2020 was disappointing, to say the least. As we’re kicking off the new year we’re pretty confident about two things: 1) many of the changes we saw in 2020 are going to stay and 2) things are going to get better in 2021. COVID-19 has been a great accelerator in the transformation from an industrial to a digital economy. But what will drive innovation in 2021, and what are the consequences? Here are a few thoughts to get your year started.
We believe there are three key drivers of innovation in 2021:
As the second wave of COVID-19 cases is in full swing and governments are dealing with the economic fallout of the first lockdown earlier this year, everyone is looking for solutions of how to tackle the gigantic challenges ahead. Founders Forum brought together a select group of entrepreneurs, policy makers and business leaders to discuss how entrepreneurs can get more involved and bring (tech) innovation — which mostly unfolds in the private sector — to government.
Camilla Cavendish (FT Columnist, Fellow Havard Kennedy School) set the scene with a panel discussion starring John Micklethwait (Editor-in-Chief, Bloomberg News) and Adrian Wooldridge…
Our partner firstminute capital has had a phenomenal line-up of interviews as part of the ‘myfirstminute’ series — but this one was particularly exciting: former Prime Minister (and technology enthusiast) Tony Blair gave us his views on the current situation and how technology will play a crucial role in going back to (a new) normal.
Since leaving office Tony Blair has spent most of his time working on three areas: supporting governments to deliver effectively for their people, working for peace in the Middle East, and countering extremism. …
13 May 2020
Another fascinating myfirstminute conversation, this time with Niklas Zennström, CEO and founding partner Atomico, one of Europe’s most active venture firms, and co-founder of Skype, Kazaa and Joltid.
Niklas founded Skype in 2003 (17 years before video conferencing became essential to keep the lights on) and sold it twice: first to eBay in 2005 and then to Microsoft in 2009. He founded Atomico in 2006 to partner with European entrepreneurs who tackle big challenges using digital technologies.
Elizabeth Warren recently published her ideas on breaking up Google, Facebook and Amazon and, subsequently, Apple, and big tech looks set to be a big talking point in the 2020 election and beyond.
These take many forms: there are the perennial issues in the debate about tech and the public good: privacy, tax, (sometimes) inadvertent unwholesomeness, weak employee/‘partner’ protections. And there are the more recent concerns that have started to bubble up into the public discourse: what are screens doing to us and our children, growing wealth inequality, increasing concentrations of power.
A strong tech sector is a key pillar to transform the Lebanese economy
Lebanon is one of the most indebted countries in the world and is suffering from a major economic crisis, partly due to the fact that the country has been struggling for months to form a government. Recently, the finance minister warned of a serious financial crisis following the economic crisis. Resolving this situation is highly complicated as the country is in a difficult geographical (and geopolitical) spot and also doesn’t have any considerable natural resources or other goods to export. No surprise the country has a continuous…
Governments have rarely been praised for their efficiency nor for being frontrunners in cutting-edge innovation. Their reputation for being slow, inefficient and laggard adopters of new technologies has made it an unappealing category for entrepreneurs and young tech companies. Logically they’d rather focus on tech-savvy consumers or businesses with deep pockets and an existential need to increase efficiencies across their organisation.
However, governments around the world are far bigger than any enterprise and any consumer market. Around 20 million people in the US work for the government, making up around 15% of the total workforce. Government spending accounts for 37%…
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