From the Editor

There is no clear end to this pandemic, and with each day new information emerges that subtly changes our perception of how the future is going to play out. What is clear is that things are not going to remain the same; the world is changed, and the challenge for businesses now is to discern new opportunities from dwindling markets, and capitalise most effectively.

But this change is not static – politics, social movements and technologies are all playing a role in its evolution, and the true impact of events happening now are unlikely to be fully realised for some time. In other words, predicting what is going to happen next is incredibly difficult, and businesses are faced with making decisions in a world with truly limited visibility.

In the latest issue of Verdict Magazine, we tap into some of the most important and impactful elements of this changing world, exploring what they mean for technology and how key businesses are responding to them.

One area that has caused considerable contention is the use of technology to support responses to Covid-19, with the use of immunity passports inciting immense concern from some quarters. We look at how the technology could be used to help safe reopenings, and why it is inciting such strong reactions.

“Predicting what is going to happen next is incredibly difficult, and businesses are faced with making decisions in a world with truly limited visibility.”

The topic of 5G has also drawn considerable attention, particularly due to the farcical conspiracy theories linking it to coronavirus. But given the increase in homeworking and thus a need for high-quality internet connections, has Covid prompted greater adoption of 5G? We find out.

For startups, meanwhile, the coronavirus has created entirely new challenges, producing rocky terrain for some but smooth ground for others. One area it is set to have a particular impact, however, is in startup funding, with changing priorities for investors in the wake of years of exuberance and mis-management for high-profile startups. We hear from a host of VCs and founders to find out what’s changed, and what it means for those raising and funding.

The death of George Floyd has also sparked dramatic change, with Black Lives Matter protests happening around the world. But where does tech fit in? We hear from WhatsApp’s Eshan Ponnadurai and Sylvain Labs’s Alain Sylvain about what businesses need to do.

Elsewhere, environmental priorities are beginning to re-enter the agenda, but can we really re-build with sustainability in mind? We hear from Google Sustainability Officer Kate Brandt to find out more.

Plus, we also get the perspective of a host of leading names in technology, including IBM CTO Fletcher Previn, Box CEO Aaron Levie and SoftBank Vision Fund managing partner Jeff Housenbold, to find out how they are charting a course through the chaotic seas of this changing world.

For all this, and much more, read on in the latest issue of Verdict Magazine.

Lucy Ingham