Thought leaders at WEF Summit in Abu Dhabi
We are experiencing a fourth industrial revolution, according to thought leaders speaking at the World Economic Forum's Summit on the Global Agenda, taking place in Abu Dhabi this week.
The rapid proliferation of technologies - including artificial intelligence, biotechnology, robotics and 3D printing - that will have broad and deep impact on all aspects of life raises profound questions about the future, including major ethical challenges.
Bernard Meyerson, CIO and VP of IBM Corporation said: “Imagine being strapped on the front of a locomotive and going through a tunnel. You had better know if the light ahead is the light at end of the tunnel or an oncoming train. It is that kind of situation.”
Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia, added: “The new industrial revolution differs from previous ones because the rate of growth is exponential. We are going to see an exponential increase in the power of the chip. Chip-based industrial technologies will grow faster and faster.”
The business opportunities raised by this new revolution are significant, said Lee Sang-Yup, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). He noted that businesses are now doing away with quarterly reporting and are instead reporting their financial positions monthly because the pace of change is so fast and one rival could eclipse another practically overnight.
The advent of this new industrial revolution is raising an enormous range of questions, including ethical challenges that will be difficult to answer. Consider issues relating to self-driving cars. Should they be programmed to avoid running into a group of pedestrians when the alternative is hitting a wall and possibly injuring the driver? There are many other ethical and security challenges, including privacy and data integrity, as well as the differential between those who have access and know how to use the technologies and those who do not.
The Summit on the Global Agenda 2015 brings together over 900 thought leaders and experts from business, government, civil society, academia and media who are among the members of the Forum’s network of over 80 Global Agenda Councils. They are focused on finding innovative solutions and approaches to key global challenges, such as achieving inclusive growth and addressing climate change and natural resources security.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.