Finding the balance - Technological advancement and sustainability

Technological advancement and sustainability

Article of Siana Kyriacou, Partner & COO, KPMG at Business Partners magazine

Picture of Siana Kyriacou

Partner, COO

KPMG in Greece


When I reflect on the technological advancements made in recent years, I always pause and think how such inventions, reengineered ideas or just a new way of doing things affect me today and how I take these for granted, despite the fact that I have memories of the way things were done before. I have lived through the evolution of color TVs, of cassettes and videos to CDs and DVDs, and the introduction of mobile devices: all now an integral part of our lives.

The change, in the past fifty odd years, in the way we work, communicate, consume and interact is unprecedented for such a short period of time. Yet this all comes at a great cost. We are depleting the Earth’s resources, and we’re doing so at a much faster rate than the Earth’s ability to regenerate them.

Both the foreseen consequences and the correcting or even mitigating actions are strongly debated, with discussions veering into all directions: In terms of values and ethics, is protecting the environment taking away countries’ sovereignty to fend for themselves in matters of energy or in case of hostile advances, for example when it comes to nuclear power? In terms of geopolitics, how is the availability of natural resources affecting population movement or total displacement, threatening countries’ growth or even existence either from economic or even natural disasters due to climate change? And in terms of quality of life, does living sustainably equal giving up the modern comforts we have
grown accustomed to? What will it take to strike that fine balance, to reap the benefits of technological advancements while being ethically responsible and safeguarding the future of generations to come?

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