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Online Forum - Shaping Malta's Future: Governance and Sustainability | 6 -7 - 8 October 2021

Product digitisation and remote working are driving business sustainability

Covid-19 has accelerated the digitisation of business processes – from product inception to customer interaction and work practices. A 2020 study by McKinsey showed that in 2019, the average share of digital customer interactions amounted to 32% of all customer interactions, while the share of products and/or services that were partially or fully digitized made up for 34% of all goods and services in Europe. In fact, half of customer interactions taking place in Europe in 2020 used digital platforms, while 55% of all products and services transacted were of a digital nature. Teleworking has been championed as an alternative to working from the office during the global pandemic. As per Eurostat figures, the rate of employees teleworking as a percentage of the total employed population has increased from 4.9% in 2015 to 12.0% in 2020.  This trend was mirrored in Malta, as the island experienced an increase of 12.2 percentage points during a five-year period, with 14.8% of the Maltese working population working from home in 2020. 

Teleworking has generated multiple positive effects such as reduced air, marine and road traffic congestion – resulting in lower air and noise pollution levels. However, teleworking has proven to be quite a challenge to both the public and the private sector.

The latest ‘Flash Eurobarometer’ survey on SMEs published in 2020, deduces the barriers faced by EU SME’s when trying to switch to a more remote practice of doing business. More than 12,000 companies based in the EU participated in the research, whose findings show that 62% of EU SMEs confront barriers to digitalization. Moreover, 70% of participants stated that they are facing at least one obstacle that prevents their enterprise from becoming sustainable while a further 42% claim that the level of availability of support to help enterprises become more sustainable is poor.


Participants cited the following as other barriers to digital sustainability:

  • Uncertainty about future digital standards (24% of the surveyed companies);
  • A lack of financial resources (23% of the surveyed companies);
  • Regulatory obstacles (23% of the surveyed companies);
  • Lack of skills (20% of the surveyed companies);
  • IT security issues (20% of the surveyed companies).

The results highlight the importance of a new SME strategy in partly driving a swift economic recovery in Europe in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.


Smart technologies for effective waste management

Enevo is a Finnish waste disposal company whose digital strategy managed to generate sustainability. Its aim is to make collection of waste efficient by enabling waste companies to pick up waste only when the bins are full, rather than at a scheduled time. This allows companies which pick up waste to use less resources as there surely won’t be any useless trips.

Apart from being more sustainable and efficient, Enevo is also contributing to the ongoing concern about waste management by collecting the data it gathers from the sensors and other technological devices in the waste bins. Using this data, it better understands waste generation, proactively manages solutions, continues to decrease costs and increases sustainability in the long-run. More companies will surely follow Enovo’s example, and an EU-wide digital strategy will surely drive the adoption of smart working practices across Europe.

“Shaping Malta's Future: Governance and Sustainability” will run over the course of three days in October, and will feature themed panels and a line-up of prominent speakers both from the private and the public sectors.

Our online forum will address how sustainable development is key in order to reignite the Maltese economy momentum after COVID-19, what organisations learnt, how businesses can mitigate deficiencies brought to light by the pandemic and what sustainable safeguards can be introduced to prevent similar market disruptions in the future. 

- Get valuable insights from over 30 local and foreign experts;

- Participate in the discussions by putting forward your questions;

- Take part in interactive polls;

- Network with other business professionals in our virtual lounges;

- Visit our virtual booth and book a meeting with our specialists.

Reserve your free place for "Shaping Malta's Future: Governance and Sustainability"

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Event Agenda (click to expand)
6 October

2:30 - 3:15 pm | The hybrid office: productivity, social dynamics and way forward

The pandemic forced many organisations to adopt a decentralised working model setting up remote teams. How has this affected productivity and what are the organizational and mental challenges faced by employees who are suddenly isolated from their peers? Is remote working a sustainable model in the long term?


3:30 - 4:15 pm | Embracing the digital revolution

While Covid-19 has projected the world toward an accelerated digitalization, new generations might have seen this coming. How do university students think this emphasis on technology may affect their careers and does this mean the end of "traditional" jobs?


4:30 - 5:15 pm | Governance strategies to drive business sustainability

Government incentives to increase digitisation for companies can pave the way towards corporate sustainability, however, organisations must be ready to adopt digital governance strategies. What are the key implications from a managerial perspective?

7 October

2:30 - 3:15 pm | The evolution of corporate finance and digital economy

We will discuss how blockchain transforming corporate finance and the financial services industry as well as its impact on capital markets by gradually replacing stock agents and changing the way stocks are traded.


3:30 - 4:15 pm | Malta and the great reset: sectors and skills that will drive growth

The “Great Reset” will see the alignment of the economy with the most pressing social issues. How can Malta capitalize on this monumental change and make sure that its workforce will be equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in this brave new world?


4:30  5:15 pm | Financing during and post Covid-19

A look inside the traditional forms of finance used during the pandemic. What mitigations are credit institutions using to safeguard against another financial crisis and what measures are being implemented to ensure that FDI is fully reignited? We will also delve into the impact that the pandemic had on capital markets. 

8 October

2:30 - 3:15 pm | Championing risk management through sustainability

Internal risk management and control functions help to strengthen governance frameworks, but how can organizations ensure their compliance with the latest regulations and legislation requirements? We will discuss the role of the risk management specialist in identifying and mitigating internal risks.


3:30 - 4:15 pm | Malta's way forward: sustainable recovery, development and growth

What measures are private organisations putting in place in order to safeguard the environment? How is the public sector ensuring that its policies are up to date with the latest environmental regulations? How is Malta aligning its Sustainable Development Vision for 2050 with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals? 


4:30 - 5:15 pm | Enabling a culture shift: Covid, FATF and an alternative outlook to GDP and beyond

Grant Thornton Malta Managing Partner Mark Bugeja will deliver a wrap-up session, discussing the road ahead for Malta and its financial institutions.

Panellists will be announced shortly

Event partners