S02E28: Tyto Tech 500, the influencer POV on European tech

In this special episode of Without Borders in collaboration with the csuite podcast we talk about influence and technology trends in Europe with a panel of experts including three key European influencers identified in our Tyto Tech 500 Power List: Sophie Proust (CTO of Atos), Dr. Andreas K. Maier (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg), and Jonathan Symcox (Editor of BusinessCloud).   

What does it take to have influence in today’s world? What trends will continue to shape the European tech landscape? What can we conclude about the representation of women in tech from this report? These and other questions are answered in this episode in which we look at the point of view from these three highly influential individuals featured in the Tyto Tech 500, our annual report on the tech sector, from our 3 focus countries: the UK, Germany and France.   

Sophie Proust, our France business leader representative, has been the Chief Technology Officer of Atos since early 2019. Dr. Andreas Maier, our academic representative from the German Influencer list, is a researcher, professor and Head of the Pattern Recognition lab at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Jonathan Symcox is a journalist and our UK list representative. As an editor, he leads tech publications BusinessCloud and TechBlast UK.  Sophie, Andreas and Jonathan are joined by our own Zoë Clark, Head of Media and Influence at Tyto. 

As well as presenting their point of view with these relevant questions, our selected country experts share how COVID has changed their outlook on tech or has impacted their work, from a business, journalist or academic perspective. Sophie, Andreas and Jonathan also share their predictions on future technology that will change the tech landscape in France, Germany and the UK respectively.   

The interview was hosted by Graham Barreth of the csuite podcast.

Interested in the 2021 edition of the Tech 500? Here you can see the top 50 influencers in each country and download the full report: https://tytopr.com/tyto-tech-500-power-list-2021/


Graham: [00:00:00] Thanks for downloading the latest episode of the csuite podcast that were producing and in partnership with the European PR agency Tyto. This show is all about the Tyto Tech 500 Power List, a publication that identifies the most influential figures in technology in the UK, France and Germany. My name is Graham Barrett, and I am thrilled to say we are going to hear from three of the influencers on this year’s list. They are Sophie Proust, Chief Technology officer at ATOS, Andreas Maier, Professor, Friedrich-Alexander University, Erlangen-Nuremberg, and Jonathan Symcox, Editor at TechBlast and BusinessCloud. Welcome to you all. But before we hear their stories, let me introduce Zoe Clark, Senior Partner and Head of Media Influence at Tyto, who can give us some background to this report. The Tyto Tech 500 Power List is now in its 5th edition. How has it developed over the years and what is the rationale, the thinking behind it? 

Zoë: [00:00:57] Yeah, when we first set up this ranking back in 2017, as you say, really, we set it up with a clear aim rationale in mind of looking to identify who are the most influential people in tech at any given moment, and also just more generally to kind of shine a light on this whole idea of influence as a whole, dig into it a little bit and look at how is that created? What does it mean to be influential? So, yeah, fifth year, as you say for the UK, list now, and we’ve systematically added countries over the years, Germany, I think this is the third year we’ve done it and in France as well in our second year now. So, this year, I suppose you could say it’s definitely the most comprehensive list we’ve had so far. Looking at Europe’s three biggest geographies, and I think over time you’ll see probably when we dig into the findings a bit more, that it really does change over time. And I think what’s interesting is it gives you a snapshot, not just of who are the influencers, but what does it mean to be influential at that particular moment or in that particular year.   

Graham: [00:02:02] Could you just give us a brief overview of some of the findings of this year’s report? 

