A Better World: How Entrepreneurs and New Technologies Make It Happen

A Better World: How Entrepreneurs and New Technologies Make It Happen

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I have the personal belief that entrepreneurs. Oops. I have the personal belief that we are at the beginning of an explosion of entrepreneurs that creates social environmental positive impact. And my presentation tonight will try to show you why I believe that. So my name is Jake. I'm a global director of a program

that invests essentially into hardware, entrepreneurs and startups, specifically those that have a social and environmental impact. So social sectors, environmental technologies. But before I get in, I like to tell you just a little bit about myself in addition to what you just heard, because I have since I've been doing this with entrepreneurs over the last six years, and I always had an interest in understanding what's behind many things that we take for granted. What's the underlying structure and how can you take that structure and and make it in such a way that it benefits others to do something with it? So that's sort of was my idea. And it all started with this. Next image if it ever comes.

Is it plugged in? It works. There you go. It works. Okay, so this is a radio from Panasonic called the R 70. My dad had one of these and I asked him one day, how does the radio work? So you can see how old I was, so how old I am now. But anyway, he said, Well, there are little people inside this radio and they sing and they talk and they play music. And so sure enough,

I took a screwdriver to understand what these little men looked like. Well, no surprise, as you know, there are no little men inside. So I realized back then, this is. There's something behind these shells. And so that triggered this. But you also one thing that was

really interesting is it's sort of the demonstration of the Moore's Law, because the transistors that are inside there are big. Right. These were this is really low tech in comparison to what we do today. What was interesting a couple of years ago, when my youngest son was three years old, he said the TV was broken.

So I was afraid that he took the screwdriver and mantled the TV. But the reason why he said it was broken because when he swiped it, it would not move on to the next screen. So this is the difference between me as a child with this and our children who have literally fingertips technology through the apps and and mobile devices we have today. All right. Okay, so I have three parts of

my presentation. The first part is about Autodesk, but mainly because I wanted to tell you why we're doing this as a company, what we're doing. The second part is going to be about technological trends that are very important for our customers, but that are also very important to the entrepreneurs that use these technologies to innovate. Great stuff. Which leads to the third part, which is about the entrepreneurs themselves. So these are sort of the three parts. So let's just get right into it. Autodesk is a 32 year old company.

I'm not going to read all this, but it is a company that makes software that helps other people to create things. Many, many different types of things. Our vision is our corporate vision is to help people imagine design and create a better world. So this is really part of our DNA, and it's quite the reason for that, is because if you look at these different products here, it's not we don't make the car. It's our customer who makes the car. We don't create the city's or city planning or the Shanghai Tower. It's our customers who make these buildings.

We don't create infrastructure and plans. It's our customers who create the plans. We don't make movies, but our customers use our technology to make movies. So this is sort of the the breadth of

of industry sectors that we have manufacturing, the architectural space built environment and the media entertainment space. So 12 million users worldwide. 200 million users of our consumer products. And we heavily work with students in the engineering and design and architectural spaces and faculties worldwide as well, giving them access to free software so that they can understand how to use these tools so they can create better buildings. Okay. So. The reason why we have this vision of helping people imagine, design, create a better world is because we realized if our millions of users use our tools to create the next building on car or phone in an in a not. Educated well way that takes care

of what the product will be. In the end, it will have negative effects. Vice versa. If we do everything right, our customers can create the best built environment, the best products, and that has potential impact on billions of people who use these tools. You'll use these buildings where we live and work in and so on. And when we say a better world, we actually really mean that by 2050. 10 billion people will live on this planet. We like to have 10 billion

people live well and live within the means of the planet. So for us, this is in a very important part of what we do. So why is that important? You look at 2050. So 10 billion people, twice as many as we have today. It also means that 75% of these people will live within a city, within an urban environment. Actually, 95% will live within an hour's drive of a city. So then you consider that

5 billion of them will live in the global middle class. The requirements on energy are twice as we have today. It's not just energy, it's resources, It's water. It's the well-being, the comfortable environments of living in a building or in a city. So these are all different areas that we want to have some sort of influence in.

Many cities are not being built yet. Many streets are not being built yet. Not in Japan, but in other areas around the world. By 2020, you have 50 billion connected devices. So these are not just mobile phones, but these are also sensors, Internet of Things, sensors that sit in products and so on.

So this is a tremendous technology that that development that that plays a big role. So I'm part of the Autodesk Sustainability and Philanthropy team. We do a lot of different things. And I'm going to go into this. The three most important things that we do is, number one is make sure that our tools have the right sustainability features so our customers can use these tools correctly. And the other two items I get to it. So for example, tools, when you build a building, you can do today a rapid energy analysis of a building before it's being built so you understand what the energy consumption of the building will be. You take a building, you know where the building sits on the planet, you have the climate data of the planet. You make the turn that building

ten degrees, you have a different sunlight reaching into the building. So that means you have different locations for your voltaic, your solar panels, you have different thermal comfort levels inside the building. So these are all things that that you can do today with software, it's the same thing actually for retrofitting to. And then there's a couple of

other things. I'm not going to mention all of this, but even with the manufacturing, how do you plan a factory? How do you manage energy consumption? How do you pick the right materials when you create a product that has water consumption levels low or a greenhouse gas emission footprint or carbon footprint? So this is sort of an example. You can see this is sort of what we call, you know, a whole system dynamics.

