GMV's President, Mónica Martínez Walter, opened things up by stressing the importance of innovation in companies' present and future performance. She was followed by the Secretary of State of Research, Development and Innovation of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, Carmen Vela, who underlined GMV's outstanding, innovation-driven position in today's technological panorama.
"Companies have to step up their involvement in R&D", she stated; "it's the path towards competitiveness and job generation." Europe's goal is for two thirds of innovation to come from business R&D. This makes it necessary to "set up an innovation ecosystem. The Spanish government is going to invest 1.8 billion euros in development". Carmen Vela wound up her speech by highlighting GMV's present strength and brilliant future.
She in turn was followed by the recognized American theoretical physicist, Michio Kaku. His master lecture argued that the upcoming cybernetic age is going to be one of intellectual capital. "We are moving from a property-based capitalism to an intellectual capitalism. Consumers can now tap into a wealth of information on the best market products; this will boost competition between companies, which will have to strive to offer a competitive price, the best option of the lot. The mass personalization of consumer products is even on the cards."
Another of the concepts Michio Kaku insisted on during his lecture was that there should be no resistance or struggle against the different waves of innovation that humankind is necessarily and successively experiencing. "We are now in the fourth of these waves and the star turns are biotechnology, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and molecular science. The strand running through all of them is telecommunications." As for computers, the physicist argued that they will disappear as we know them today. Today's Cloud computer network will usher the irreversible digitization of capitalism.
"Computers will be up on the walls, down on the floors and even under our own skin. We will pay from the cell phone, the wrist watch or simply by blinking."
According to Michio Kaku, the next wave of innovation will come in medicine. "Nanomedicine will be able to locate and kill cancer cells and even pre-empt the formation of tumors ten years before they actually form. Work is currently underway on the cultivation of human organs."
After Michio Kaku's lecture the science popularizer Eduard Punset opened the debate with the rest of the conference participants. Daniel Sieberg, Senior marketing manager at Google, reflected on the need of striking a new life balance in a such a hi-tech world. "We need to create a self-awareness since technology is now becoming an invisible, day-to-day presence. We therefore have to learn how to manage it, paying the attention they deserve to the people we interact with." This idea is now being worked up by some companies like Google, developing technology to help humankind. He argued cogently that "in business no e-mail communication will ever be able to replace a firm handshake and face-to-face talk."
For his part, Bas Landorp, CEO of Mars One, a private project that aims to establish the first permanent human colony on Mars, fired up the audience's imagination with this ambitious project. "The Mars settlement, penciled in for 2024 will be the most decisive moment in humankind's history; humankind will have embarked on the colonization of another planet." Bas Landorp's maxim is that "there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome". Mars One will be working with consolidated aerospace suppliers to develop and manufacture all necessary mission components.
The last to take part in the debate was Doctor Julio Mayol, Chief Innovation Officer of Madrid's Hospital Clínico San Carlos and professor in universities in Spain and the USA. "The only way of creating the future is by speaking of it", he claimed. According to Julio Mayol, the medicine of the future will consist of three groundbreaking elements: a new business model, technological innovation and a change in mindsets. "The health system overlooks the individual. In the future the objective is for patients to perceive the quality of their health. To give health care value it is necessary to change the model and work towards transparent population medicine. On the strength of nanotechnology and digitization we will achieve non-invasive diagnoses."
Finally, the closing address was given by Mónica Martínez Walter, recalling the final objective of the conference: provide a long-term overview capable of inspiring the main representatives of the sector and bring home to society the importance of investing today in tomorrow's future-changing technologies. "Innovation and technological leadership will continue to be GMV's hallmarks as the key to its past and future business success."