Automotive in the Extinction Rebellion World: How Diversity and Innovation Can Contribute to the Industry’s Response to Climate Change

In many sectors Climate Change is only now rising up the Board Agenda, but in the automotive industry the challenge is far from new.  The technologies have been long debated, and Tesla has become the poster child for the growth potential of battery electric vehicles, attracting an astonishing stock market valuation in the process.  But what is the way forward for the sector as a whole, given profound disruption by climate change and the public and regulatory response to it? And what are the implications for Boards and leadership teams?

Fidelio and Freespee were recently pleased to convene a meeting of business leaders entitled “Automotive in the Extinction Rebellion World: How Diversity and Innovation Can Contribute to the Industry’s Response to Climate Change”.  Our guests included a highly diverse group of Directors and Executives from global OEMs, suppliers, distributors and retailers.  Financial investors, analysts, natural resources, mapping and navigation were all represented, as were “Smart City” initiatives; just over 50% of participants were female.

This Overture summarises the debate and recommendations.  Key themes included:

  • Increased pressure on the automotive sector
  • Owning the narrative – why Boards should care
  • Government – a vital player
  • Diversity, talent and innovation
  • Consumer focus
  • EVs – currently the winner
  • Emissions – the bigger picture
As a leading Board Development and Search firm, Fidelio’s focus was the composition and dynamic of the top team needed to drive change; Freespee was keen to explore the ecosystem, collaborations, networks and alternative ways of working that that will be critical to support innovation.
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