While the IAA premiered in the Bavarian capital Munich, around 200 invited guests gathered at the BMW World, to discuss one of the most pressing topics of our time: sustainability.
A look at the stock market shows the common game: money is invested to ideally make even more money out of it. In the meantime, however, high returns and margins are often no longer sufficient – the focus is further shifting to doing something good with your investments. Sustainability is a hot topic and will remain on top of the agenda- for investments, but also for companies themselves. At the DLD All Stars, visionaries, digital pioneers and experts such as Burda CEO Paul-Bernhard Kallen, Ben Horowitz and Sir Ronald Cohen talked about how closely these areas are intertwined and what changes the future will bring for all of us.
Money alone does not make you happy. For this very reason, investors are increasingly looking into additional values of assets that give something back to humanity. There is a growing demand to invest in companies that are committed to fair working conditions and environmental topics, just to name a few. Sir Ronald Cohen is an expert in the field of impact investing and explained at the DLD All Stars: “Today we see $40 trillion of ESG funding going to companies which pollute less or improve the environment.” Joining him in the discussion was Michael Diederich (HypoVereinsbank).
"We founded something which we call impact banking, where we help with our financial engineering capability especially those entrepreneurs to make progress which normally under a normal risk-return would be difficult to kick off.”
Michael Diederich, HypoVereinsbank
According to Cohen, a revolution is already underway in the investment scene that focuses on sustainability. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go before sustainability in companies will become measurable and appealing for even more investors. Diederich added: “This is not going to happen overnight. You need partners to make it happen.”
Successful partnerships are essential in the investment scene but it also comes down to the team itself. Niklas Zennström once founded Skype - a tool that is currently increasingly used to stay in touch with colleagues and business partners. In a conversation with investor Ben Horowitz (AndreessenHorowitz), both agreed that it is all about a good corporate culture to be successful. “It starts with the founders, they are like the nucleus of the team and it’s up to them to build up a strong team around them”, said Zennström.
"The most important thing about a company is not how much money you’re going to make or what the outcome is. It is going to be the time. The time you spent.”
Ben Horowitz, AndreessenHorowitz
For many employers, he said, it is most important how companies treat their employees and how much attention they pay to sustainability. Horowitz also said that it is important to avoid a monoculture and create an environment where everyone can feel comfortable instead.
Corporate Culture has undergone some significant changes due to the Corona pandemic. Jim Breyer (Breyer Capital), speaking to Burda CEO Paul-Bernhard Kallen, said: "It's never been more important to be a global investor." Many breakthrough medical technologies, he said, were coming primarily from Europe and China. Breyer was one of the first venture capitalists to invest in Facebook. His forecast for the future of investments: artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine. "It is multidisciplinary, it is global." Whether it's vaccine development, prognosis, clinical development or improvement in the virtual relationship of doctors and patients. AI offers many opportunities in this segment, he said.