The green light at the end of the tunnel

Issue 1, 2021


The adjective “life-changing” has become something of a cliché in the popular media – you can win a life-changing sum of money in a competition, or you can experience a life-changing event, such as a serious illness. After such an event you have a strong sense that you can’t go back to how things were before. So you change jobs, buy a place in the sun or become a vegan. Whatever it is, the event somehow empowers you to take a risk, move out of your comfort zone and change the status quo.

The world is certainly going through a life-changing event right now, and although the trajectory towards recovery is still unclear, the world will not go back to how it was before. The pandemic has brought into stark focus our fragility, not just us as humans, but also the world we live in. However, if there is a positive to emerge from the earth’s own life-changing event, then it is a sense that the disruption has caused us all to reflect and take green transformation seriously – it is no longer just an inconvenient truth, but instead an essential, and also economically viable, way forward. Hence the theme for this edition of Prism, the “Green light at the end of the tunnel”.

Our first two articles focus on the “how” and the “what” of different aspects of the green future for business. In “The Green Gambit”, we look at how the availability of new investment vehicles and partner ecosystems has opened up new opportunities for industrial companies to pursue green transformation as they emerge from the pandemic. In “Green Energy”, we consider the new strategic opportunities for energy and utility companies, as well as corporates in other sectors looking to decarbonize their operations.

Our third article covers a related topic on which we have been providing regular in-depth insights for nearly a decade – the future of urban mobility. Here, also, there is a positive story to tell, as we all suddenly realize that the prospect of ever-increasing longdistance commuting and city-center traffic congestion is no longer inevitable. We look at what transport authorities and mobility operators need to do to grasp the unique opportunities arising from the pandemic to create sustainable, resilient and humancentric mobility systems in our cities.

We are all only too aware of how the crisis has accelerated our dependence on digital technology, whether to shop, work, or entertain ourselves in our isolation at home. Fortunately, the advent of 5G promises a step change in our entertainment experience as consumers. We provide a round-up of some of the new developments, and what this means in particular for telecoms companies that have the potential to carve out major new roles in the media space.

The role of governments in the business world has never been greater, and our final two articles zero in on how national policies can best enable two critical capabilities for our post-pandemic future: digitalization and artificial intelligence. As usual, funding alone is not enough – we look at the required capabilities for success.

Finally, and staying with our theme, we are delighted to bring you an exclusive interview with Timotheus Höttges, the CEO of Deutsche Telekom, one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies, present in over 50 countries across the world. Mr. Höttges provides some fascinating insights into how Deutsche Telekom has embraced sustainability within its global operations.

Stay safe and enjoy the issue!

Rick Eagar
Chief Editor, Prism

Arthur D.Little

Table of Contents

The Green Gambit – Investing for corporate strategic advantage in the post-COVID-19 world

The pandemic has transformed the environment for green investment, unlocking new opportunities as governments, corporates and investors all take a fresh look at their priorities. As this article explains, now is the time for companies to adopt a new focus on nurturing disruptive innovations, making bold strategic gambits that will drive green transformation.

Michael Kolk, Rodrigo P. Navarro, Jonas Fagerlund, Adnan Merhaba

Green energy – How to outsmart disruption and future-proof business models

With more robust global political climate ambitions, green growth is an increasing driver of greater value for energy and utility companies, as well as for corporates across all sectors. With 2020 a green watershed, the authors outline key opportunities that leaders need to seize to future-proof their businesses and increase shareholder value.

Florence Carlot, Kurt Baes, Robert Clover, Martijn Eikelenboom

The Future of Mobility postCOVID-19 – Turning a crisis into an opportunity

Deserted city roads and empty buses and trains were among the most striking images from pandemic lockdowns around the world. However, successful cities have a gift for adapting to radically changing circumstances – how can the crisis be used to drive more sustainable, resilient, humancentric mobility systems? Based on a major research study, this article focuses on six game changers for players in the mobility ecosystem.

François-Joseph Van Audenhove, Jérôme Pourbaix, Guillaume Rominger, Rick Eagar, Jérôme Carlier

On the threshold of a revolution – New opportunities for telcos in the converging media and telco ecosystem

5G promises to transform customer entertainment, enabling completely new, immersive, real-time experiences. How can companies harness 5G to meet changing consumer demands? The authors explain key trends and opportunities and, in particular, how telcos can use their 5G strengths to build leadership positions in next-generation entertainment, based on creating partnerships with innovators in their ecosystems.

Gabriel Mohr, Stefano Sanna

The Digital Nation – Lessons in building a successful digital economy

The pandemic has turbocharged digitalization across industries and countries, stress testing existing national strategies and bringing any gaps and shortcomings into sharp focus. Drawing on the example of digital leader Sweden, this article focuses on the wider lessons that every country can learn, and the capabilities required to build effective and successful digital nations moving forward.

Ellen Forsskahl, Martin Glaumann, Johan Treutiger, Agron Lasku

The global AI arms race - How nations can avoid being left behind

Artificial intelligence promises to have the same disruptive effect on today’s global economy as electricity in the 19th century. This has led governments to focus heavily on how they can unlock AI’s potential within their countries. Based on in-depth research, this article outlines the current winners and losers, exploring what it takes to win in the global AI arms race.

Trung Ghi, Abhishek Srivastava

CEO interview – Driving down emissions in the telecoms industry

We speak to Timotheus Höttges, CEO, Deutsche Telekom AG, about the significance of sustainability to the global telecoms company, and how it is progressing towards its key target of becoming climate neutral by 2050. He explains the importance of aligning the entire business, employees and stakeholders behind green goals, and why cooperation is crucial to success.