What will be the new drivers for happiness tomorrow ?
I recently attended a conference whose subject was : « Social responsibility of firms : a new paradigm ? ». This question is to put in perspective with what could be expected (rather hoped) from the technological innovation.
What’s new in the ecosystem ?
The world economic environment has been changing rapidly since the digital revolution has gained almost all the industry sectors, from the farmers to the financial services and to the chirurgical operations.
We are experiencing radical technological changes in the following domains : energy storage ; mapping softwares aimed at monitoring geographical and IT risks ; new security infrastructures and tools ; robotics.
With the ever-growing ICT (Information Communication Technologies) possibilities and capacities, new economic and social concepts are emerging. We are now speaking of :
– Mobility for everything in relation with transportation : the carmakers, the web-services for car-sharing for instance, the electric reloading systems, etc …
– Circular economy for every product being fully recycled
– Sustainable cities and smart technologies for every urban services and housing fulfilling eco-efficiency standards
A practical insight into the future of the humanity
The ecosystem is changing also owing to the growing social and environmental pressure. The social dimension of the conduct of business is getting central even if the pace may be deemed not fast enough. The scarcity of a greater number of physical resources combined with the ever-growing demographic pressure is leading the world to undergo very hard times, thus to find more and more trade-offs on an increasing number of activities (housing, transportation …). New technologies, new products and services, new business-models will be entirely dedicated in the near future to find a way for the survival of the humanity, while securing the confidence, happiness and belief of each one in life … otherwise it would lead to the human extinction.
Since the Industrial Revolution, happiness and hope for a better life has been governed and driven by the consumption’s model, relying on the principle that freedom and success goes with increasing our quantity of personal belongings.
Social and profitable : yes, we can !
Sacrificing one’s personal interest for the community will be the next step to secure everyone’s wellbeing. This new paradigm is far from being – first and foremost – understood … and last accepted by everybody. It is basically one of the pillars of the social business model. But the current structures of the economy are not adequate in a way to enforce changes in doing business : the taxation framework, the political maturity of the our leaders and the power of the multinational companies are the main obstacles to overcome.
The underlying question is : “May social business be profitable ? Can profitable business be social ?”. This is that way one of the members of the conference’s panel, Uli Grabenwarter, Head of Strategy Development-Equity at the European Investment Fund (a branch of the EIB – European Investment Bank), started his speech.