Post #78: Conversations with experts - Heptagon Capital – Production

To try and better understand the future your author spent part of last week in conversation with two people at the forefront of innovative thinking: James Arbib…

Post #78: Conversations with experts

To try and better understand the future your author spent part of last week in conversation with two people at the forefront of innovative thinking: James Arbib, the co-founder of RethinkX; and Oliver Oram, the CEO and Founder of Chainvine. If there were common ground between these two individuals, then it would simply be that the current pandemic calls for a reset; a time to innovate, try new ideas or even, in the words of James, “rethink humanity.”

For those unaware, RethinkX is an independent think tank that analyses and forecasts the speed and scale of technology-driven disruption and its implications across society. We have followed their work for some time but were intrigued to read their recent report, ‘Rethinking Humanity.’ In it, the authors contend that “we are on the cusp of the fastest, deepest [and] most consequential transformation in human civilisation.” Put simply, the convergence of multiple technologies will magnify their respective powers triggering a major decrease in costs and corresponding increase in efficiency. When applied to sectors as diverse as food, energy and transformation, the consequences could be significant. 

We are naturally sympathetic to such a take on the world and have made similar assertions in our own work. When speaking with James, he emphasised that the view outlined was “just one future scenario.” Change would, however, “emerge” in his opinion; technology should be seen a necessary but not sufficient condition for enabling such change. However, it would need to be supported by a robust organising system. States and cities will have a crucial role to play, as perhaps the current pandemic is illustrating. If there were a call to arms from the report, then it would be “don’t crush innovation.”

A similar view was espoused when we caught up Oliver Oram, the founder ofChainvine, a business that creates intelligent databases and ledgers. Chainvine has found that both businesses and governments are more receptive to new ideas than ever before; they are “soaking them up like a sponge.” Thought of differently, the debate has moved on from being “less about AI or blockchain… and more about what technology can do.” Such solutions can clearly help reduce costs and have substantial applicability; from the introduction of health passports to the reduction of paperwork associated with imports and exports at borders. In the new world envisaged by both Oliver and James there would be a fundamental reassessment of compliance, regulation and bureaucracy. Change can be good. It’s happening too; driven, according to Oliver by “fear of missing out.”


Disclaimers

The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document. 

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