Innovation and Entrepreneurship in raging 2020s
What is our future going to look like and how can entrepreneurs and investors shape it?
In this month's webinar, our special guest Alec Ross, New York Times bestselling author, technology policy expert, investor, and distinguished visiting lecturer, shared with our audience his key observations and experiences. He talked about how to anticipate key trends in business, which skills are needed in the future, and how to raise capital to shape the future. Navigating at the intersection of academia, government, and entrepreneurship, Alec gained an incredibly valuable view on innovation and entrepreneurship.
Keep on reading to receive the key insights of our futuristic, data-packed webinar. In addition, make sure to follow us on LinkedIn and join our LinkedIn group not to miss the next webinar sessions. But now, let’s dive right in...
Key Trends Shaping Our 2020s
- Yes, most of you might have heard it before but one can’t stress it enough: Data is the new oil! Raw data is going to fuel tomorrow’s economy. With digitalization at the forefront, the amount of available data points is increasing rapidly: Having 35.8 Billion networked devices generating data today, experts forecast that there will be 75.4 billion devices connected by 2025 (Statista).
- Another key trend: Automation. While 71% of work is done by humans (and 29% by machines) today, the share is shifting drastically in the following three years. According to some expert estimates by the end of 2022, only 58% of work will be done by humans. Experts also expect that by the end of 2024, more work will be done by machines than humans in the largest world economies. Yet, due to the robot revolution, 58 Million net new jobs will still be created in the near future - which require a different skill set (World Economic Forum).
- Both trends are shaking up every industry. Often, it’s the entrepreneurs who identify opportunities, spark trends, and ultimately create an entire movement. Take Jeff Bezos and his team as an example: Amazon heavily shaped E-commerce. Researchers and universities often join the trend early on. Citizens and governments on the other side tend to lag behind and rather react to the changes. A great example is Facebook.
- How can you take advantage of it? Identify those business ideas that provide better, digital solutions to industries that haven’t changed much in the past. We can refer to construction or agriculture as an example.
Skills Needed to Navigate in the 2020s
- McKinsey and the World Economic Forum recently published a well-recognized study on skills needed in the future work world (McKinsey). Considering the trend towards automation, skills that make us humans become increasingly more important. Among them: Critical thinking, developing relationships, and self-awareness. On the other hand, tasks that require endurance, precision, and a stationary location can be better executed by machines.
- How do you make sure to prepare yourself and your colleagues? Through formal and informal learning. Many (leading) universities, such as Harvard and MIT, as well as EdTech startups, such as Coursera, provide free lectures. In addition, informal training such as exchanges with mentors or work experience hones your skillset even further.
- To cover all skills as best as possible, construct a diverse team. To do so, identify the skills you’re missing and hire accordingly. The financial benefit is astonishing: Companies with the most diverse executive team are more likely to outperform less diverse peers on profitability (McKinsey).
Raising Capital to Shape our Future
- To successfully raise money, put yourself in the shoes of the investors and find an investor that matches your vision. Given their economic model, VCs often look for the next potential unicorn. Thus, VC-backed founders should have a global and risk-embracing mindset. For example, Spotify was founded in Stockholm, Sweden, but was global by nature.
Through interviews with the world’s most influential thinkers and stories of corporate activism and malfeasance, government failure and renewal, and innovative economic and political models, Alec proposes a new social contract―one that resets the equilibrium between corporations, the governing, and the governed.
About the Speaker
Alec Ross is a distinguished visiting professor at Bologna Business School of l’Universitá di Bologna and the author of the New York Times best-seller “The Industries of the Future” which has been translated into 24 languages and been a best-seller on 5 continents.
In addition, he is a Board Partner at Amplo, a global venture capital firm, and sits on the board of directors for companies in the fields of technology, finance, manufacturing, human capital, and cybersecurity.
During the Obama Administration, he served as Senior Advisor for Innovation to the Secretary of State, a role created for him to help modernize the practice of diplomacy and bring innovative solutions to advance America’s foreign policy interests.