If you look at the building, it's actually really complex. There are many, many different variables that provide us comfort that we often don't think about where the windows are, how big the windows are, how much light and how much energy goes in or goes out and so on. So these are sort of a couple of things that now helps an architect or a developer to understand how does this building should look like so that it becomes more comfortable that the value of the building goes up, that the energy consumption goes down, that the costs go down as well at the same time.

So this is a little project that we have done. This is a US Air Force chapel in, in in the US. And so we scanned the entire building inside out. And then through computational fluid dynamics, we understand now where in which in which part of the building are the hotspots, in which part of the building is, is is the lack of air ventilation or lower.

And so that gives a precise overview of how do you want to renovate this building so that you can make it more energy efficient. Okay. So I'm getting to supporting high impact customers. This is where my program sits. We look at entrepreneurs and innovators, the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. And what we provide is essentially four different things.

Number one, we provide them access to software. Number two, we provide training and support and other levels of of mentorship. We lend them our expertise. If we have them in house, we connect them with the environment.

We we bring them to conferences. Maybe there's a pitching session, give them exhibition space, really have them an opportunity, Give them an opportunity to expose their ideas and find and accelerate their way. And we have also the opportunity for financial support, which comes through the Autodesk Foundation, which is able to provide financial grants. So obviously we can't do all of this with all of them.

Since the program that I'm running started, we have over 4000 companies worldwide already supported with software. We won't do all of this with 4000 companies. We look for the most impactful, the most potential for scale and the most innovative companies to to provide further levels of support. I go into more detail a little bit later.

Our foundation is a corporate foundation that sits corporate out of the US. These are sort of the companies that already are or organizations, I should say. A lot of them are nonprofits that receive support from from Autodesk, either with software or any other way that I showed earlier. And this is sort of a snapshot of some of the companies from last year that went through the Entrepreneur impact program.

So we we look into a number of different areas. The most interesting and fast coming is the area around food and agriculture as well as mobility. But there is also often a a split by country. In Australia there is a lot of water

versus in China it's often air pollution and solar panels and energy clean energy. So we are a small team. We are a global team of a small team. So what we need to do in order to provide the best possible way of running our programs is to look for partners. And we partner with incubators and accelerators, with venture capital firms, with investors, with organizations, nonprofit non-governmental organizations, with government agencies, with industry associations and so on. And this is sort of a snapshot of partners that we've been working with last year.

And most of them still is sort of a snapshot along many different countries around the world. And so the last thing I will talk about our program and the sustainability itself is what we do as a company. We call that lead by example. There is a business coalition called We Mean Business.

This coalition sets seven different goals in the run up to COP21 in Paris to make the point that businesses have an opportunity and I would say even a responsibility to look at seven different commitments that will help us to mitigate and overcome climate change challenges. And these ones are the seven different commitments. And we announced just recently that the first North American company that actually fulfills all of these, the 100% renewable four years in advance. We do this through certificates, but we are increasingly looking into local renewable, renewable energy resources as well. So these are all the important pieces. We report them out in our sustainability report every year.

And and it's an important part because we believe we can't talk about sustainability in our tools if we also don't look at it ourself. So it's a software company. So our carbon footprint is not big in comparison to a company that makes cars. Our carbon footprint really is tiny. Nonetheless, we should go and do these things regardless. It is also an opportunity for us to check with our tools, whether our tools can actually help us.

It is an opportunity for for us to understand what does a company need to do in order to go, let's say, 100% renewable and how can our tools help? Two last points here. Employee impact. So this is something that we are running as well. We invite our employees to participate and to volunteer. They can volunteer with their preferred nonprofit organization or charitable organization. And every year we run a global month of impact where we actually do something that has benefits.

We work with this organization called Enable. And for one day in one big office, people come together in a room like this and assemble these hands. This year they went to Syrian refugees, children's, these hands. So this one costs about $30. The reason these are all 3D printed, we worked with them. They came to our office, our manufacturing research development center in San Francisco. So we used our tools. We 3D print them and it's a set that comes and you go and assemble them.

And then we ship, we ship them back to them and they ship it to the people in need. The reason why these are the 3D printing, the idea here is, is that a child grows up pretty quick, right? So you can't invest $5,000 or so into a professional, you know, titanium prosthetics. If two years later he's the hand grew bigger than that. And so these are the opportunities here with using these type of hands which which have a tremendous impact on on children. The other thing is pro bono activities. We work with our customers,

the entrepreneurs, but also with nonprofits. The Marine Mammal Center in San Francisco or north of San Francisco needed a dart to tranquilize marine animals that they want to bring in for care. That has a sonar integrated in it. And our team in San Francisco helped in developing this so they can use that. Okay, so this is part one. Part two is now about the technology,

the trends that we see in the manufacturing and in other industries and which which have the the opportunity for our entrepreneurs, the entrepreneurs that we work with to use that technology development. So we call that the future of making things. It's it's how the manufacturing and the built environment actually is going to change and how products are being made, how buildings are being designed. The very first thing that we

realize is, is that this whole cycle of designing, making and using is converging. So I am I'm a trained product designer. I used to work for as a product designer, and that was typically a brief that you get from your product manager and then you design it and you pass it on to the engineer and it gets manufactured and eventually you see it in the shop, but you will never touch it again. It was out of your hands. The user is using it, hopefully loves it. But that was that. And what we see now, an increased convergence of designing and making and using. So I give you a couple of examples.

