After arriving in an abnormally warm Davos for the World Economic Forum, talk quickly turned to finding ways for financial services companies to become "greener," especially when it comes to using advanced technology.Having arrived in Davos for my first World Economic Forum, I was initially struck by the weather. Colleagues and associates had all warned me to be prepared for the cold and snow, but I have been surprised by the unseasonably mild and even balmy weather that has greeted us. At dinner last night and again at breakfast this morning, the comments on the unusual weather seem to set the scene on what looks likely to become "green Davos."
The weather is just the starting point of many conversations I have had with fellow delegates, particularly those from the banking community, who all seem preoccupied with the theme of climate change. International finance institutions seem to be waking up to the fact that, if they haven't already, they need to start seriously looking at how they can reduce the impact their businesses have on the environment.
This is no small step, and many of the delegates I spoke to seem to appreciate that a few token gestures to convince customers they are being green will no longer suffice. People are talking about how they can make wholesale changes to the way their businesses work from both a technological and sociological point of view. These changes will no doubt include investments in newer, greener technology in addition to ensuring that their business expansion and investments are not having an adverse effect on climate change.
In addition to green discussions, I am also looking forward to exploring changing global markets. With emerging markets such as India and China making significant inroads into western markets, areas such as North America and Europe are no longer the dominant forces they once were, as highlighted by this recent report on the status of the United States' leadership role in the world financial markets. I am keen to see how this evolves over coming years and how the shift is viewed by business and government leaders at Davos this week.
Finally, when global security is such a huge topic for the banking community, I anticipate that the Geneva Security Forum, which I'll be attending tomorrow, will provide a real insight into the challenges being faced. I look forward to discussing some of the key concerns surrounding both physical and data security with attending executives. Updates to follow in tomorrow's posting.
Ashok Vemuri, SVP and head of banking and capital markets for Infosys Technologies, is attending his first World Economic Forum. He will be blogging about his experiences and the role of technology in the financial markets throughout his stay in Davos. Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio