The Covid-19 pandemic is undoubtedly one of the biggest disruptions of our time. Asides the plethora of economic challenges it has birthed, it has brought to the fore many of the deficiencies that lie within existing business operations and governmental infrastructures across the world.
For businesses to succeed, experts that gathered at the recent FITC’s webinar, which was tagged ‘Leadership in an Agile and Digital Economy,’ proffered solution to ensure growth regardless of what life/COVID-19 tosses at them. With technology at the forefront of today’s disruptive business environment, the experts, who were selected across sectors of the economy, emphasised that business owners must seek out ways to not just optimize the technological tools at their disposal, but they must also be able to optimize all available resources so as to stay far ahead of the competition.
With the advent of Artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and the internet of things, Board Chairman, Afrinvest Securities, Fatumata Coker, tasked Nigerian business owners to adapt to the changing times in order to grow their businesses. According to her, some of the tools and what they do, make processes better for organisations that are determined to survive times like this.
She said, “As you examine: the top, the culture, the people and the processes of your organization, find where your organization is ready and what is missing and how you might fill the gap, so you are ready to either adapt or disrupt.”
Co-founder and GMD/ CEO Bluechip Technologies Limited, Kazeem Tewogbade, in his presentation tagged “Future Proofing the Organization for Digital Disruptions,” explained the term to mean the change that occurs when new digital technologies and business models affect the value proposition of existing goods and services.
According to him, some of the hallmarks of an agile organisation are the existence of an actionable strategy, the existence of clear and robust structures, efficient processes; people, fostered by the existence of a cohesive community as well as entrepreneurial drive, evolving technology architecture, and a system where learning is continuous.
He said, “The key thing for organizations will be to start seeing themselves as not so radical as even scholars say flatten things out completely…. I think it is important for business leaders and executives to start seeing the need to reorient their organizational structure such that it can actually support their quest to be able to adapt and innovate faster.”
On the need for entrepreneurs to think out of the box, Managing Director, Future Software Resources, Nkemdilim Begho, explained that the company must be willing to leverage technology & automation as a strategic enabler, leverage data and insights to unlock value.
“Businesses that want to survive this period must be flexible with the ability to rapidly adapt and steer itself in a new direction, minimize handovers and bureaucracy, empower people by building stronger, have a culture that motivates employees to innovate and governance that enable faster decision-making, partner with others in their ecosystem to gain new digital capabilities and involve customers in its design process,” she said.
Managing Director/CEO, FITC, Mrs Chizor Malize, explained that entrepreneurs must seek out ways to not just optimize the technological tools at their disposal, but they must also be able to optimize all available resources so as to stay far ahead of the competition. According to her, the seminar was organised to address the knowledge gap and to state how businesses can move from ‘surviving’ to ‘thriving’.
She said, “Leaders in an economy such as what we are facing now will need to be very agile and digitally driven to rebuild their operations and begin to reinvent new ways of work that will not only position their organization for the next normal but position them to thrive and win and also sustain this growth.”
For companies that adapt to the changing times, she noted improved efficiencies and productivity, better & faster decision-making, innovation and new expertise, healthy bottom line, improved customer experience, improved stakeholder engagement, and employees freed up to work on value-add activities.
About FITC: Established in 1981, FITC was created as a non-profit organisation limited by guarantee to provide capacity building and knowledge hub for the Nigerian Financial Services Sector. It’s Institutional Members are members of the Nigerian Banker’s Committee, comprises of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation and all licensed banks in Nigeria.
Elon Musk to offer $100 million prize for best carbon capture technology
Elon Musk has announced a donation of $100 million prize money for the best technology that can capture carbon dioxide.
Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk on Thursday took to Twitter to promise a $100 million prize for the development of the “best” carbon capture technology.
Elon Musk wrote in a tweet, “Am donating $100M towards a prize for best carbon capture technology,” details next week.
Carbon capture technology is designed to prevent the release of CO2 generated through conventional power generation and industrial production processes by injecting the CO2 into suitable underground storage reservoirs.
According to Reuters, “Capturing planet-warming emissions is becoming a critical part of many plans to keep climate change in check, but very little progress has been made on the technology to date, with efforts focused on cutting emissions rather than taking carbon out of the air.”
Since the tweet was shared, it has garnered thousands of responses from people because of the jaw-dropping cash prize. A lot of people have started sharing their carbon capture ideas.
The International Energy Agency said late last year that a sharp rise in the deployment of carbon capture technology was needed if countries are to meet net-zero emissions targets.