First of all, with designing, we see a number of different changes. It's no longer the ivory tower of design development. It is a collaborative activity that happens across the world. There are a lot more opportunities today to collaborate than than than we had ten years ago. Secondly, we see that the access to capital has become a lot easier. It's still the hardest thing. If you ask an entrepreneur, what's your number one challenge, they will say, funding, I need money, I need to sustain the business.

But it has become a lot easier today than it has been. And also the costs of making things have been going down as well. So Kickstarter is one thing. There's obviously crowdsourcing. There are all different types of incubation models and accelerators that that pop up everywhere. The second thing is cloud computing. It essentially provides you unlimited computing power if you want to because it gets over the cloud. And that has a tremendous opportunity on gives companies a tremendous opportunity to develop their tools.

Your mobile phone that you have in your hands or in your pocket here has multiple computing power than the space shuttle had. And so the space shuttle flew up and came back. So you can imagine the actually the the power that we have in our pockets. What are we using it for? In the make space. We see a number of different things that happen as well.

So a lot of the architectural space is actually becoming prefabrication. There's a lot of manufacturing aspects that happen there. You see micro factories pop up. The opportunity to do low batch production is a lot easier today than it was ever before. And and this is an interesting example. These earphones are tailored, customized earphones for your ear, not for the ear of your friend, but for you.

So these are opportunities to to where you see customization and personalization playing a tremendous role today with with many companies that make products. So in the youth space, the digital and the physical world are more and more converging as well. The the sensors that go into products can tell a story and how the product is being used when it breaks down, but also what needs to be improved the next time around. You create a product. Everybody of you has Google Maps. There are apps that give you the idea of don't go into this road because there are many cars standing there. It's because the phone that tells the map that stands there, it's an opportunity to see whether there is a traffic jam.

And then this is a screenshot from the Tesla on the left side. So you wake up and you get into your car next morning. There is a software download and it's a new car or a modified car. So these interfacing between with our products is changing as well. So if you look at all of this, because there is this convergence of make, use and and design. You also see different types of

collaborative activities jumping. Coming up, more and more interesting developments with regards to how companies make products. It used to be that you have that innovation would trickle down. I think these days we see more and more innovation trickling, trickling up. Okay. The area of documentation.

So this is a long time ago when we used 2D drawings just to document and how things are done. The area of optimization, that's also passé. That's when you had an understanding or this is how it fits together. And today we are in the era of connections where you can sit at your breakfast table and review what your project actually is doing and how well it's happening. Because of the computational power, the manufacturing processes are changing and you can actually, as I said earlier, include sensors into products that give you an idea on how to produce and create the next version of it. Yeah, design teams are changing. I'm going to go into a couple of things.

The typically when you look into productivity, what typically companies would do that would ensure that the input, the costs are low and the outputs are just in time. Manufacturing. These are all things that can easily be replicated and it does no longer give you the opportunity of differentiation. The same thing with innovation. Even if you create a new design today, it maybe takes a couple of months or weeks if you're lucky and somebody else is following you through. And processes are changing in manufacturing.

This is the fuselage of the A350 produced with carbon fiber. But even with processes, these are things that can relatively quickly be replicated. So there are a few disruptors returns that I believe could be of interest in.

In a way, a lot of these disruptive trends can also help some of the companies produce their products. So these are three different parts production demand and products with production. Essentially what we see is different types of production means and how it's being done. I give you a quick example.

So this is a chair on the left side, as you probably would know, if you tell a designer I need a chair that holds a 70 kilogram person, make it as minimal as possible in the sense of use as minimal amount of material. The chair on the right is not designed by a person but an algorithm. So the same criteria was given into software and say, can you make a chair that is has the least amount of material but holds a 70 kilogram person and you can see the difference. So this is what we call genetic generative design. And here's a good example. So next time you fly in in a plane,

you see the divider between the various different classes. Typically, these materials are used either aluminum or steel reinforced. And we've done a project with Airbus where we've basically gave these criteria into the algorithm, into the software and came up with this three different parts. You can see this part here on the

right side in a in a close up, this would be really hard to manufacture because you have a lattice structure that you can't weld. This is a special alloy made from aluminum, magnesium and scandium that Airbus did specifically for this. And they 3D print this. And by using this material and using this generatively designed panel, they are able to reduce the weight by 40% or 45%, which saves several hundred thousands of metric tons of CO two every year. And of course, weight and fuel because of that. So you see, this is already something that's happening.

This this panel is currently in the tests to with before it gets approved and moved into into the actual commercial planes. Under armor. We did a little project with them. The lattice structure on the back heel is something that you can't produce with injection molding because it's an intertwined lattice designed generatively through the software in order to give maximum strength. Again, this is something that was used with 3D printing.

