Pan-European Innovation Matters in Time of Crisis
While everyone in the world is hit simultaneously by possibly the biggest financial crisis in our lifetime, it truly opens our eyes in regards of how dependent we are of each other, on a global scale. We who are privileged enough to be able to work from home, or work at all, carry a big responsibility to lead everyone out of the crisis in the best way possible. Despite that, the main focus of any private company, whether it’s a start-up, a tech-giant or a bank, will always be survival first, growth second, philanthropy third.
This is not necessarily bad. Compound interest over a long time enables you to invest more in philanthropy later, rather than spending smaller amounts with less impact earlier. This decentralized survive & scale focus on innovation in a world of global semi-perfect competition has brought hundreds of millions out of poverty and increased the lifestyle of a very large percentage of the world in the last century. But if organizations must focus on saving themselves before anything else, how can we make sure we don’t end up in a situation that is each man for himself in a negative way? Right now, we see each-country-to-themselves; borders are closed, the responses differ, and there are currently a lot of grey areas of personal freedom versus societal benefits. Nothing in this space is easy, but one thing is for certain: at the end of the day, we stand stronger together. Therefore, I believe the best way to save yourself, your company or your country, is to figure out a way of how you can save yourself by saving others.
In the fintech and finance community, giving loans on fair interest rates, helping companies get access to the governmental crisis funding, helping your local community, such as restaurants and stores that are forced to close, through crowdfunding platforms, are ways companies are directly helping. Contactless payment ensures lower probability of spreading the disease. The paradox is, examples could be endless, but they are not enough. We can all get better. Focusing on high impact use cases through universities and private companies, we can do this. Innovation has always been key in growing our health & wealth. But when times are bad, survival comes first. When working through a large Pan-European project like Infinitech, we are therefore in a great spot to communicate to the innovators of our time: university researchers, private companies, regulators. Save yourself by saving others. Focus on building technology that brings the most value to the most people possible. That’s how you survive, grow and give back at the same time. And this is what we will do. Together.
Mads Schiøler Tingsgård
Head of Fintech Intelligence - Copenhagen Fintech
Part of the Infinitech Project