We keep our ear to the ground for the interesting stats, insights and discussion points you need to feel in the know.

1. Are AI and Web3 the perfect match?

Canyoning team help eachother across a waterfall

Relatively little attention has been given to the combined impact of these technologies, despite them being extensively explored as individuals. Discussions at a recent EY event series – Innovation Realized in Focus – along with analysis from EY experts, revealed that when combined, these two technologies could address shortcomings in each other. Web3 could help AI address its trust deficit, by combatting misinformation through methods like digital watermarking. In return, AI as a copilot could help users navigate the sprawling complexity of the daunting Web3 ecosystem, by providing user-friendly interfaces and personalizing experiences. Together this powerful duo could also disrupt business models, through rethinking entire business functions. A prime candidate for reinvention is the supply chain. A reinvented supply chain of the future could be built on the blockchain for security, integrity and inventory control. It could also deploy AI to become predictive and dynamic in anticipating and responding to disruption. We think they make the perfect couple…

How the combination of AI and Web3 could reinvent business

2. The pursuit of sustainability

Three hikers climb up a snowy mountain against a backdrop of bright blue sky

A new EY survey has revealed that boards need to act decisively on sustainability now, to avoid a severely constrained future. Achieving a sustainable economy requires a fundamental rethink of our socioeconomic system, from how we generate and use energy, to how we travel through transport systems. There will undoubtedly be challenges for businesses, but there will also be significant opportunities. For example, if your business were to pursue ‘net zero’ as a sustainability priority, this could deliver a revenue upside (through new products and services), cut costs, as well as boost talent (increased engagement tends to lower turnover costs). According to Andrew Hobbs, EY EMEIA Public Policy Leader, the sustainability mission should not be left to a sole executive, like the chief sustainability officer (CSO). “Boards need to go on the offensive to embed sustainability into the business strategy, demanding an ambitious strategic vision from the CEO and senior management team,” says Andrew. Boards have the power to rewrite the story of sustainability. They just need to lead…

How can boards move sustainability from wishing to winning?

3. Get by with a little help from your friends

69% of businesses currently collaborate with other organizations as part of an ecosystem. In doing so, they gain access to new knowledge, skills and technologies from all kinds of suppliers. Seems like a no brainer, right? Well despite the clear benefits, there is a growing risk that ecosystem strategies are underprioritized: 61% believe that innovation through collaborative ecosystems is “nice to have” rather than mission critical, up from last year. There are also operational headaches to consider, with six in 10 businesses claiming that multi-sided partnerships are hard to execute. So how can businesses drive more meaningful interactions with their ecosystem partners? Take a braver attitude. Pursue suppliers who have different capabilities to you, clearly communicate your changing business goals and devote more leadership time and energy to them; in doing so you’ll help them to deliver better solutions. The grass is greener where you water it…

How can you realize the promise of transformational technologies?

4. Finding passion – and a problem to solve

Japanese woman helping her colleague at her computer

“I learned that when solving someone’s real-life problem, everything changes” says Veronica Orvalho, Founder and CEO of Didimo. For Veronica, it was during her tenure as a professor at universities in Spain and Portugal when she discovered her purpose. Whilst teaching, she researched the use of digital avatars to help improve communication with children with severe autism. This defining moment sparked a transformative journey. Today, her business focuses on humanizing character creation across the video gaming industry by developing more realistic digital human avatars. And it’s global. The company now operates in Europe and the Americas, and successfully closed its latest round of venture capital (VC) funding at the end of 2022. What’s the driving force behind all this? Passion. Around the world countless female entrepreneurs, like Veronica, are tackling the world’s biggest challenges. Infused with passion, a problem-solving mindset, adaptability, persistence, and the right team, female entrepreneurs truly are unstoppable. We explore some of their stories…

How women founders in tech forge their path to success

5. Game-changing potential

AI system developers analyzing code on a wall, looking for errors

2023 saw the ascent of Generative AI, with its mass adoption triggering a surge in awareness about the technology’s potential, most notably in the workplace. In fact, over a quarter of employees said they regularly used OpenAI ChatGPT at work according to an online Reuters-Ipsos poll, despite just 22% of these users having their employer’s approval. The conundrum here – restrict employees to approved GenAI tools and risk triggering workarounds. So where do businesses go from here? Whilst the technology has game-changing potential, it is critical to develop policies, standards, and procedures no matter how AI is accessed throughout an organization. Companies looking at GenAI investments must focus on the problems they’re trying to solve and the role data will play. In any case, emergent technologies with game-changing potential will always be intertwined with a bevy of legal and reputational risks. Businesses just need to find a balance.