Dec 4, 2018 Stinne Vognaes
Ryott asks us to close our eyes and imagine the world without poverty, without climate change, and with equality. We should all use whatever platform we have to try and make that picture into reality. Even more importantly, we need to realise it is good business to do so. We can’t keep investing in things that are harming us, so if a company has a business model that is addressing one of the big issues, there is a guaranteed market.
Zachariah George emphasises how tech is often part of this equation today, but that it is important to remember that tech can be used for both good and bad. We need to ensure that the way tech is used is ensuring economic development for more people.
The real question is how we take disruptive technology and utilise it to solve our biggest challenges. “If you want to found a real dream company, you need to figure out what disruptive tool we could use to enable for example a health care solution, that could be useable in many different countries and contexts,” Andre Heinz argues.
We don’t need to think of impact as something that only fits in particular sectors. We should, instead, broaden our scope and consider all of our actions having the potential to solve global challenges. Ryott argues that innovations regarding circular economy and waste management is needed all over the world. That is something that can be started in any geographical context and scaled to the rest of the world.
Finally all three panelists agreed that finding business with purpose-driven business models are always a good investment and that has even been scientifically proven. It is not too different from traditional investing, and Heinz emphasised that the team, technology, and total addressable market still are the fundamental elements he would consider before making an investment. Apart from that, a crucial element would be the intent of the entrepreneur and their ability to make that real.
Ryott added that the questions like whether a company is value driven and if they have a strong purpose are key questions to ask.
It is clear that investing in companies with solutions to real, big problems seems to be the best way to make good investments for the future. There is no need to think that investing in positive impact has to be just charity or philanthropy. Investing in solutions for the future is not only necessary and urgently needed but also a proven way to get a higher return on investment.
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