How global events affects us all – and why it’s different this time

Alasdair Ross, Countries Editor, The Economist, Alexander Norén, Tech Correspondent, SVT and Annika WInsth, Chief Economist, Nordea at Techarenan Summit 2022. Photos: Camilla Svensk/Tommy Fondelius.

Major world events have been replacing each other lately. The pandemic was followed by Russias war against Ukraine, higher inflation and the risk of global economical recession. According to experts, the situation is unique and everything combined makes it hard to anticipate what comes next and how people will react.

The state of the world and how it’s affecting everything from economics, politics and companies. That was the topic of focus in the panel discussion “A Global Outlook – Megatrends, Economics, Politics and Tech” at Techarenan Summit 2022.

In the panel sat Alasdair Ross, Countries Editor of The Economist, Alexander Norén, Tech Correspondent at the Swedish National Television, SVT, and the Chief Economist of Nordea, Annika Winsth, who were first to share her perspective of the current situation:

“It’s of course dramatic times. We still have the pandemic affecting Asia as China is closing down big cities, which will impact global trade. And then we have the war and the sanctions against Russia whom is a producer of a lot of things that we need”, Winsth said before concluding: “Lastly we have the Central Banks. How they are acting this year will have the most impact on growth, the labor market and the housing market.”

Annika Winsth, Chief Economist, Nordea. Photo: Camilla Svensk.

Alasdair Ross from The Economist pointed out that the younger generation of today haven’t experienced anything like this before, and how they react to the new situation will be decisive in what direction the world will head.

“We can look at this in macroeconomics terms and say. Yes, there are various factors that are shifting the price outlook and the monetary policy outlook. But I think we’re in som uncharted territory, because there are things going on that people haven’t experienced for a long time, such as inflation, war and the pandemic”, Ross said and continued:

“That sense of uncertainty is what’s characterizing the moment we’re in. There’s a multitude of things going on in the world, each of which interacts with the other, and all of which are difficult to predict. So I think, how we all respond and how we manage the volatility is going to determine how the world looks in two or three years of time.”

How startups and the tech sector should think

Either way, the experts now predicts darker and harder times for most parts of the global economy. Even for the Tech Sector that saw a major boom during the pandemic.

“The Tech sector emerged as a winner then. I’m not sure that you’ll have that boost effect now.” the Tech Correspondent Alexander Norén said during the panel discussion and shifted focus to what’s happening in Ukraine and how the use of new technology highlights the sectors role in politics.

“From a tech perspective the most interesting with the war in Ukraine is to look at pros and cons with using new technologies. For example, the Ukraine government has developed an app on which the citizens can retrieve lost documentation and ID. How vulnerable is our society due to having all of this online? Or could it on the other hand be more resilient? I think that’s what we probably will learn from this war, Nor´en said.

Alexander Norén, Tech Correspondent, SVT. Photo: Camilla Svensk.

But how should the startup community act to manage the new, harder situation? Annika Winsth shared some insights:

“It’s important to prepare for higher interest rates and the risk of a downturn. Nobody really knows how deep it might be. The best is behind us and now it’s wise to be humble on what’s ahead.”

Alasdair Ross also had some tips on the subject:

“If you’re a startup right now, you need to be thinking about your salary structure, the cost of finance, but also how you keep your employees engaged and happy and loyal to your mission. Money may not be as easy an answer as it might have been a few years back.”

Alasdair Ross, Countries Editor, The Economist. Photo: Camilla Svensk.
Johannes Lundberg
johannes@techarenan.com

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