Post #83: Tech for good, Swedish style
Say ‘future trends’ to most people and the Swedish Chamber of Commerce – a venerable trade body founded in 1906 – might not be the first name to spring to mind. However, in recent times the Chamber has convened an annual tech forum. Your author has attended the event for the last two years. Whereas the 2019 forum was hosted at Google’s London HQ, unsurprisingly, the 2020 version occurred entirely online. Nonetheless over 300 participants joined yesterday to listen to speakers from the likes of Microsoft, Ericsson, Volvo and a handful of start-ups provide their take on the future.
The key angle behind the conference was to highlight how technology can be enabler for good. While it might be easy to pay lip service to such a concept, the presenters all gave tangible examples of where technology was serving a positive purpose. Put another way, tech does not need to be seen as futuristic. Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the benefits of technology much more tangible to many; think of everything from track and trace healthcare schemes to everyone’s greater online existence. Trends that were in train pre-pandemic are now only accelerating. We concur with such a view.
Ericsson’s UK and Ireland Chief Executive perhaps articulated the point most accurately, highlighting how (5G mobile) technology could help lower barriers to access, both in terms of healthcare and education. Remote monitoring (telemedicine) can save lives, while reliable broadband can connect and people. EdTech is a theme of increasing importance to us – watch this space for a pending theme piece which discusses the topic in more detail. Overlaying 5G with augmented and/or virtual reality will, in the view of Ericsson, only enhance the experience for users, yielding more benefits.
Another consistent message we heard from multiple speakers was how technology can benefit the environment. Anecdotally, almost all tech start-ups are now aligning themselves with the Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations. Ericsson highlighted how its port automation solution can not only lower operating costs by 50%, but carbon dioxide emissions by 80%, on average. Meanwhile, Volvo went through a case study of its ‘brand M’ mobility business, which already has over 100,000 users. This is an on-demand car service (currently only available in Sweden and the US), which not only benefits users (as it ‘learns’ their behavioural patterns) but also reduces emissions and overall car usage. Heartening messages for uncertain times.
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 LLP 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 LLP, 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 LLP is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital LLP 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.
The document is protected by copyright. The use of any trademarks and logos displayed in the document without Heptagon Capital LLP’s prior written consent is strictly prohibited. Information in the document must not be published or redistributed without Heptagon Capital LLP’s prior written consent.
Heptagon Capital LLP, 63 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HS
tel +44 20 7070 1800
email [email protected]
Partnership No: OC307355 Registered in England and Wales Authorised & Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Heptagon Capital Limited is licenced to conduct investment services by the Malta Financial Services Authority.
GET THE UPDATES
Sign up to our monthly email newsletter for the latest fund updates, webcasts and insights.