Zoë: [00:02:05] So I’m not going to dig into the chapter and verse on every single data point and detail. So, I should actually just say for any listeners that do want to have a have a proper deep dive into it, you can do that in two ways. I think on Tyto’s YouTube channel and also, we did a special edition of the launch podcast of our Tyto Without Borders podcast series, so you can definitely get the detail there. But three key findings important to note for this year. The first one is really all around the real boom we’ve seen in the number of influencers coming from the green tech sector. And that’s across all countries UK, France, and Germany. And I’m talking about, I think in the UK it was 160% rise this year. So massive difference. Similar in Germany, I think it was about 47% rise there and in France as well. I think we had two green tech influences in 2020 and I think it was 32% or 42% this year. So really, really significant change in this year’s report. Second key theme is all around the rise of health tech and biotech influencers. You’ll see notable names like Ozlem Tureci and Ugur Sahin, who are actually the founders of BioNTech who’ve been so influential in rolling out the Covid vaccine over the last year. People like that, and I think 69% overall rise in biotech influencers this year and a 35% rise in health tech as well. So that’s definitely a second key trend. And then finally, which is interesting as we dig into our conversation with the guests we’ve got here today, really interesting to see this year how much more prominent academics and politicians and governmental people have become in the top echelons of this year’s ranking compared to in years gone by. 8 out of 10 influencers in the list are still business leaders and journalists, and that’s been a common theme throughout all the years we’ve done this. But actually, this year, as you get into the top 100 or even the top 25, you really start seeing this year that the number of academic or governmental influencers has really gone up. So just briefly, I suppose, what does this tell us? Well, a couple of thoughts from me is just that I think it’s plain to see how pivotal tech is at the moment in solving some of the world’s biggest challenges. And secondly, as well, obviously, as I said, when we do this report year on year, you can really see how it reflects the world we’re living in. And this year is it’s plain to see, the rise of health, tech, biotech, etc. just reflects, of course, the last year or two that we’ve all been through, so, a bit of a snapshot for you.  

Graham: [00:04:38] Well, thanks, Zoe. Let’s introduce one of our panel today, Sophie Proust. Sophie as a CTO of a large technology company, you’ve been selected as one of the top women in tech to watch. Why do you think you’re on this list?  

Sophie: [00:04:51] Well, as you said, I’m CTO of ATOS I’ve been there now for three years, ATOS is a large service provider. We support our customers in their digital transformation journey. And maybe before answering your question, I could tell you what’s my day-to-day job. I am in charge of, let’s say, three main things. First thing is setting the technology vision for ATOS with our R&D investments, we want to invest where we will have the most impact to transform our customers through their digital journey. We want to also boost innovation. So, with the thought leadership activities, inspiring our customers to get the best use of the technology. And the third thing is really to foster our technical communities. We have an expert scientific community as well as the CTO community, so we are preparing the skills for the future technologies upcoming. So actually, I’ve been now for more than 30 years, in the tech I led R&D teams. And of course, this is a great asset for me, helping me in my day-to-day job, managing the teams in a wide scale company such as ATOS. And I think as so Zoe mentioned, the pivotal aspect of the tech, what I could say is that technology really progresses on one hand continuously with natural evolutions, more performance, more usability for users, more data insight and sometimes with some disruption breakthroughs that change paradigm. Cloud was one because moving application to cloud really changed with things. And also, with the upcoming, let’s say, quantum computing. So, as a CTO, I must be, of course, attentive. I listen, I look at the trends that will transform our lives, and it’s really thrilling. So why have I been selected? Well, first of all, it was a big surprise, of course, a big honour, too, because if I look at the French list, having been in the list where the number one is, Thomas Pesquet is quite impressive. So, maybe some of the thoughts that Zoe gave us, green tech, health in ATOS, we are all engaged into this. And so maybe it’s also an AI algorithm, who helped you in social media to see. At least I hope that it will inspire, as you say, other humans to come in the tech area. 

Graham: [00:07:24] A number of things have contributed to you being on the list, it’s not just one thing your influence is obviously spread around a number of things. So, Andreas, maybe I could come to you now. As Zoe mentioned, the number of influencers from the academic sector has risen by over 70%, due to the pandemic and other factors. What influence do you think you have in your field?  

