Rapid advances in technology have the potential to create cities of the future and transform the way entire economies operate.

Our world is changing rapidly, from the advent of mega, transnational destinations to the emergence of smart cities that use data to inform decision-making at every level of society.

However, while the role of technology is vital, its potential cannot be realised without investors, and the capital and expertise they can bring to bear. Investors have a crucial role to play in linking savings looking for a return in a world of low real interest rates with transformational enterprises that need capital to realise their potential.

And technology is not the only force enabling transformative investment – social change, regulatory reform, shifts in global economic gravity are all creating demands for new solutions and opening new opportunities.

In some cases, new technology investors will need to deploy capital in unfamiliar sectors they have little or no existing experience in navigating to maintain a competitive edge. They may need to find new partners as they look to gain the advantage of expertise in emerging fields and new types of capital from both public and private sectors.

And they may need to find new approaches to funding projects, balancing a need for returns on investment with the need for patience and long term focus in supporting emerging and transformational investments, which can require considerable development before providing a financial return.

Discussing how to create the solutions that are needed in order to achieve this will be at the heart of the second edition of the Future Investment Initiative. While the challenges will be different in each case, there are some common trends that continue to dominate discussion.