The new face of responsible technology investment
A move towards responsible technology offers a new perspective for investors to consider when choosing companies to invest in. What has changed and how can investors benefit?
Technology is like air: Although it surrounds us and influences every aspect of our lives, we stop noticing it after a while. The fact that we take it for granted proves technology's enormous influence on reality. However, the effects of technology and tech companies on humans have become a hot topic for debate in the last couple of years.
Calls for more responsibility from the tech industry are increasingly prevalent. But what does responsibility look like? Is technology itself the problem, or is it up to the companies behind the technologies to change their business models? Investors who want to make sure that their money puts technology at the service of humans , rather than the other way round, are interested in finding out. A recent Credit Suisse event took a deep dive into the topic with a large audience of entrepreneurs keen to exchange their thoughts on responsibility in tech.
An entrepreneurial mindset is also a responsible mindset
More and more entrepreneurs are interested in discussing the idea of responsible technology, demonstrating a growing awareness of the implications their products and services may have on society. As Homan Milani, Head of West Coast Internet Investment Banking, Credit Suisse, puts it: "Folks in technology are becoming more holistic and more thoughtful about their approach to what their business does to society."
Of course, many advances in technology are positive for humanity. Many entrepreneurs are set on making a difference, by focusing on how they can harness technology to create a better, safer future. "[Tech developments] can lead to a better human existence: better use of our time, ability to make up for lack of resources, and shortages in commodities, food and energy," says Lydia Jett, Senior Director, Global Growth Equity of SoftBank.
Technology amplifies everything, good or bad
It's not just about tech products, though. Thinking about responsibility when it comes to investing can also lead to positive outcomes. "Becoming more conscious of the impact we're having overall and driving our investments not just to have a good financial return but to have a good return for society is increasingly important," says Sallie Krawcheck, CEO at Ellevest.
This is even more important when it comes to technology and investing in tech novelties: "Since technology is ubiquitous, everything you do in tech has an impact all around the world – everything you do in tech is amplified," argues Adi Herzberg, Credit Suisse Asset Management Co-Head, Impact Investing Advisory Council. With technology omnipresent, she believes that now is the time to plan the technology revolution responsibly, making sure technology will serve humans and not the other way round.