Andreas: [00:07:45] Well, I consider me just as an academic, so this whole influencer status is very surprising for me as well. I can tell you, with the start of the pandemic, we started moving many of our things to social media. We started recording lectures, putting them on YouTube and of course, many of our scientific results, we tried to share with our colleagues using tools like Twitter or LinkedIn. And apparently there is an audience, and the audience is growing. We cannot meet on conferences anymore, as we used to. That was the prime occasion when we would meet each other and share ideas, and now we share them with the world. Everybody can participate. And I think that’s a very good development. And also, with the increase of open science and open access publishing, people can also download articles and follow the research much better. So, I think that’s a very good development, and I’m not surprised to hear that many academics are going into this direction. It’s very important that, of course, that we can discuss our ideas and develop them further. 

Graham: [00:08:52] Jonathan, journalists become even more important in this pandemic era that we’re living through when fake news seems to spread faster than ever. Are you conscious of this in your various publications and has that changed your approach at all? 

Jonathan: [00:09:05] Well, the publications in the U.K., which are probably more headline publications, so you have like City A.M in London, you’ve got the national newspapers. So, you look on the list, you see Alex Hern from The Guardian, Simon Duke from the Times. So, they’re influential in a certain way. Where we come in is we look at a niche of start-up companies, scale companies and established companies that are in the tech sector. So, it’s how are the technologies changing, how we do business, how we live our lives and what we do is we try and shine a light on those companies of all sizes. And we say, if you look at this sector, here are some incredible people. We’ve had people lists in the past as well on our publications where we look at, female role models in technology, which obviously has a real impact in terms of people getting engaged on social media, people visiting our website and understanding who the people are that are trying to change the world. I’ve had a story today, which has come from the government, it’s not our original research, saying that 40% of FTSE 100 boardroom positions are now filled by women, which is up from 12.5%, 10 years ago. So, you can see the kind of way things are moving over time. And what we try and do is we try and reflect movements in business, movements and technology through the people that are in the sector and the companies that they’re building. 

Graham: [00:10:23] Zoe, let’s come back to you. Is social media one of the things you examine when compiling this list? Does that go a long way to defining influence in today’s world? 

Zoë: [00:10:32] Yes, I think it is, but I think it’s only part of it. So, I think obviously this is what today and this conversation is all about, right? What do we mean by this concept of influence? What does that actually involve? And I think what Jonathan was saying, there was really interesting as well in terms of different groupings and different types of people being influential in different ways and depending on their role. Some people might say, Yeah, absolutely it’s all about your social following or its social ranking or whatever. But no, I definitely don’t think it’s all about that. At Tyto, as a PR agency, we think about influence as a much more well-rounded or multifaceted concept, if you will. I actually like to think about influences, and I think all of our guests here today are a brilliant example of this, of being people who have the power to persuade an audience about something, whatever it might be. What I mean by that, I suppose, is that people on this list and our three brilliant guests today, they have the ear of an audience of listeners. And is that just because they have a big social following? No, I don’t think so at all. I think one of the things that’s come through on this year’s ranking is actually the importance of relevance in influence. So, it’s really clear that the people on this year’s list are in part influential because they’re relevant and topical, that’s part of it. But yeah, it’s much more than just a social following. So, our methodology, for example, actually incorporates, yes, social rank, but also an individual’s overall online brand piece the ranking of their overall organisation that they work for, for example, the domain authority or how often they’re searched for on Google trends even and also the amount they appear in earned media as well. So, it’s a really well-rounded look at things.  

Graham: [00:12:17] Sophie just come back to you, Jonathan was talking about that FTSE breakdown of women in high profile roles. You have a high-profile role in tech, as we spoke about before. What more, though, needs to be done to allow women to be heard in tech?  

