Taking to the stage at the inaugural Africa Green Economy Summit in Cape Town, Formula E's Change. Accelerated. Live was present with a lively and dynamic panel discussion diving into the topics of smart cities and net zero.
The keynote address was delivered by Dominic Wilhelm, representing United Cities and setting the scene for Formula E, focusing on the leadership exemplified by the series and how it is accelerating human progress.
In front of an assembled audience featuring industry players, government members, academia and innovators from across the African continent, the presentation opened with the question “In a race for the future, how fast is fast enough?”
Using progress toward achieving the United Nations 2030 Agenda as a foundational metric, it is estimated that the world is running 43 years behind schedule. This means that, in order to achieve the Agenda by 2030, progress will need to be accelerated by 615%. Wilhelm demonstrated that trust-based leadership creates this kind of step change. For example, high-trust nations outperform low-trust nations by up to 2150%, high-trust organisations outperform low-trust peers by 400% and high-trust teams outperform low-trust peers by more than 100%.
The keynote concluded by addressing a final question, “In a race for the future, what is the role of technology?”. The discussion decided that first, it is to serve humanity, and not the other way around. Second, the role of tech is to be deployed through a systemic lens, as "silver bullets" do not solve complex challenges like the energy transition. And finally, the role of technology is to be entrusted to trustworthy leaders.
Immediately following the keynote, there was a panel discussion featuring Giovanni Sgro, Head of Maserati Corse; Alberto Longo, Co-Founder and Chief Championship Officer of Formula E; and James Barclay, Team Principal of Jaguar TCS Racing.
The discussion explored Formula E as an enabler of Sustainable Development Goals, the electrification vision, and the future of the sport. The relationship between trust-based leadership and Formula E’s leadership style emerged, culminating in three key leadership takeaways by the panelists. Sgro emphasised authenticity, Longo described the role of passion and not hesitating in going against the tide, and Barclay spoke to the need for practical, and broadly applicable breakthroughs.
The panel concluded on the significance of these leadership qualities in the context of cities through Formula E. Covering only 2% of the world’s surface, cities are home to the majority of the world’s population, generate 55% of global GDP, are responsible for 75% consumption of all energy - and 80% of all carbon emissions. With all of the panel coming to the conclusion that 'to shape the future of a city, is to shape the future of humanity'.
This is where Formula E’s mission - to accelerate human progress through the power of electric racing – and the mission of United Cities intersect. United Cities works with leaders around the world to accelerate progress toward net zero cities and in so doing, achieve net zero prosperity.
As a part of the Hyderabad e-Mobility Week and Formula E race, the city hosted its first EV expo. Kicking off the week, eMotorshow featured the widest collection of EVs alongside the latest EV components, charging and energy storage infrastructure displayed by national and international car manufacturers, suppliers and start-ups.
During the expo, Formula E hosted a session on the topic of technological transfer between sport and mobility. The discussion was centred on the unique power of motorsport in driving innovation and contributing towards sustainable human progress. Envision Racing and Formula E speakers shared their views about the brand-new GEN3 car, sporting and technological regulations as well as their impact on the future of mobility electrification.
The next Change. Accelerated. Live. event will take place on the 23 March in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Sign up to be the first to hear about future Change. Accelerated. Live events.