And so this is another interesting thing is there's a company this is a research project, a company in California called Bandito Brothers. They do all sorts of crazy cars. They started to do this chassis here on the right upper corner and then let a driver drive it around the track hundreds of times while there is hundreds of sensors inside the the structure. The sensors then pick up where the most stresses are. And that was back fed into the

software, creating a structure that you can see on the bottom right corner that no engineer would come up with. This is truly not possible to design something like this in the same way. So the you feed in what material you use, what manufacturing processes you want to use, what cost limitations you have, where, what functional standards you need, what performances you need, and the software basically does the rest. And last example is a company out of Amsterdam. The three X, I think it's called. They make they will produce this bridge in Amsterdam over the canal.

It's going to be eight meters long and it prints itself. So there are on each side for six axis robotic arms that print a steel alloy while it's basically starting from the right and to the left, and they will meet eventually in the middle. So it's a real time feedback feedback loop that feeds the decision on where to put the next piece of material to in order to make something that's not just stable but also looks pretty. Um. All right.

So this is Denise Schindler, Paralympian, currently in Rio at the Paralympics. I don't know these two people there. And our senior vice president in Europe. So we've worked with Denise and create a prosthetics for her leg that prepared her. She is a national champion. She did, I think, a bronze medal in London. A prosthetics for her typically is handmade. It takes a long time. Now you can print 1 in 5 days at a quarter of the costs.

So it's sort of a, how do you say, a demonstration project to understand what materials you can use in order to enable her? All right. I mentioned sensors. The sensors are everywhere, and. And they feed back to our products. Consumer demand is growing as is is growing as well. And the expectations of consumer demand is changing. Customers like to see where does

the product, where is the product manufactured? That becomes important. Has the company paid attention to sustainability issues? That is also becoming important. It's esthetics, of course, as well. It's no longer sort of the price. I remember when Steve Ballmer was talking about the iPhone, I said, well, that's not going to work. Who's going to buy a $700 iPhone? And and today we use iPhones.

That is the price is no longer the most important thing, especially for the new generation of consumers, the millennials. They will they want to see a lot more than just a product that has a function. That's the function is implied. Okay, so now I get to the entrepreneurs and I have a couple of statistics. First, before I show you a couple of examples. I have, I think a total of six examples. Key drivers of of entrepreneurs worldwide is typically a couple of things.

So I have four things here or five, something like that. The awareness has risen. So if you are anywhere in the world and you have access to internet, which is increasingly the case, you have an awareness of what's happening around the world, but you also have the opportunity to build around the world. There are entrepreneurs who create products in Germany and have it manufactured in India and tested in Singapore and so on.

So you see many different types of different inter country based connections. The other thing is, as I said earlier, access to capital is easier, computing power is easier. But the other thing is that two other things is we see an increased challenge to our systems, the systems that we know in in many countries there are systems that are not set up. There are many communities that are off grid and will probably never become on grid in terms of electricity, just like never will get a hard line telephone line and stay mobile.

But a lot of countries also see entrepreneurship and innovation as a way to build the next consumer and the next market, the next companies, the next businesses, a way of developing the economics for the future out of the necessity that they have on the ground. There are many countries where you have social, environmental necessities, problems and challenges, and people don't wait for the big companies to solve it or for the government. They go and take the hands, their own hands and create something. Population, of course, is something that is that we've been looking at the the the elliptical circle there around Asia today. You have already more people live within that circle than you live than live outside of it. But Africa is an up and coming population growth will see an up and coming population growth as well, which you can see in this chart. You can see.

China actually being reduced in only two years. I heard India there will be more people in India than in China. So they will have an age problem. And you can see how dark the map is for Africa. So the increase in population there will become big. I saw a presentation of the Institute

of Global Policy in Hong Kong, University of Science and Technology. They have a new institute there. And the the person, Dr. Professor Jackson, I think was his name. I apologies if I got that wrong.

That's for the camera, not for you. He said, this is the century of Africa because there is the most growth happening. It's also the area where you have the most challenges in terms of infrastructure, in terms of education and so on. And a lot of these countries well, I shouldn't say a lot, but many countries already start to realize that something has to be done.

This is sort of another chart. I'm not going to go too much into detail. Two thirds of the global middle class will be in Asia by 2030. So you will have. And a tremendous growth when it comes to consumer spending.

And I don't think we need, what is that, $32 trillion in products that you throw away the next day? That's not a good I don't think that's a good idea. So this is this is an emerging thing that is coming whether we like it or not. It's it's on the way. So we will have to go and deal with these things. And then the other thing the last thing before I get into entrepreneurs is because a lot of these entrepreneurs are millennials, Generation Z or Generation Alpha, as they call the next one. And they have a very specific interest.

They like to see, as you can read here, that the company that they're buying a product from also has an impact, a positive impact on the community. There is this idea of profit with purpose and not just profit as well. The issues of sustainability is important. And this is from the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Survey from 2015, which I find particularly interesting is they titled it Doing Well by the Young. You can see 34% of entrepreneurs are mentoring young people. 58% do this in sub-Saharan Africa, China, China, sub-Saharan Africa in terms of providing internships, working with schools and providing guidance to young people. So this is this is interesting.

It's interesting that that there is a lot of interest to provide something for the next generation of innovators or the next generation of consumers, even the next generation of the workforce. From the same research. The top three reasons of starting a business. And so this is all young entrepreneurs is, well, belief behind a positive economic legacy. But number two and three, make a positive contribution to wider community and inspire others to follow their in their aspirations. If you look at the left side, there is no United Way, Silicon Valley there. It's it's lower down.