Sophie: [00:12:31] Well, more than maybe to be heard, I’d like to say the first thing it’s that we need to have more women in tech first, then to be heard and maybe the thing is that girls need to understand what it means to work in tech, writing algorithm of machine learning. We’ve talked about it, applying mathematics to a given problem, like in fraud, in finance or analysing behaviour in a Fanzone to see if there is problems coming along or targeted marketing. All this implies to understand the business of the customer, and I think this is really appealing for women. But, you can also design servers, you can do some electronic board design, you can do some mechanic server design. You can also design the user experience, how humans interact with the systems. And there’s many roles in tech – architect testers, developers implementing and doing some prototypes. So, you can clearly quickly see the impact. And I think we’ve talked about it also; we are really living in crucial times where we see all those technologies that have a real social impact in our lives and the lives of our children. We saw how Covid, for example, was absolutely key there in the need, for example, for decarbonization. So, I think on the one hand, the girls, the women need to be interested in science, technology and they need to understand that this is an area where they can succeed and have fun. I mean, for boys, it’s more natural, those complex tech stuff, they are interested in it. But I think really, now technology evolves, we see it in our mobile apps. It’s more context aware, more immersive experience that girls can understand and that it can be appealing for them. So once they understand this is something for them, then we need to promote them and encourage them, as you say, to have more leadership position. And this is for men and women in the workplace, to help them, and I think also we need to understand that leadership does not have to be this immutable stereotype model invented by men. But there is a place in the business world for more collaboration, more listening, more empathy, and more sustainable way also to drive economic success. So I think all in all, this could help having more women in the workplace. 

Jonathan: [00:15:01] Let me just cover the research that came out this morning to say that actually, there aren’t as many women in CEO roles as we would like. So it’s important to understand that there’s a lot more to be done. But I interviewed a company called BankiFi recently. There’s a lady called Marica, so she is based in Belgium, but the company’s based in Manchester. And some of the stuff she’s seen in 20 years of fintech, and I’ve heard these stories many times, I could tell you many other examples, but for example, Marica went to a conference and she was talking to these two people, she’s a leader in what she does in financial technology and payments technology. And one guy turns to another guy and said ‘she was more intelligent than she looks’. These are the kind of things that people have to deal with. These are the stories that we try and publicise in Business Cloud. It’s not all about negativity. It’s not about that at all. It’s about shining a light on it. Some of the stories that you hear from investors when companies are trying to pitch to investors some of the questions that come back, they range from downright inappropriate to they’re said through a lens which doesn’t lend itself to equality.  

Andreas: [00:15:58] I think that the targeted marketing is also something which is very, very important. I can tell you we’re running a computer science department. We’re running several study programs, computer science, 90% male, 10% female. And then we’re running a study program that we call medical engineering. And you can study it in a flavour that is essentially computer science. And from day one bachelor to the last day of the master, 50% male, 50% female, and they are learning very, very similar things. So, I think if you frame it right, if you make it accessible, if you create the right learning experience, you can actually do it and make it much, much more interesting also for female participants, and I can tell you, unfortunately, we don’t keep that level in the PhD, but in our lab we do like 70% medical engineering, AI and medical and so on. And we still get like 30% of our PhD students that are female, but it’s hard to keep up with that, and we’re trying to think of new things. But I must completely say we need role models. We need people who show how it can be done, how to be successful in tech as a woman. 

Graham: [00:17:11] Zoe, some really interesting points there that the guys have made. What are your thoughts here about if you bring this back to influence what more needs to be done so that women are seen as more influential in the tech space? 

