We kicked-off TECH | The New Era back in September 2020 — coinciding with London Tech Week (LTW). But London Tech Week was supposed to…
We kicked-off TECH | The New Era back in September 2020 — coinciding with London Tech Week (LTW). But London Tech Week was supposed to have taken place in June. Even with the delay to September LTW was a “virtual” affair — such was the level of ‘spooked’ that the government had imbued in all of civil society. Unlike any virus that had come before, SARS-Cov-2 has continued to close everything we enjoy doing. And now that most Western governments have got themselves into the stagnation spiral, there appears to be no getting out. Although let’s not accept that.
I appreciate that my scepticism regarding Covid response is perhaps more extreme than most. In my professional life I’ve always tried to give my clients best advice. I just don’t believe that the lockdown and social-distancing-based advice from government is good for the health of the nation. In the scheme of things this virus doesn’t merit the sledgehammer that’s been used to tackle it. But, I appreciate, others may hold different views.
That said, there is a widely held appreciation that long-term lockdown is having a dreadful impact on the economy. Where I consider government response to be the cause, others may blame the virus. But, frankly, there’s only a semantic difference. The fact is, we need to get out of this unholy mess, and quickly. As Spring approaches we’ll probably see the end of the Winter respiratory disease season. And, hopefully, the easing of lockdown. But this will mean that we’ll need a new type of recovery i.e. one that feels more like gold rush than slow burn.
Some (and these are the type of people I like to be with) are suggesting that we’ll see a “roaring twenties” where lots of old normal things are consumed with bells on. That’ll mean more eating out, more international travel, more consumption of the experiential to make up for lost time. Cities will be different. Retail will be hybrid. Funding will be strange. And innovation will be frantic. New brands will be created. Behemoths that prospered during lockdown may well be punished as new normal morphs into all sorts of strange manifestations. The market will make “build back better” seem like a sad old adage from an irrelevant establishment.
On March 4, the day after the Chancellor’s budget in the UK, we’ll discuss the resumption of hardcore innovation. And we’ll have an all-star cast. From Gowling WLG we’ll have David Brennan, the law firm’s Global Tech Partner. We’ll also have perspectives from Roland Emmans, Head of Technology Sector at HSBC. From the funding side of things we’ll have Ben McClure, the venture capitalist, and to discuss new embryonic tech we’ll have funder and founder Russ Cohn of OCR Labs. And to discuss his experience of growing his business in the UK (post lockdown) we’ll have Cole Knuth of Pax8 — a Denver HQ’ed firm that opened its first European office just a few weeks before all hell was let loose.
There’ll be more. But, suffice to say, the conversations will be interesting, there may be a bit of controversy and difference of opinion. The ideas will be thought-provoking. We’ll be streaming from 12:30pm on March 4. Don’t miss it. Register here and we’ll send you the live stream link a few days before.