I mean, what my point here is that I think a lot of these countries, you have a generation of young people who see these challenges and they don't want to wait. They want to do. And because the access to technology is easier today, they can. Yeah. So Africa and Latin America leading in early stage entrepreneurship. And and I'd like to show this. This is the UN global impact sustainability goals because a lot of these goals are also aligned with what entrepreneurs are doing.

Entrepreneurs who work in a country where water is a challenge, most likely work on a water challenge. And that is also the country's challenge as as measured through these goals. 17 different goals. Okay. And so this is why we do this. We believe that these entrepreneurs are the next generation of companies, and we believe that there is an opportunity for them to really do something right. The program works like this. If you are a small company, you are pre-revenue. Most of them are pre-revenue or

less than ten people and less than five people five years old. You can apply and you receive up to five licenses of our product design collection. That is a tool sets of of that provides everything from design to manufacturing. Five up to five seats for three years or up to $150,000 worth in value. So this is the basic entry level of what we do with these companies.

And we look, as I said earlier, at a number of different things. These are on the right side. You see, these are sort of the areas that we look at in terms of sectors, anything from the clean environmental technologies to social impacts, technology solutions as well. We look at early stage. Yeah. Seed stage. Angel Stage. And and we have a program that is active worldwide with Africa being the next frontier for us. Okay. So now I get two examples and I think

this is the most exciting bit and I like to jump right into this. This is a company this is a person who one day decided he needs to do something better. He's, I believe, about ten years younger than me. And he decided to build this lamp

or design and build this lamp. And he works with the National Women's Foundation in China to distribute these lamps. This is a lamp that basically is it's given to children. So the the LED light is made in such a way that it doesn't isn't too damaging on the eyes. So it's not the cheapest led it's it's an expensive led because of a certain range it has a life cycle of six years 6 to 7 years. It's waterproof. And and it's often used as a as a torch as well.

So what they do is they bring these the National Women's Foundation recognized this as a village. There are 200 children. They need this. They call this guy. And the guy sets up a crowdsourcing site, makes advertising for the crowdfunding, not crowdsourcing crowd funding site. And then when he has enough capital to make and distribute and ship and go there, then he makes them. So he calls up his manufacturer in South China and said, I need 200 pieces. They send it. And then he goes with volunteers,

goes to the village and distributes them. They go into classrooms and it's the National Women's Foundation. But they give the the children the light, not the woman, because the the boy or the girl comes to carry of light inside the house. It's not just for homework. It's also because there is no

other light inside the house. So the child helps the grandmother or lights the way to go to the the the the rest rest the toilet. They received a letter here from one of the children that they supported. And I don't read Chinese. Some of you may, but it essentially says, when I grow up, I want to do what you did. And so this is a really cool way of of confirming back to him.

What I'm doing is really right thing. It's a social business and it's I find it an amazing story. Here's another interesting story. I went to this company that is in south of Munich. They make these turbines smart hydropower. These turbines are about 1.5m in diameter. They submerged into the river system in Latin America because the flow of the river is is fast enough to power this turbine.

And you can see how they do this. They used the little boats and bamboo and bring it in. It has a protective net so crocodiles don't go in and fish don't get chopped off and it has a buoy on the top so people can see where it is. And a and it's connected to this

little hut that has solar power on top. And then it feeds an entire village of 28 families. So what it does is it's clean energy. It's always on because the river always flows. And it's you don't need diesel generators anymore, anymore. You don't need wood burning

black carbon fires. And it has a big impact. Another big impact biolite company out of the US. So every year there are 4 million premature deaths of of people who die because of smoke inhalation. They created this home stove. It's a stove that requires 90% less of fuel of wood to burn. And they used our software with computational fluid dynamics to they actually put in a turbine a small little fan in order to heat up. So it creates a lot of heat, but at the same time, it actually creates energy because this fan spins and so it comes with a USB plug.

So you can plug in a light, you can charge your phone. And I think it's been. 40,000 people or so have been using it already. So offsetting again, black carbon, offsetting carbon. They have a model, a very interesting business model. It's called parallel innovation. Because you can buy this one. This is the the the that you can buy

if you want to go camping, you go to biolite.com. You buy this one. I think it costs $80. It's that small. It has the same functionality you can help you for going camping and you can charge your phone with this as well. But what's interesting is what they sell commercially supports the development of the homestove that goes into sub-Saharan Africa through support organizations that they have on the ground. This is a Chinese company, which I met them just very shortly after they they started their business who took a patent of a flexible solar panel and make various different types of products using these flexible panels. They do educational products for for schools, the little remote control car for kids to understand how technology works, how electricity works. This little aircraft and they do

bags and and other mobile devices which you can bring unfold and charge your phone with. They went to a school and one of the journalists went with them and outfitted his school with solar panels and provided basically consistent energy for the school, which again, was a big impact as well. Fertility is a company that is headquartered out of Singapore and Hamburg. They do a three wheeled,

zero emission solar powered scooter. This is essentially the same technology as your toddler's daughter or son are using. So it's very stable. But what's interesting, the idea is, is this the same thing as Bikeshare? So you would go and rent one and bring it back. And it's the idea of overcoming the last mile, which is often a problem. The last mile, meaning from your home to the train station or from from your office to the train station, which is very easily if it's hot and humid, then you take a taxi, but actually you don't have to. This is a nice way.