Zoë: [00:17:23] It is such a tricky one, isn’t it? I mean, I can’t disagree with anything these guys have said right there. I’m a mum of a two-year-old girl as well. So, it really just resonates on that level entirely. In terms of the influence piece, I totally agree with Sophie that, yeah, first, we have to tackle the issue of the women in tech, first of all, and then the influence hopefully will come. It’s self-building, isn’t it? It will change over time. But as Andreas said, it’d be great to have a few more people who can really be seen out there as those to follow or emulate. I guess what more can be done, I was thinking about this before, and I think that really, it’s about working with the individual. So, as I’ve said, we do see influence as a well-rounded thing. And yes, there are lots of different facets to it. But I think also within organisations, we just have to recognise that everyone actually does things in a different way. Man, woman, whether you’re an introvert and extrovert, even, you like to operate in different ways. And I think it’s about bosses and more senior people within an organization supporting their teams, their women, their team members as individuals and encouraging them in a way that works for them. Because what one person might feel comfortable with is not something that another person would feel naturally keen to do, i.e., go out there and speak at a conference in front of 100 people or shout about everything on social media. It’s about, I think, identifying where the individual’s strengths are and then nurturing that. And it might be that it’s talking to small groups to start with. It might be that it’s just one step in front of the other, really, I think. 

Graham: [00:19:00] Jonathan, if we just move this on slightly just to talk about journalism, especially in the era that we find ourselves in this kind of Covid era, fake news seems to spread very quickly. Are you conscious of that in your publications and do you see a need to correct the record and make sure everything is as accurate as it can be? 

Jonathan: [00:19:17] Yeah, I think journalism has never been more important. The last few years have shown us that. In the bigger picture, if you look at Twitter and the trending topics on the right-hand side as I see it on my laptop anyway, it’s quite encouraging to see more fact verification in there. So, I think we’ve always had a clear focus on speaking with founders like I said before and other parties in technology and business and getting under the skin of that business. Where did the idea come from for the business? Why is the technology necessary? How are you going about building a sustainable business around it? Those questions haven’t really changed. Maybe the lens that you ask them through has changed a little bit because we’re all a little bit more aware of these issues and the wider world. But we always have that, if you talk to a founder, they’re always going to say, ‘Yeah, I’ve got this technology. It’s going to change the world’. ‘Yeah, I’m going to become a billion-dollar company. I’m a unicorn.’ So, it’s our job to put the perspective on that to say, this is where we see the business, it’s impressive, this is this problem they’re trying to solve, and this is the problems they may face. So that’s not really changed. 

Graham: [00:20:19] Sophie, I’d love to come back to you now. The pandemic has dominated our lives, hasn’t it, over the last couple of years. What are your thoughts on the way that technology has responded to the problems that we’ve encountered?  

Sophie: [00:20:30] Yeah, I think, the pandemic has really been a huge accelerator regarding technology because we had to adapt so rapidly to the new ways of living, working, communicating. And of course, it was really tough, this sanitary crisis. But I think it really revealed how dependent we are on digital technology and also how it helped us. We’ve seen, for example, the test and trace applications, the ability to do home working and schooling, of course, the increase of online shopping and banking and all the video calls we’ve been doing. So, it’s also showed us major lags, for example, in cybersecurity and also some inability of some businesses to scale because they had to meet rapidly to the changing demands. So, in my opinion, it revealed actually three main points. The first of the real need to master technology and how digital technology really underpins many of our business continuity. The pandemic has really clearly accelerated the pace of the digital world in many businesses and organisations. The second point is the power of data and the data ecosystem. We’ve seen it with Covid 19, vaccine creation, where we have been exchanging data to increase and put those vaccines in place more quickly. So really, the notion of we need to share the data and build the ecosystems now is, I think, a real trend. And maybe the third point is the pandemic has placed health, but also social environmental considerations very much in the spotlight. And we need to continue working in trust and addressing, of course, the cybersecurity challenges in sustainable solutions. So yeah, it changed because we worked with our customers on all those aspects and we continue to push, for example, the move to cloud to address those issues and give solutions. 

Graham: [00:22:30] Yeah, absolutely. I don’t know if anybody else wants to come in there about how technology has shaped our lives and changed our lives, Andreas, have you got any thoughts on this? 

