Businesses are key to solving our world’s current and future problems, according to Pierre-Sébastien Thill, Chairman at CMS, at this year’s annual CMS reception in Davos alongside the World Economic Forum. The topic was ‘Challenges and Opportunities in the World of Tomorrow’.
At the event, Pierre-Sébastien Thill emphasised CMS’s own commitment to help shape a better future and encourage its clients to do the same. He added that in the face of multiple challenges, including pandemics and environmental risks, businesses will need to adapt and innovate almost in real time.
Smart collaboration across the board is vital, according to climate activist Luisa Neubauer who spoke at the event, “We need people to act, to work together, that’s the only way. The climate crisis is a global crisis – obviously with a crisis that crosses borders, you need people to act and work together.”
The benefits of cooperation were also highlighted by Laura Rudas, Executive Vice President Strategy at Palantir Technologies, the US software company specialising in big data analytics. She believes that this is an area where software can be valuable, “If you want to have cross-industry collaborations, you need to enable competing companies to collaborate in a controlled way.” She added that if businesses and governments want to make better decisions and achieve better outcomes, then understanding their own data is essential.
Bringing people together is very much what leadership is about, according to Werner Baumann, Chief Executive Officer at Bayer AG, the German multinational pharmaceutical and life sciences company. He also emphasised how challenging the climate crisis is to his company. “The discussion on saving the world by doing more for the climate and sustainability has certainly unlocked in our company a realisation that we have not stretched ourselves far enough, that we could do much more if we really try harder,” he said. “That has led to the development of our sustainability strategy that cuts across a number of different areas that we believe are very important for us to become a systemic part of the solution.”
Climate change is also high on the agenda for Oliver Bäte, Chief Executive Officer at Allianz, the multinational financial services business, who believes we should be, “making sure that we leave the planet in a better place than we inherited it.”
These business sentiments tie in with the growing ESG movement, but also recognise the mounting pressure on organisations to harness data and technology to stay ahead in the new economy. In the past it might have been easy to make bold statements about doing the right thing, but today businesses are being routinely held to account and there is very little space to hide.