Gilding, consultant and author of the Great Disruption, has been active for 35 years in various capacities, for example in NGO’s (Greenpeace) or as an advisor to multinationals regarding sustainability. At the EFIB 2016, held in Glasgow, he stated that systemic changes will be inevitable, mainly due to the limited resources and the capacity of our planet to cope with unsustainable growth.
‘Ultimately, the market will be the deciding force. Is it happening at a sufficient speed? Unfortunately not, but apparently crises are needed to spur us into action.’
Gilding stated that the market valuation of the ‘new economy’ is already showing. Tesla, selling roughly 40.000 cars per annum, has half the market value of GM, currently selling 9 million cars.
As has happened with other transitions, the transition towards a circular/biobased economy will have an impact on the existing industries. According to Gilding, most of these players are not likely to adapt (and survive). ‘It’s difficult for me to assess why. These companies have brilliant minds on their pay rolls. Take Shell. Why not transform into a renewable energy company? Well, the problem is that Shell is not an energy company per se; the company’s asset is to retrieve and refine fossil oil, which requires very complex project management. DSM on the other hand has successfully transformed from coal mining to chemicals to life sciences/advanced materials.’19