Andreas: [00:22:38] I’ve been not in a lecture hall for almost two years now since the beginning of the pandemic. We teach everything online, we do recording, produce videos and then work in virtual classroom of question and answer sessions very interestingly, that for some lectures, now, with this boom in machine learning, we have so many students that I think it gives us additional capacity to be actually able to teach all those new students and also not just in the lecture, but also for the programming, exercises and so on. You’re in front of the PC anyway. So, it’s very easy to connect with Zoom or teams and then get a tutor and he helps you on your PC with programming exercises. And this is all asynchronous. And we used to have peak hours where the computer rooms were full, and you wouldn’t get a spot or you would have to wait for a tutor very long and now we just post the message. And the tutor is also sitting there doing his asynchronous reading or teaching or learning and then just comes in and helps you. So, I think that isn’t too bad. But of course, all the social things that you do at the university, you don’t want to miss that. And I’m very sad that many of our new students, they haven’t experienced that a lot in the last two years, so there’s also a big push of going back to the lecture and I can absolutely understand that. 

Graham: [00:23:56] And how do you view the tech space in general in Germany? What does the future hold for you and your work? What other technological advancements are coming, do you think?  

Andreas: [00:24:07] Well, of course, the whole machine learning element is going to progress further, and we have quite a bit of trust issues with machine learning, so we need to build more dependable systems. Also, ethical AI is a big thing. And further ahead, of course, we already mentioned quantum computing. There’s the quantum machine learning community that’s currently growing. So, these are all big trends that will probably happen. And then again, what I also think will become very important are things like the Metaverse and the digital twin, how you bring the world together, in particular now in a pandemic where things are suddenly lighting up a bit and then you can go back to work. But of course, you don’t want to miss all the digital progress that you made over the last couple of years. So how to bring that together? So, I think this will be key technologies in the near future. 

Graham: [00:24:58] Jonathan, you have your finger on the pulse of tech in the UK. What do you anticipate happening this year and beyond in technology? 

Jonathan: [00:25:05] Metaverse is definitely something that’s been spoken about a lot. I think my one thing with the Metaverse is it’s not owned by Facebook. It has to be a practical reason for the technology. Digital twins, as Andreas said is a perfect example of there’s a reason for it. You can plan transport links in a city, looking at how you build that city, for example. I think building a virtual world for people to interact in itself isn’t something that would necessarily appeal. I think with all immersive technologies, there needs to be a real reason to use it, so it would be interesting to see how that develops. Just mirroring really what Sophie said, health care as well, education technology, these things, we see the acceleration in these technologies. We do these innovation rankings on business cloud called Tech50, and we them put across 14 different sectors. Recently we published our head tech 50, which was all about education technology companies that are using technology to help people, whether it’s students, schoolchildren, or workplace development, learning remotely and different ways of applying learning, using technology. Now that would have been was probably what, five years ahead of where it would have been if hadn’t been a pandemic. So, we see that in every ranking that we do. We see the uptake because we vet the companies and look at them and see where they’re going. We see the uptake in how these technologies are coming along. We see the new companies that have been created. So, I think there’s just going to be an increase in businesses across all sectors experimenting with new technologies. AI has not been around that long. We talk about it like it’s been around for 20 years. But AI, in a practical sense, is only a few years old, really. So obviously, as Andreas said, that will that will come more and more into things as well. 

Zoë: [00:26:41] That totally resonates with what we’ve seen in the report. Actually, each year, we as well as looking at the key sectors that have been around for a long time, the likes of fintech or consumer tech or what it might be, we always also keep a bit of a watching eye on emerging sectors and three from this year that we’re keeping an eye on based on just things beginning to bubble and the number of influences beginning to grow are the quantum tech space, but also space tech. Interestingly, and also going back to what you saying about different vertical sectors, logistics and manufacturing, which we haven’t mentioned and you might think it’s not a wowee buzz kind of area for tech, but in terms of different vertical sectors using tech to be really transformational. Actually, logistics and manufacturing is really, really one to watch I’d say. 

