Digitalisation and transformation in economics and finance

Per Nymand-Andersen


In his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin published his theory of evolution by natural selection, whereby successful species adapt to changing environments, and those that fail to change die off.

Likewise, innovations and digitalisation and their subsequent application influence our lives: the way we operate, socialise and interact (as individuals or as private firms) with public authorities and market operators and regulators. The ability to adapt to changes seems to be fundamental for survival, whether it be species, cultures, societies or institutions and firms.

While Darwinian adaptation may take several generations, the speed of digital adaptation has been significantly faster. For instance, in 2019 the market capitalisation of the “big five” digital technology firms11 The FAANG firms: Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google. was approximately €3 trillion, significantly larger than the total gross domestic product of the United Kingdom or France at that time (£2.2 trillion and €2.4 trillion, respectively). This means that the value of these five firms is larger than the total value of all the goods and services produced by an

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