We are living in a fundamentally uncertain world. War is raging in Europe and the Middle East, and Sino-US relations are in flux - to put it mildly. Our current geopolitical tensions not only affect energy supply and inflation, they have also erupted at a time when the need for global collaboration on climate and biodiversity, for example, is greater than ever.
We need to ask the important questions
Our global challenges will only be resolved if countries, industries, organisations and businesses around the world stand shoulder to shoulder. But why exactly is Danske Bank hosting a conversation on this agenda?
"Every day, we as a bank must ask the important questions that help both our customers and ourselves develop in an ever-changing world. But we also have to debate global challenges and learn from each other across industries and national borders if we are to develop as a society. We are not going to solve the world's problems one Tuesday in Copenhagen, but we can initiate a conversation on what the solutions of the future might look like. The world is changing and evolving, so we cannot just lie back and regurgitate the answers we already know," says CEO at Danske Bank, Carsten Egeriis.
Is capitalism over?
The conference posed six big and challenging questions on topics ranging from digital innovation and the green transition to the role of the banks, whether capitalism has reached the end of the road and if purpose will transcend profit in the most successful companies of tomorrow.
Keynote speakers were entrepreneur and former government minister Tommy Ahlers, who spoke on 'Innovate for good', and futurist Angela Oguntala, who talked about 'Returns & responsibility'.
To set the direction for the six topics, the bank invited 34 speakers with backgrounds ranging from professors and futurists to corporate and trade organisation leaders.
Three professional moderators guided participants through the discussions.
Image: Pernille Mehl, CEO at the Zoo
A need for partnerships
"I have several takeaways from today that are important. We live in a changing world, marked by climate crises and loss of biodiversity, where it could be interesting if companies were measured to a greater extent by purpose and positive impact by the outside world rather than profit. However, it requires a major 'mind shift', where 'profit through purpose' is another way of approaching the sustainable agenda", says Pernille Mehl, CEO at the Zoo and one of the attendees at the conference. She continues:
"And then there is a need for partnerships, because the challenges are too great for many companies to solve alone. So with shared goals and the desire to create something bigger, creativity and qualified solutions also come. We got that addressed today, which was necessary and inspired.
I also take home that we at the Zoo - which was born quite naturally with a strong purpose, which is precisely about nature and animal conservation, research and education and biodiversity - can play a huge role as a knowledge supplier and important partner in many different constellations of partnerships".
Sustain Tomorrow will continue in 2024 with conferences, labs and podcasts
Going forward, Sustain Tomorrow will be a conversation platform for debating the topics Danske Bank is keen to shed light on. All debates will be an invitation to discuss the most important issues of our time - the global challenges in an ever-changing world.
Future initiatives will include conferences, virtual formats, local physical labs, podcasts and more.
Activities will take place across the Nordic countries.