Jonathan: [00:27:30] Yeah, I interviewed a business last week called DeGould, it captures hundreds of images of a car or a vehicle of some kind, and it can identify by using artificial intelligence on the cloud, so it’s instantaneous, any dents, any scratches,  So rather than someone going around the car with a clipboard when it’s raining, trying to figure out whether someone’s dented the car when they’re returning it actually says that these are the areas you need to look at and that’s at the end of manufacturing plants now. It gets to the end of the production line and it can say, ‘Oh, you’ve put the wrong colour grille on that car or you’ve not put the turbo on the back’ or whatever it may be, rather than being rectified for more money down the line and the customer being irate and annoyed and the car having to go somewhere to be fixed, it gets fixed on the site. So that’s one practical example of a start-up, which has seen massive adoption in the last two years.  

Zoë: [00:28:39] And going back to what we were talking about a few minutes ago about women in tech and making sure that tech’s really inclusive and open to everybody and getting people in it from the grassroots. I think the fact that we’re all identifying these use cases are examples of where tech is being used in every different sector of society, every different type of business. It’s just so embedded, isn’t it? With everything today that hopefully over time, the picture will change, it’s just part of the fabric of life. 

Graham: [00:28:48] Yeah, I think you’re right Zoe. If think of every aspect of our lives and they’re all being influenced and impacted by this wave of technology. Sophie, let’s come back to you. How do you view the current tech landscape in France and where’s that heading in the years to come? 

Sophie: [00:29:04] I fully agree with the trends, Jonathan, Andreas and Zoe gave. I could compliment and maybe I’ll talk not only in France and Europe. I mean, as a whole, I think we see a rising need, for example, for sovereignty, I mean gaining control over your data. Where are they located? Who can access them? Do we master the technology that processes them? Who operates them? Is there any jurisdiction that will prevent my business from going on? So, I think this is a really very important trend. The other one, I’ve already talked about the ecosystem, talking about digital twin, it’s a little bit linked to it because you want to share data, so you want to have data from the real world and be able to deliver seamless services to the customers. There’s, of course, a big need for cybersecurity. We said it and the threat landscape is extending. So, we need to protect ourselves. Of course, the shift to cloud a little bit like AI, we’ve been talking a lot about it for many years, but how many real implementations and the use of the real native cloud technology is used in the modern applications. So, this will continue. And of course, I think that it’s nice to see in France and in Europe renewing interest in developing that approach to foster innovation and work collectively and have leadership on sovereign aspects, for example. 

Graham: [00:30:34] Jonathan, I don’t know if you want to come in there at all and give a UK, perspective on those issues. 

Jonathan: [00:30:38] I think the sovereignty thing is really important. I think, privacy in general has been in the new cycle for a couple of years now and every app, one of the first questions that you ask is how are you guarding the privacy of your users? And GDPR obviously had a massive impact on that as well. And I think as a general thing, though for me, it’s also the spread away from cities. So, we shine a light on the companies around the UK. If you look on from the outside, you think London is the epicentre of technology. And yes, it’s a financial powerhouse. And there are thousands of technology companies there, but a lot of the innovations are springing up around the U.K. now. There’s a move to hybrid working people don’t need to go in the office. People don’t necessarily want to go into the office, certainly not five days a week. So, having spoken to someone at a think-tank recently about how they see the property sector evolving, they think there’ll be a bit of a flattening of the cities. So, more co-working spaces on the outskirts of cities, in the suburbs, in small towns, for example, we have an office in Manchester, but actually we work in service offices in different parts of the country wherever we’re close to where we are, it gives you that work life balance. We go into an office for a specific reason or to meet someone or to interview somebody. This morning, for example, we don’t need to be in the office to do this podcast. Actually, it may hinder the podcast because there’s loads of people running around, it’s a lot better to do it from home, right? So, I think you’ll see more and more people looking for that convenience and also that helps you retain the staff as well. If you enable people to be able to pick their kids up from school or whatever it may be in their life, that’s going on. So, I think that innovation will continue to spread to all corners of the UK, and I don’t know if the picture is the same in France and Germany, but. 

