Wentrup holds a Ph.D. in economic geography with a specialisation in sector services and online economy. He served as Trade Commissioner at the Embassy of Sweden in France and is expert in management consulting, internationalization of companies and business models for digital companies, having worked for many years with the startup community in Sweden. Moreover, he also worked in emerging markets while being a Trade Commissioner in Morocco, with a focus on Francophone Africa.
Finally, before joining Business Sweden, Wentrup worked in the Accenture technology area with large online projects. Read below the full Wentrup interview on Brazil’s digital transformation.
Sector Dialogues - After the 2nd Edition of the ICT Week, what do you think about this thematic event and the importance to continue with coming editions? Is Innovation and Digital Transformation a key issue to be follow up addressed within the EU-Brazil Strategic Partnership?
Wentrup - I think it is very important to gather different stakeholders from private, public sectors, and also include international speakers as you did. It enriches the event and the quality. It is definitely a key issue that will have continued importance.
Sector Dialogues - What can we expect regarding Innovation and Digital Transformation worldwide? Is it assume as a risk or a challenge in order to be replaced by robots in most functions in the future?
Wentrup - It will take a lot of time before robots replace humans, but robots will be very helpful for repetitive boring tasks, and should view them, as one of the speakers said, as complements and extension of humans, not only as replacements. The importance is that robots are programmed with human values in hindsight and serve human development, not the opposite, that they are constructed to serve the technological development.
Sector Dialogues - Comparing with some countries, Brazil is very underdeveloped regarding digital transformation. What are the main challenges that Brazil faces?
Wentrup - I should one slide showing the digital internationalization hierarchy, which can be used to explain the challenges Brazil face. In same aspects Brazil is as developed as any European countries, e.g. in terms of digital transformation you have a large part of the population using smartphones and Internet. I met some digital start-ups during the event that are competing with US and European firms, so in this regard Brazil has a part of the population that is well aligned with the digital transformation. The problem is that there are still masses of people who are still excluded and this can be explained by economic inequality, which is a big issue in Brazil.
Sector Dialogues - In your opinion, which countries are global leaders and example of innovation and digital transformation? How can Brazil make part of the fourth industrial revolution and come together with them?
Wentrup - US, UK, and Northern Europe are the leaders in my opinion. The key is to encourage more exchange and entanglement with these countries. It will mean both more inward and outward investments, and openness towards international collaboration and partnerships in terms of trade and digital transformation.
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