Sergio Alvarez-Teleña on Quantum Computing, Change Resistance and more

The Roaring Twenties

As CogX 2021 festival approaches, we asked some of the CogX community to tell us what they think the most important issues are to get right in the next 10 years. Here, Sergio Alvarez-Telena, analytics ‘superstar’ and our 2020 award winner of ‘Best innovation in simulation’ shares his thoughts.

Share something that our audience would be surprised to learn about you (something not in your bio)

I give advice to governments on how to transform their industries within the next 10 years and also help fulfill new positions within tier one companies. My views are as much based on deep tech as they are on Microeconomics and Game Theory. The latter two are indeed focused on the realism required in transformation.

What do you think is the greatest challenge we face in the next ten years? 

Change resistance. At last, we have the data available within the companies but surely not the mood to change the culture, the tasks nor the responsibilities, etc. Not only low rank employees but also sr management – I am yet to see younger talent, with updated skills and a challenging attitude, that can help wake the company up from Boards and C-suite roles.

Equally, what is the greatest opportunity for us in the next ten years?

The algorithmization of businesses. The digit(al)ization has led to data-driven industries. But data is just an input not the output. Hence, the usual complaints about its low impact so far. While the paradigm was oversold, some of us fought the inflated expectations to highlight the real deal: impact is the output of the algorithmization. It is already here but we have just pushed it through the most advanced companies within their sectors.

What innovations are you most excited about?

Quantum Computing. Big data allowed us to increase our hard disk massively but it was not enough to improve our RAM memory (parallelization was not always a clean approach for complex algorithms). The translation of classic algorithms into quantum will allow our machines to be faster at thinking. Still, and luckily, the creativity and judgement required to design the algorithm remains human.

What is the most critical discussion we need to have that we are not having? (who knows you might see it at CogX :-))

Whether the current digital leaders are fitted for the next stage (the algorithmization of businesses) or actually, the highest risk of change resistance. To this, yet another subtle question: are the head hunters ready to challenge and filter this new talent or can they become the largest noise amplifier? These discussions affect any other I could think of related to our new future.


BIO: Sergio is a deep tech entrepreneur and an algo trader. He is co-founder and CIO of SciTheWorld, and founding board member at both Quantum Mads and Forctis – a multi awarded deep tech pioneer in the Algorithmization of trading and energy, a quantum computing startup and a tokenization platform, respectively. He built the first cross asset algo trading team of the sell-side upon his PhD Thesis and won the prize for the Best Trading Platform in Europe at BBVA. He is appointed expert for commercial AI at GPAI (OECD) and Sr Advisor at Oliver Wyman. His honors and awards include Best Innovation in Simulation at CogX; PhD thesis selected for its Impact in the Digital Economy by UK Digital Economy Network; Honorary Research Associate at UCL Computer Science; Honorary Member of Oxford University’s Spanish Society; Top Analytics in the CDT Financial Computing. Further, he is often featured on media (TV and press) and business schools (I.E., Saïd, Warwick…)

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