3 Conclusions from Davos 2019
The Group of Twenty (or G20) is an international forum, made up of the world’s main developed and emerging economies. In total 19 countries and the European Union.
On 22 January the town of Davos-Klosters played host to the 49th edition of the World Economic Forum, or the Davos Forum as it is more popularly known. Major world leaders met to attend more than 350 sessions spread over five days. This year the theme of the annual gathering was ‘Globalisation 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution’.
The summit brought together close on 3,000 world leaders, with some conspicuous absences. US president Donald Trump stayed away because of the shutdown crisis, while the French president Emmanuel Macron and British prime minister Theresa May also missed the event, each immersed in crises in their own countries.
The summit ended with an overriding sense of instability derived from the current macroeconomic situation, in part because of geopolitical risks like a possible trade and tech war between the US and China but also because of Brexit and the effects of climate change. Klaus Schwab, professor, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, called for a re-moralisation of globalisation and a review of the global architecture to meet the new needs of the fourth industrial revolution.
The structural and ideological change agreed at this year’s forum was underpinned by the motto ‘Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World’, and the topics discussed included digital transformation, jobs of the future, information security and technological innovation.
Conclusions from Davos 2019
- Technological revolution and employment are compatible
What are the needs of businesses and/or governments as regards the new skills demanded by digital transformation? STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills are the new kids on the block and future generations need to bear this in mind.
Digital transformation has given rise to a state of global disruption. Clinging on to tradition and classical models of production could prove to be fatal and we must, therefore, turn the threats into opportunities.
- Digital transformation: Focus on information security, cybersecurity and data privacy
Many of the participants at the forum agreed on the need to increase cybersecurity, in particular, to deal with crimes like identity theft and data breaches. This is a real risk with an unprecedented level of organised cybercrime, and corporations were urged to address this reality.
- Innovation: The need to cooperate with startups
Cooperation between corporations and startups, today more necessary than ever, must be embraced as the path to overcoming the current macroeconomic instability.
At the conclusion of the World Economic Forum, world leaders will work on these conclusions. Switzerland thus becomes a valuable scenario to establish new alliances and strengthen current ones, as a way to improve society.