They're currently testing this in Hamburg as well as in Singapore. Vintage power. There replace they have a project currently running where they replace diesel engines in busses in London with hybrid engines and at the fractions of a cost of what a hybrid bus would cost like would cost. Again, here is the the opportunity to create cleaner transportation in cities relatively easily, relatively cheaply. Proximity design is a company, a profit organization that creates a solar powered irrigation system.

If you are a farmer, you work, you irrigate and you repeat. And there's a lot of time spent in just doing this. This is a solar powered irrigation system. It frees up the time for farmers. It gives them the opportunities

to do other types of businesses. In the ten years that proximity design has been doing this, they've been affecting over 2 million people in Myanmar. I think they cover 80% of their of the rural Myanmar. So they use human centered design to understand how does this product need to look like, How does it need to work, how can it affect and should it affect the the life of farmers? The ref is an interesting company as well. They produce a knee prosthetics, an artificial knee, 165 degree. Again,

the same story as with the hand. If you if somebody requires this in the United States, it's titanium and different alloys and it's $20,000. And so this is a fraction of the cost. And giving people in this in a picture from a girl who lost her leg in a motorcycle accident, being able to have proper ways of of working, of working, because she can walk without a cane and without having a deformed spine after 20 years of walking without legs. And then finally, mass design. This is an organization that

builds hospitals in Rwanda. This is the Bhutto Hospital in Rwanda. It's specifically designed in such a way that it has a high ventilation flow. It is designed in a way that it produces environments where people heal faster. At the same time, they worked

with the community to build. This gave 3500 people jobs at the same time and also taught them on how to do and build these things. So these are all examples of companies and entrepreneurs and nonprofits that use these tools, but also they use our tools.

We are happy about supporting them, but more importantly, they use and leverage these developments and trends that I explained earlier. And and as I said at the beginning, I believe that we are ready to see a lot more of these things. If you're interested. There are seven other stories on the Asia Pacific magazine Eco-business dot com. We have seven other stories. These ones are important. I think there's an important lesson to learn out of this. I believe that if you really want to make a difference as a hardware startup, you actually can you can really leverage a lot more today than you could do only a couple of years ago, ten years ago. And yeah, I leave you with that. That's really all that I have.

I hope that was inspiring and interesting. And I think we move on to a Q&A as well. Thank you. Thanks very much. It's a pleasure having you here. Thank you. Thanks.

An amazing presentation, guys. Fantastic. Very visual. Very impactful. What is sustainability? It's one of these buzzwords like digital. Everybody's talking. Everybody's talking about it. But really it's difficult to

understand what the heck does sustainability mean? I so I'm German. I like the German word for sustainability much better than sustainability. It's nachhaltigkeit. And if I explain that word, it actually means it means when you preserve something and nah, that's a little prefix means you want to preserve it for later on. I forgot who that said I should look this up. I just remembered it. Now. Somebody said sustainability is actually a terrible word.

But if I ask you how is your marriage going? And you say it's sustainable, it's not good. That's not a that's not a good way of describing this. But if it's not, I think it has a future. So, I mean, that's maybe a little bit of a sidetrack here. Sustainability generally describes the the the actions that we can undertake, each one of us, whether individually or as as company or organizations that will not only sustain. Our worlds, but actually also leaves it behind for our next generations.

And as I said earlier, specifically, as we have these challenges of of 10 billion people, we have to work on that. What does it have to do with CSR, if anything? So CSR a corporate social responsibility. The corporate responsibility often covers sustainability in the sense that when you look at sustainability as a means of risk mitigation, for example, you you don't want to pollute the river next to your factory. So you pay attention to this.

But that's really risk mitigation. It's not just doing good, it's you also want to do better. I'm I typically would say that CSR is, is an activity that is often driven by boards and and. When it's when when you have sustainability. Part of the culture and part of the DNA. You probably don't need a CSR department because you would automatically start and look into creating products or environments for your employees, but also for your consumers.

For every touchpoint of your brand that you go out and reach the world really in a in a sustainable way. So in that case, if I was one of the ventures, my starting point actually would be one of sustainability in the context of what you presented. Whereas from Autodesk perspective, this program that you're running in fact is a CSR program that happens to have a sustainability theme. Is that right? Is that the way to look at it? So, so with regards to entrepreneurs, I think a lot of them start thinking I think there's an opportunity here for me to write, to do an innovation that I can build a business with that provides clean energy. For example, I don't think entrepreneurs go and say, I think it will do a sustainable company. I think these days it becomes part of automatically, part especially in areas where they have challenges, they will go and do them to counter them.