Graham: [00:32:18] Yeah, absolutely. Listen, there are so many threads we could pick up on here, and we could keep talking, maybe Zoe just to try and round this discussion off, I could come back to you, we said at the start the Tyto Tech 500 power list is in its 5th edition now, let’s look ahead to the next edition. How do you see things changing there? Are we going to see similar patterns to this year’s? 

Zoë: [00:32:39] Who knows? Yeah, I think that we’ll see some commonalities. I think we’ll see trends emerge over time. And I think some of the emerging sectors we’ve been talking about in the last few minutes will certainly come through as well. Like I mentioned, quantum, I think metaverse we’re likely to be talking more about, aren’t we in the coming year or more? And of course, coming through the pandemic thinking about where we’ll be by the time we launch our next report, which will be around November kind of time, it will be interesting to see, won’t it, what that report looks like to reflect the next few months of the new world order that were coming through into living right now post-COVID. Just bringing it back to influence, though as well, I was looking back over the reports we’ve done on the Tech 500 since we started it in 2017 and it just struck me, there was a really interesting quote that somebody gave in the first report we did back in 2017. It was a man called Jeremy Waite from IBM and he was ranked fairly highly on the list. And he said that “any true influencer never sets out to be an influencer”. I think obviously, if you’re aiming to be a reality TV star, then perhaps, but we’re not talking about today, right? So, I think, you never set out to be an influencer. You set out wanting to change things, which I think we’d hopefully all agree with in some way. And I think he said, “it’s the responsibility of all of us to influence whatever audience you’ve got, however big or small”. And again, going back to what we talked about with women in tech as well and different people in tech, I think we just need to think about influence in a really human kind of well-rounded way, like however small your audience is, someone will be listening. Somebody will be taken by what you’re saying and be thinking about it. And to me, that’s kind of what influence means, really. And he just said that the influence you’ve got shouldn’t all be about getting people to buy more stuff. It’s about meaningful relationships, which, yeah, how nice is that, really. That is what it’s all about at the end of the day.  

Graham: [00:34:32] Yeah, that’s a brilliant quote to finish off. And I think, that’s endorsed by our three guests that we’ve had today. So, I’d love to thank you all for joining us. And shining a light on what you do and technology and all your different spaces, Andreas. Thank you, Sophie, Jonathan, and Zoe, thank you very much for taking us through the report. We’ll certainly look forward to the next report when that comes out in November time. But for now, as Zoe mentioned at the top of the show, you can read the full report and I’ll give the URL for that, which is TytoPR.com/Tyto-Tech-500-Power-List-2021. A bit of a mouthful, or you can find it on the YouTube channel that you say as well as Zoe?  

Zoë: [00:35:07] Yeah, absolutely. On Tyto’s YouTube channel or on the special edition we did for our own Without Borders podcast as well. So, yeah, thank you very much.  

Graham: [00:35:26] Excellent. So, download that have a good read and you will see our three guests featured on that, obviously. But for now, we’d love to hear your comments on today’s chat. You can do that by sharing them on our Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter feeds, or you can do it on the comments of the YouTube version of this podcast. Those are all linked from the top of our website at csuitepodcast.com, where you’ll find all our previous shows and supporting show notes, plus links to where you can follow us for automatic downloads of each episode via the likes of Spotify and Apple. And if you’ve like what you’ve heard please do give us a positive review. We’re, of course, available on all podcast apps. Just search for the csuite podcast and hit follow or subscribe. You can also find me and the csuite podcast on LinkedIn. But for now, thank you for listening and goodbye.  

Without Borders PR Podcast by Tyto

Tyto brings you Without Borders, a regular dose of inspiration for passionate communicators, courageous creatives and entrepreneurial business brains. Expect candid chats with the wisest old hands, bleeding edge innovators and left field thinkers and doers.