This year’sWorld Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos was centered around “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.” Davos is an opportunity to listen to all different perspectives in order to build the strategy and action plans and pave the way towards a shared future.
What do we keep from Davos 2018? I had the privilege to be there and here below are some takeaways.
The following insights are personal and definitely not exhaustive, as Davos experience is inspiring but also hectic due to the vast amount of opportunities it offers and makes it impossible to follow all the sessions. They constitute an résumé of information received from panel sessions and roundtables that I participated, as well as other discussions with various participants across all stakeholder group, including private and public sector, corporate, civil society, academia, media, arts and culture.
1. Technology and 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution is coming and have an enormous impact on the world economy. Many start-ups in fintech, biotech, cybersecurity, autonomous cehicles, news, personal loans, credit scores, robotics, voice recognition, computer vision, healthcare, Sales and Management just to mention a few
A lot of focus on the impact of new technologies that can change the rules and open up new Opportunities in business or public sector.
The digital era will create an opportunity to reinvent work and to reinvent the workplace. (maybe end)
The main focus point is the how we can generate business value and how to implement.
More specific, I found blockchain on supply chain and trade that can improve efficiency for these drivers of economic growth.
Machine learning, a branch of AI for example
Couples the design of algorithms with empirical data to and make better predictions and support decisions.
can improve the decision-making and transform the organizations, but a change in mindset and corporate culture is required to realize the potential.
Governments have the biggest supply chains !
Blockchain to transform public sector:
Like opening a business on a country much faster
Transparency in the monetary system
And the healthcare sector is at the centre of this transformation.
It is a reality, a variety of apps that give consumers direct access via their mobile phones video consultations.
innovative ways to bring together health data on phones and apps, allowing patients to take greater control of their existing health conditions.
patients are more informed than ever before and expect to be part of the decision-making process regarding their health options.
What is important through all of this is the patient journey – innovative technology has the potential to consolidate or streamline what is currently a complex and fractured patient experience, particularly in emerging markets.
helping to provide millions of patients with lifesaving treatments and information.
The benefits of a new approach to customer relationships that leverages the power of digital and innovation to improve engagement with customers and healthcare professionals.
new health technologies will empower patients to take an active part in managing their own health. Patients used to go to the doctor and just wait for instructions. Now, supported by online research, virtual patient communities and health-tracking apps,
Digital transformation does not stop in healthcare, but it is moving at an accelerating pace in consumer and industrial sectors.
My personal comment deriving specifically from “Davos voice” is that we believe that the 4IR and Digital is real, nothing compared to the vagueness of the last years, but still there is a long way to go. Additionally, I felt that few companies have a strategy to follow and even less know the “how” to do it.
Is technology we trust?
One of the most pivotal and important issues.
Is trust the most important value or is it growth? Trust has to be the most important value in companies, above growth.
Chairman and CEO of Salesforce, Marc R. Benioff
We need to move toward a “quality” growth that has a long-term perspective and has to do with culture.
CFO of alphabet, Ruth Porat
Signs show more regulations in technology, especially in EU, as we move more aggressively towards the 4IR and the techs become more sophisticated as CEOs do not take responsibilities, elections are affected and social networks can rule.
But how can you regulate a platform, it is not a straightforward question.
The first is really to find where is the centre of accountability and requires hard accountability from the top level. The press can be also be part and supporter of the solution as it helped out Uber for example to sort out their internal problems as Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi mentioned
Point to North
Is technology killing jobs?
It’s hard to predict the future, but we can look to the past to find similarities that might provide indicators of where we are heading. The Industrial Revolution of the 1900s brought forth new technologies and different ways of working. Many skilled workers found themselves replaced by machines.
While there were certainly displacements during this shift, the situation created an opportunity for education, previously not available for agricultural workers living in rural areas, and prompted the adoption of a whole new skill set needed to handle the then-modern machinery.
We certainly will face our own set of labour-force consequences as this Digital Revolution progresses. But, if past is to be our predictor for the future, business leaders must consider what skill sets will be most favourable, and then help their employees develop those proficiencies.
Anything that is routine or repetitive will be automated.
AI is a disruptive force
AI is not killing jobs, it is killing business models.
Another key takeaway
2. How can we educate the people toward these?
The meeting talked heavily about
Maybe the best of the sessions that I joined was the one organized from Varkley Foundation related to the future of education for 2030 and beyond. A very diverse panel with many personalities, among others, Tony Blair (former UK Prime Minister), Tidjane Thiam (CEO, Credit Suisse), Jimmy Wales (Co-Founder, Wikipedia.
Determining the “right” skills for the future is a strategic question that can be based on the future trends and demand for specific skills. It is neither a straightforward answer, nor a one-size-fits-all approach can respond, as the History Professor, Harari (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) mentioned.
For example, at an education level, AI and the related technologies can even support learning and education and not replace the teacher. It can support “blended” learning pedagogical strategies that improve the learning curve.
I liked the metaphor used by Thomas Friedman from NYT that we should mimic and follow the example of “mother nature” and invest on building skills for resilience and forward propulsion to manage rapid change.
I would personally add that we need an agile learning mindset. People are investing on learning how to code. But we all know that it will become an obsolete in the future, as things will be coded themselves. We need to obtain this continuous improvement outlook that can render an individual “sustainable” in the long haul.
I close with the 3 skills of the future, while I believe are skills of every time, that Jean-Philippe Courtois (EVP and President, Microsoft) mentioned in a discussion: growth mindset, empathy and resilience.
Alain Dehaze, CEO of The Adecco Group, a global staffing company, prefers to call AI “augmented intelligence,”
noting that once blended with human input, will bring about “a deeper focus on innately human skills – critical thinking, emotional intelligence and value judgments.
Enhance human judgments, decisions, but inevitably cannot replace the human element that brings the critical thinking and emotional intelligence. Let me give an example, the human will connect the dots and take the decision, based on the perfect results from a report using data coming from “real-time structured and unstructured” data sources from “systems of systems”, just using the terminology of IoT and interconnected systems.
3. Leadership and gender equality
I am happy to see this gap gradually being closed, although not fast enough.
Shift/Forward: The influence of leadership on culture and creativity.
Companies need to be nests of security for the people
A force of good
To get things better and make a difference
To confront inequality
Corporate and leadership values
Customer champion: See thingsOutside
Design the most beautiful solutions to the painpoints of each customer segments
Act as one team: not attack each other
Diverse team is not just a good thing to do, you simply get the best
Level of dialogue is better and this pushes for better decisions.
The best time to make a change is when things are going well.
Because we have the luxury to experiment and challenge ourselves to get better. The real strategic shifts.
It was positively surprising the level of optimism. There was not any caution on the risks
What it was really compelling School of leadership
As Professor Klaus Schwab (chairman of WEF) notes, “We need leaders who are emotionally intelligent, and able to model and champion co-operative working. They’ll coach, rather than command; they’ll be driven by empathy, not ego. The digital revolution needs a different, more human kind of leadership”.
It was an inspiring, mind-blowing experience that fuelled me with further motivation as a millennial to develop and make the world a better place.
Personally, I believe community engagement builds one character and makes our society better. Having the honor to be a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum, I consider as an obligation to put the world first and work hard making it a better place. The principle of moving towards a sustainable global ecosystem is not leaving anyone behind.
If we really want to go far, we need to go together. We need global collaboration, not walls. We need to support one another; the role of the community is decisive to realize the potential and crate value and impact.
Fortunate to join the
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not the World Economic Forum or other entity.