We've done with our program a very deliberate focus on on on supporting entrepreneurs with the social and environmental impacts because it is part of our vision. And so I never really perceived it as a CSR project, but I guess you could, right? Because we it's a software grant and it's other types of investments that we do into these companies without a hook or without an equity or without expectations that that they buy from us. It's not that specifically. Yeah, some people may see the economics of sustainability at or I should say sustainability at odds with profitability. What are the economics of sustainability? Do I have to be less profitable in order to be more humane? No, no, I think I think it's quite the opposite. The sustainability index of FTSE

London, I think is a good example. It actually showed it outperforms the FTSE. So. The other thing is, for example, if you put a price on carbon, well, sooner or later it will come. So it's an opportunity for you to get on board now rather than waiting until a law dictates you to do it. So it is an opportunity for many

companies to become closer connected to their consumers. It creates a better positive image brand positioning because you don't greenwash. You actually go and say, we do this and we create this product and we take extra care that it is produced in a sustainable way, that it's when it's disposed, it can be recycled and so on. So these are all important touch points, especially for the incoming new group of consumers who pay attention to this. As I've shown earlier, the millennials and and the ones that come after.

They pay attention to this. My my son told me he scolded me for leaving the water running. When I brushed my teeth, I said, You're wasting water. And so I asked him,

where did you learn this in school? And it was not it was not be sustainable. It was, hey, this is not necessary. Right? So this, this conscious of of resources, we will see that a lot more. And there's a lot of companies already have to deal with this.

I mean, the reason why Airbus is doing what I show on the earlier is is also because it gives them a competitive edge. If they have planes produce less carbon because it uses less fuel. So there's a it's a multi it's a it's a multi party issue. It's actually the whole issue of climate change is very complex and systemic. And it's not that you the company can do this by yourself. It's companies together and

countries and the general public in general need to be active there. To what extent is government policy influencing this? You listed the top ten UN priorities for sustainability. To what extent is it being politically driven? Political agendas are on the table, so policies do have a role to play. In all, it's you look at countries that have that are relatively high on the innovation index. It's often because the countries,

the governments of the countries drive that. And and similarly with companies who understand that they see that as an opportunity to build a strong economy. It becomes it becomes sort of a competitive edge. I've we've done a report on Latin America and Chile came out on top in terms of its commitment to support entrepreneurs that have this drive. And it's interesting, you see a lot of these companies in Africa.

It's Kenya that's playing a big role in China. The five year plan, it is the last five year plan, the current five year plan, all points to innovation, to clean air, to, you know, weaning off fossil fuel and introducing renewable energy. And they don't do this because, you know, there is they felt like it was the right thing to do. They do it also because it's, you know, in some extent, it's a service to back to the country, to the communities, and it is a way of making it competitive. And I believe that every country

should actually pay attention to this. Yeah. How would you answer a guy like Friedman who would say a company's social only social responsibility is to use resources in an optimum way to maximize profits? And as long as it plays within the rules of the game and it's the citizens responsibility in his private capacity to do these kind of things. And in fact, by not doing it, the company is suboptimal in its performance. Its not utilizing resources as it should, and it in fact will not raise the overall GDP and prosperity of the people around it. And in the community. How would you answer that? Are they at conflict with each other or not? Well, I would say I believe the I believe there isn't really such a. Very strict division anymore between private and business because of how the technology has changed and how we use our tools today. It's no longer that big gap that

it may be used to be. I mean, at the beginning of the 19th 20th century, design was a way of making something look good. So people buy it. I mean, I'm simplifying them and plenty of people who do amazing stuff. But but there was for a long time the idea, well, here is a we do the right thing. We make a product esthetically look good and function well and people will buy it and it will serve them well. But today, you look at design

companies, they submerge themselves within the consumer. They spend a week with a family in India to understand how are they using this tool that I'm now going to design the next version of. And so by implanting yourself there, you no longer have that really strict divide between what's private. I mean, of course it's a private home, but the overlaps are much more complicated these days. I think we see, as I said, sort of a convergence of of all of this. And and then the last thing I would answer is I know a lot of entrepreneurs who believe. Profit with purpose is a way forward.

And it's they're not doing this because. I mean, often they're doing this also because they see it's a value that they leave behind, an impact that they leave behind. It makes them feel good. Like the gentleman who makes this lamp and he had that letter that was impactful. He said, wow, this is great. It's a recognition for him and

it made him feel good. It makes me feel good hearing about it. And I think that's that's that would be my answer. I think there is a there is a different way for forward. There's a lot of trepidation and

has been for a number of years in clean tech or green tech, biomass fuels, solar, wind and so on. Has any of that hesitation spilled over into the kind of ventures and that you're seeing the entrepreneurs that you're talking to? Yeah, I think you always have. Clean Tech was a good example of the hype cycle where it went up and down and then sort of matured. Now. And I think you will see this in any new development. You will see that with VR and and and virtual reality or 3D printing. These sort of things always go through hype cycles. But I believe that maybe the

hype cycles also become shorter, which of course it depends on the technology, but it will give the opportunity to learn quicker as well. And so far I haven't seen. I haven't seen. Maybe there's sort of a hype with social entrepreneurship. It has become an impact. That's sort of a word that you

hear more often. In the end, I believe maybe we one day don't have. Sustainability because everything will be sustainable. I'll give you an example.

