Redefining system and structural resilience with Impact Women’s Network

Member News published by Cofinitive, under Artificial Intelligence / Machine learning, Automation / Robotics, Innovation / Incubation

If the past year has taught us anything, it is how to use and find new levels of agility. The Impact Women’s Network 2021/22 programme is therefore focused on redefining this new-found agility as ‘inter-resilience’ – both in who we are and what we do as well as across technology and systems.

If the past year has taught us anything, it is how to use and find new levels of agility. The Impact Women’s Network 2021/22 programme is therefore focused on redefining this new-found agility as ‘inter-resilience’ – both in who we are and what we do as well as across technology and systems.

Each month, the sessions will be looking in detail at leadership, technology and business models through a range of impactful speakers and thoughtful debate.

Entrepreneur Faye Holland - who co-founded the network three years ago with University of Cambridge entrepreneurship director, Shima Barakat - said of the programme: “This year, the programme is reflecting the desire for all participants to connect, make a difference and expand their horizons on some key global, societal and technological topics. As impactful leaders, entrepreneurs and academics, we feel it is our responsibility to make sure that what is happening at a macro and micro level is understood and acted on accordingly.”

The 2021/22 programme will include the following topics:

Sustainable Impact:  The pandemic has highlighted the fragility of many of our systems and the strengths of others – but, most importantly, it has expedited the need for change. Every business needs to rethink operations, environmental impact, products and how they are being used, as well as consider ways to reduce their carbon and water footprint.

Virtual Interfaces:  The last year has seen accelerated ways of delivering service to customers who were not walking into stores, and they are now part of everyday life - from retail, leisure and entertainment, through to business. Adoption of digital forms using technology such as augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality will accelerate with the growth of the 5G network and expanding internet bandwidth - but what are the advantages/disadvantages?

Drug Development:  A global consortium approach has enabled the production of vaccines for COVID-19 in under a year compared to the typical 10-15 years in product development. So why are so many other illnesses and diseases not seeing this same level of collaboration between science, funding and businesses to reach a solution/cure? What are the ethical, societal and technological issues that need to be overcome in order for us to build on this positive scientific achievement and move forwards in all areas? And how do we ensure it is equitable across the globe?

Automation:  Most business leaders, off the back of the pandemic, have realised the need to progress to automation to future-proof their business. It has been a major trend in 2021. But what is the business and societal impact of technology delivering processes previously handled by people? What do these automated interfaces need to consider? And, perhaps most importantly, what happens to the displaced people who used to hold these roles?

Glocal:  In 2020, there were many reasons to start thinking locally over globally. Supply chains were disrupted, there were increasing tensions between the UA and China, and then there was Brexit. As international turmoil threatened to disrupt business, companies began to rethink where they were sourcing and selling their goods. What are the considerations for individuals and businesses need to ensure we are maximising the positivity that comes from being multi-culturally global whilst still supporting our locale?

Authenticity:  One could argue that we are long overdue a revisit to authenticity. How can we encourage a more authentic presence on social media, one that is less curated by social media experts? Find out how to provide a real but engaging behind-the-scenes look at your business, and how to work with industry-relevant influencers and micro-influencers to drive conversations with customers.

COP26 Climate Change:  The UK will be hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 1 – 12 November 2021. This will demonstrate the urgency and opportunities of the journey towards a zero-carbon economy, and the power of international cooperation to address the gravest challenges the world faces. What can we do within our own companies and daily lives to move the global economy to net zero?

Business Model Innovation:  The ability to innovate and make changes to your business model is what will potentially enable you and your business to be more resilient as we rebuild after COVID-19. This session will discuss the need for ongoing organisational agility. Business transformation is no longer just for larger organisations.

Data as an Asset:  There are currently an estimated 40 trillion gigabytes (40 zetabytes) of data in the world, and data volumes are increasing. Businesses need to learn how to leverage data to better understand their customers and improve decision-making. We also have a responsibility to protect data and use it appropriately, including how data is processed, analysed, stored, shared etc. But what does this mean for our personal data? And are we responsible for digital literacy?

Cryptocurrency:  What impact will cryptocurrency have in the future of buying goods and services, and how much is speculation vs the future? Impossible to counterfeit or double-spend, Bitcoin and Ether are the most recognised crypto and, according to some, will replace gold in the future. What do we need to know about it?  And what are the considerations for future transactions?

Shima said of the programme: “It is not our responsibility to provide the answers. We facilitate the discussion so our attendees can create their own impact at a personal, professional and collective level.  In our fourth year, with over 2,000 women part of the network locally and internationally, we are delighted to be bringing these discussions to the network.

“We are continuing as an online event for the foreseeable future, with open networking time at the end of each session. We are hoping that later this year we will be able to adopt a more hybrid approach.”

About Impact Women’s Network

Impact Women’s Network is a network of female professionals, academics and entrepreneurs from all sectors, who want to do things differently and make a significant impact on their industry, business, society and environment. Sharing experience and expertise, they are united in raising the public visibility of impactful women and instigating even greater change together.

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