciences appeal to the next generation – and they’re two business careers that heavily influence the decisions we make in the insurance industry.

“Some of our best underwriters and account executives in certain industries, like manufacturing, were engineers in those businesses before they joined the insurance industry. Their understanding of the specific risks makes them really great employees and enables them to interact with clients with more ease because they truly understand the business. We believe STEM education has a big opportunity to help the insurance business become a better business.”

Argo Group CEO Mark Watson (pictured with the students and DRAGON race team) has pushed the global firm to think about future innovation, like artificial intelligence and blockchain, and how it might keep the group in a world-leading position. The leadership team regularly attends meetings at Harvard Business School to learn how other industries are innovating faster, or in different ways, to the insurance industry.

“By sponsoring a Formula E race team and encouraging students to engage with STEM, we’re trying to raise awareness about the exciting opportunities and great career choices available in the insurance industry,” Grose told Insurance Business. “We’re going to keep in touch with the high schools and continue to spread our message about the importance of innovation, team work and sustainability across all of our communication channels.

“We want to create an atmosphere where people start saying: ‘This isn’t what I thought insurance was.’ Sponsoring STEM students, focusing on engineering and innovation and then tying that in with advanced degrees in underwriting, risk and so on – that’s what we’re going to continue to be about at Argo Group.”  


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