The importance of timing and pricing when developing technological global solutions
Developing new technology to meet the terms of a stabilization scenario isn’t enough. As far as the environmental crisis goes, for instance, the political task of making people move away from high energy consuming practices is equally important in creating a globally sustainable society.
This in turn means curtailing the power of those whose political influence rests on such practices.
In order to change things following a top-to-bottom approach, many of the world’s top-earning companies are already doing their part.
Just last year, Sir Richard Branson founded the Carbon War Room (CWR) along with Craig Cohut, founding partner of Pegasus Capital, and Idan Ofer, chairman of Better Place and Zim Shipping.
On a mission to ensure the continued viability of life on this planet by developing a post-carbon economy, Jigar Shah, the CWR CEO, has been charged with bringing the offices of the Carbon War Room to bear on the challenges of improving energy efficiency to the built environment worldwide. To that end, CWR hosted a summit in Vancouver last February consisting of financiers, sustainability officers and non-profit administrators from all over the world.
Looking at the future of energy
On the eve of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of New Champions in Tianjin, many are eager to find out what the future for technological solutions holds. André Kudelski, chairman and CEO of Swiss-based Kudelski SA, which operates in digital security and convergent media solutions, believes that although technology addresses a lot of issues, it cannot change the world on its own. “You need to integrate business into technology in order to create different processes and value chains. Technology alone cannot solve a crisis,” he opines. Furthermore, he points out that it’s all about releasing the right product with the right price, at the right time. “There are two kinds of pricing: monetary (pecuniary) and energy. The latter being of intrinsic value in today’s society,” he adds.
The importance of China
According to a study published by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), global warming is increasingly considered as the biggest “market failure” the world has experienced. Ironically, even though China is identified as a major contributor to the impending global energy crisis, it is also in the vanguard of potential political solutions. A combination of substantial commitment to renewable- energy research, plus a willingness to impose draconian restrictions on energy-consuming technologies, is the only way forward for China and the rest of the world.
“We have observed a very strong commitment from China to develop a solid infrastructure in order to support the influx of business, especially in terms of airports, railways and telecommunication,” comments Kudelski.
As a member of the World Economic Forum, he feels it is important to understand where we stand today and in the future, in order to envision which concepts will eventually be successful.
“We have derived mostly long-term business opportunities through the World Economic Forum,” he adds – notably in Beijing, where this leader in data protection and media solutions has established a prominent research and development centre since last November. “Business in China follows a very different approach; in today’s world, this kind of diversity is essential to achieve a global perspective on the evolution of the world’s economy.”
Sitting on the board of various international companies has indeed given André Kudelski a clearer vision of what he calls “the multidimensional world of business”. He believes in observing the different sectors from various countries to absorb their knowledge and get a better idea on trends. In his view, “It can be compared to the difference between a photograph and a movie. By travelling and working with a range of cultures, one gets a better idea of the many cycles and approaches in the business world.”
Opening up new perspectives
To André Kudelski, this year’s “Summer Davos” in Asia – focusing on growth through sustainability – will open up new perspectives in terms of rethinking energy efficiency and rebuilding infrastructure. He firmly believes that long-term developments can be achieved through this Tianjin Meeting that promotes a more stable and sustainable overall economy.
Article by Anne Réthoret