On June 6th, we had the privilege of listening to Al Gore speak at the NOAH CONFERENCE Berlin, which we as a firm have supported for many years.
As a two-term US Vice President, a Climate Change Fighter, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, Gore is now an investor in digital solutions that help to make the world a better place.
So what was so special about listening to Gore? It was more than his crystal clear analysis of the facts and the figures; it was his passion. He sees the world at risk and in danger, and he wasn’t just talking about the threat emerging from national political agendas.
Gore is focused on the bigger picture. He knows that climate change is destroying us and that world peace is at risk because we are not reaching out to each other, as nations and across different faiths. But Gore’s vision is even broader than that.
According to Gore, today’s global economic systems cannot accommodate purpose. Purpose is what motivates people, what drives them, what lets them reach out for more. To harness this powerful and positive force, the world needs to change fundamentally. He believes that new technologies and digital solutions can “drive this revolution” – his own words – and lead us into a sustainable world. He reached out to the audience, comprised of both start-ups and large corporations, and urged them all to be part of this revolution. His messages were very positively received and spurred many subsequent conversations we had.
It is fair to say that money is often a primary motivation for becoming a digital entrepreneur. If you find the right idea and the right way to do it, you can move the earth, as Archimedes would say, and become a billionaire. But it is not just about the money. There are hundreds of start-ups, especially in Berlin, that are redefining a sustainable approach with their digital business, be it in food, mobility, housing or health. In fact, the world is completely reinventing itself right now. In our view, it remains to be seen whether this revolution will lead to greater sustainability in the world, or will merely benefit a select group economically.
Given the recent surge in isolationist political movements, wars and religious conflicts across the globe, why was Gore’s message so well received at NOAH? Perhaps it was due to the lack of visionary leaders we have generally, leaders who are willing to speak up and share their positive narrative. We could use a lot more of them. Instead of letting ourselves be overwhelmed by negative news, we need to embrace the vision of a world driven by positive digital power dynamics, and we must believe that that world can be a far better place. Here’s to more “light bulb” moments and more Al Gores.