So I went to the supermarket in Hong Kong and they had organic cucumbers, and next they taken the Chinese translation instead of saying non-organic is, Oh, sorry, sorry. It was the opposite. The organic ones had a direct translation from Chinese into English. It was nontoxic, nontoxic cucumbers and cucumbers. Which one are you going to get? Right. So shouldn't these cucumbers be nontoxic too? So I think in the end, we realize that we do a lot of things that had unintended consequences that we didn't think about because we didn't know and because we had other priorities. And I think these priorities are changing and will come to a I believe eventually will come to a point where we do have just nontoxic cucumbers. To what extent are these

ventures in environments, regulatory environments, countries? And so forth in which, well, for example, you and I start a venture to promote clean water or filter water in a certain area, and we start to catch on. We're making profits, but our country or region doesn't have the legal infrastructure. It's corrupt. I mean, everything is basically stacked up against us in terms of making a proper living, breathing, profitable enterprise. What would we do? Yeah, we move to the next country, but how many how many countries can you move to in insofar as this is not an isolated situation? Yeah, I guess my point was I don't think you see this type of venture building up successfully in the countries that don't provide the right level of support levels and the infrastructure that I think that plays a role. You I think that will play a role. There are you know, there is

marries innovation, competitive global competitive levels and so on that that look into these things. And if you are in a country where you don't have I mean, not even looking into clean water or any of sustainable issue, if you're in a country where it's not good to start a business because corruption levels are high and people rip you off and people steal your idea, you wouldn't even start. Full stop, whatever it is, Right? And so it is dependent on it goes back to governments setting up a right level of infrastructure or have a national incubator or have subsidies that help entrepreneurs.

Office space, shared office space. I mean, all these sort of things. Sometimes it's a central government that drives this, and sometimes the government central government doesn't do anything. It's regional or it's in the cities. Sometimes it's just driven by businesses and support organizations. So there are many different ways.

But if this doesn't exist, it's very hard to do. Yeah. To what extent is the government, wherever 1st May be operating a helper or a hindrance with respect to entrepreneurial activities, Many programs are very well intended grants and agencies and support, but there are so many conditions and bureaucratic requirements associated with it. And these are often written by academicians and bureaucrats who think they know what business is about but have absolutely no experience. And it winds up being harmful. In your experience traveling the

world, talking to entrepreneurs, seeing these kinds of ventures, to what extent are the local government programs helping or hindering entrepreneurial activity in the sustainable area? Um, they can have a very, very big role to play if you have. Um, a government or a city government for that matter, that says we want to make it easier for people to start a business. We'll give out funds. We organize VCs venture capital to to come in. There's an annual conference

that we organize. I mean, if all of this is there, it's a lot easier because then you basically just jump into that ecosystem as an entrepreneur and start using it. And these are the I believe these are the sort of the countries that. That that flourished with us. It is a little different.

Also, sometimes the cultural aspect also has a role to play. Right. So if you are a if you are in a culture where entrepreneurs don't have a long history, it's a lot harder. Even if the support system is there, because you need to first make sure that people understand there is real opportunity. Go and try it.

Especially when you're young and you're 55. It's difficult. It depends, right? It's a different it's a different set of of starting points. And that would be my advice. I mean, you see. Young teens starting businesses already. And I think that's the right thing to do. Get get your feet wet early. But yeah, to come back to your question, yes, I think it makes a difference if the if the government support this, it makes a big difference.

I'd like to move on from the premise of sustainable ventures into how can we get involved and where are the opportunities in your global travels? Where are some of the hotspots? Yeah, so we are active quite a bit in China that has evolved because. Because of the support that the central government is building there. There are maker spaces, so areas where people can come in and use prototyping machines popping up very quickly. I so so use the US is is very active. There is a lot there. You see quite a few of these organizations who work and develop their solutions there and then have operations like in sub-Saharan Africa or in South America. In Germany you see more and more of that.

Singapore has been driving a lot, but it's a lot smaller. It's a much smaller scale. In India, I believe there is an initiative that the government is called a Startup India make in India. These are sort of the. A push towards young people. Go and think about how that it is possible to do and and I believe there is more coming from there. And then in Africa probably a couple

of countries that that already are very active and have generally with governments and overall doing the right things there as well. It is it sometimes is also a little bit of an up and down when the government changes and they have a completely different focus and it goes away. I think Australia had a little bit of that. There was a lot of push with the

previous government and and and that has sort of gone away a little bit. So has become a lot more grassroots. They have to do an organize themselves and so it changes. Of course, you know it's I Chile

would be a good place I think that's an interesting area too so far from what we've seen. But I it's kind of hard for me I think in in Europe you generally have an interest in developing. There's a lot more and it often starts actually from universities. Some universities have an incubator on campus that wants to nourish this as well. They have entrepreneurial classes

and then maybe it's connected to a maker space where people can go and start doing things as well. That's that often plays a role as well. What are some of the pitfalls that you see among entrepreneurs, for example? These are very complicated business activities. I have this wonderful technology and I live in Norway and it's going to do something grow more rice or make cleaner water in a developing country, but different language, different culture. It's 6000 miles away. Regulatory environment,

etcetera, etcetera. It's a very, very complex proposition. Even for a 40 year old company like Autodesk to do, let alone an entrepreneur with limited resources. What are some of the pitfalls you're seeing? Yeah, for a startup, the most important thing is the connection. I think that's that's key in terms of, I mean manufacturing and all has become easier. But there is still a lot of pitfalls of not picking the right manufacturer for your product or missing deadlines because of the manufacturing of being able or b

2023-09-10 02:02

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