January 12, 2022
Since the dawn of history, change has always been the engine of progress. Even more so in these times, when the speed of technological innovation is rapidly changing every paradigm, not only in the way in which we do business but also in the way we live. The fourth issue of this magazine is entitled “Decrypting changes,” but it could easily have been entitled “Decrypting growth,” because the two concepts are extremely close and interdependent. It is no coincidence that the global debate on growth and economic recovery is monopolised by terms such as innovation, transformation, and transition.
This issue deals with the topic of growth and change, and their interpolations, in various ways: innovations in sectors considered as “traditional”, such as Food, Travel and Fashion; the rise of all those disruptive technologies defined as “Deep Tech”; the achievement of perpetual flight with solar-powered drones that can revolutionise the world of telecommunications; the way in which digitalisation can boost businesses; the creation of a human-centric Internet of Trust, which the European Commission is working on, supporting researchers and innovators involved in hundreds of projects.
The period we are facing is probably a historical phase, in which the acceleration of change will reach unprecedented levels. The pandemic has imparted additional speed to trends already underway, and those who thought they still had time to adapt to the changes taking place have discovered that, on the contrary, now is no longer the time to delay: those who stand still are to pay the consequences, dramatically. Digitisation has forced a rethink of all business models, the fight against climate change and the energy transition have become a need that can no longer be postponed, sustainability – particularly from an environmental, but also from a social point of view – requires extreme changes in the approach to consumption, the way of doing business, investments, relationships and commitments to communities.
Science, which has always been at the centre of the world’s evolution, “the fire that lights up” as recently defined by Giorgio Parisi, winner of the Nobel Prize for physics, has returned to centre stage, thanks to the rapid response to the challenges of the pandemic, the start of a new race to conquer space, and the flourishing of new discoveries that will not only result in further advances in human progress.
The profound revolutions taking place on various fronts do not always make it easy to imagine what the future will be like, to measure the extent of the transformation, but even this patina of uncertainty means that it is wiser to do more, not less, to tune in to the change and, where possible, even anticipate it. On this front, timing is essential.
Venture Capital, in this context, is the ideal guardian of this dynamism, because by its very nature it is at the centre of the innovation dynamics that are redesigning the future, pushing progress to unprecedented levels. However, the most important aspect is that, within the innovation ecosystem, Venture Capital does not only play the valuable role of observatory and “research office” of change, but is actually an enabler: the role of Venture Capital investors is precisely to discover in advance where the most disruptive innovations are about to take place, to find the most talented founders who are working on new ways to solve old and new challenges, and to give them the tools to change the future. It is a challenging task that comes with a fair amount of responsibility and the need to equip oneself with the skills to interpret trends and scour the boundless entrepreneurial world for the solutions that can really change things.
With the rise of Venture Capital in Italy, and the growing attention of institutions to this world, the ability to make a difference is ever greater.
In order to respond adequately to the challenges mentioned in these lines, Venture Capital will have to play its part, together with all the players in the innovation ecosystem: companies, regulators, institutions, investors. And it must do so with determination, farsightedness and timing, as change does not wait for the undecided.