Newly-sworn-in U.S. President, Joe Biden has pledged to accelerate the development of carbon capture technology as part of his sweeping plan to tackle climate change. On Thursday, he named Jennifer Wilcox, an expert in carbon removal technologies, as the principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil energy at the U.S. Department of Energy.
Besides Tesla, Elon also heads rocket company SpaceX and Neuralink, a startup that is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect the human brain to computers.
Google threatens to remove its search engine from Australia due to media code
Google has threatened to remove its search engine from Australia due to the media code introduced by the government.
Google said that it will disable its search engine in Australia if the government proceeds with a media code that would force it and Facebook Inc to pay local media companies for sharing their content.
The code requires Google and Facebook to enter mandatory arbitration with media companies if they cannot reach an agreement over the value of their content within three months.
It also requires the platforms to give the news businesses 14 days’ notice of algorithm changes, and non-discrimination provisions have been put in place to stop the tech giants from taking retaliatory action such as removing content or punishing organisations that participate in the code.
Mel Silva, Google Australia and New Zealand VP told Australia’s Senate Economics Legislation Committee today that Google would shut off the search in Australia if the government’s proposed media bargaining code becomes law. According to her, “The code’s arbitration model with bias criteria presents an unmanageable financial and operational risk for Google”
Australia announced the legislation last month after an investigation found Alphabet Inc-owned Google and social media giant Facebook held too much market power in the media industry, a situation it said posed a potential threat to a well-functioning democracy.
Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison said Australia would not respond to the threats as news media companies fired back at suggestions their content did not add value to the platforms. “Australia makes our rules for things you can do in Australia. That’s done in our Parliament. It’s done by our government, and that’s how things work here in Australia,” he said. “People who want to work with that, in Australia, you’re very welcome. But we don’t respond to threats.”
What you should know
- Google’s threats follow similar remarks made by Facebook Australia’s managing director, Will Easton in September, who announced plans to remove news articles from the social media’s main app if the media code is passed by Parliament.
- To avoid the operation of the code, Google and Facebook have no option but to cease linking to news altogether. If Google can’t reliably separate news results from other search results, then logically it may have to pull its entire search service from Australia.
- Google’s threat to limit its services in Australia came just hours after the internet giant reached a content-payment deal with some French news publishers.
- This new media code will affect millions of Australians who use Google Search and Facebook every month.
Facebook Oversight Board to review decision to suspend Trump’s account
The decision to suspend Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts will be examined by an oversight board.
Facebook’s Oversight Board has received a proposal to revisit the decision to indefinitely suspend former US President, Donald Trump’s access to Facebook and Instagram.
On January 7, Facebook suspended Trump’s account indefinitely, a decision reached when he incited a violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol, leaving the country shaken.
Nick Clegg, Facebook VP of Global Affairs and Communications said that the circumstances around Trump’s suspension was an unprecedented set of events that called for unprecedented action and also explained why the Oversight Board would review the case.
“Our decision to suspend then-President Trump’s access was taken in extraordinary circumstances: A U.S. president actively fomenting a violent insurrection designed to thwart the peaceful transition of power; five people killed; legislators fleeing the seat of democracy,” Clegg said. “This has never happened before — and we hope it will never happen again.”
The oversight board was established last year to make the final call on some of the most difficult content decisions Facebook makes. It is an independent body and its decisions are binding — they can’t be overruled by CEO Mark Zuckerberg or anyone else at Facebook. The board itself is made up of experts and civic leaders from around the world with a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives.
According to the Oversight Board, a five-member panel will evaluate the case soon with a decision planned within 90 days. Members will decide whether the content involved in this case violated Facebook’s Community Standards and values. They will also consider whether Facebook’s removal of the content respected international human rights standards, including freedom of expression.
Trump’s case is a big moment for how impactful the board’s decisions will really wind up being. If the board overturns Facebook’s decision, that decision would likely kick up a new firestorm of interest around Trump’s Facebook account, even as the former president recedes from the public eye.
What you should know
- Following the violent attack of the US Capitol building by Trump supporters, Facebook announced the suspension of Trump’s account indefinitely, on allegations of inciting his supporters.
- YouTube also suspended Trump’s channel and removed new content uploaded by Trump’s campaign, citing potential threats of violence.
- Twitter announced it has permanently suspended Trump, citing the risk of further incitement of violence.
- Jack Dorsey, the CEO and founder of Twitter, in his statement, said that the decision to ban Trump from the social network was the right decision, but one that sets a dangerous precedent.