Davos at 47 Years – Always Interesting News From the Gathering in Switzerland of Business – Government – NGO Leaders

Each winter for the past four decades leaders in government, business, media, academia, and civil society  gather beneath snow-capped mountains in the mile-high town of Davos, Switzerland to ponder and debate the present and future of our world society.  This year’s gathering (2,500 in attendance) focused in good measure on the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

The first revolution being use of water and steam to move from hand-to-mechanical means of production; the second was the coming of electronic wonders in mass production; the third is use of IT and electronics to automate and communicate and transfer information via the internet.  The fourth?  Automation… artificial intelligence… robots… drones… interactive technologies… virtual reality…  enabled disruption…  Everything we take for granted is in upheaval.  For humans, will it be competition (with robots) or collaboration?  They debated that in Davos this month.

One consensus seemed to be that science, in leading the way into the Fourth Revolution (as it did the past three), will need better use of talent – like more women in the field.  The image of the lone scientist in a white coat working at the lab table is passé; today, discovery and innovation is more collaborative and inter-disciplinary in nature.  Governments need to play a larger role, for staying power (long-term results) given the frequent short-term focus of the business and investment community.  Discovery needs to be nurtured over a longer period to bring us breakthroughs like GPS, space satellites and organ transplants.

And on being human and humane – the RED campaign, organized by singer Bono of U2 and others 10 years ago, announced at Davos that US$350 million has been raised to help those with AIDS (providing anti-retroviral therapies).  RED campaigners aim for an AIDS-free generation as soon as possible.  Well done to those 65 companies who helped RED raise the funds.

Below is a snapshot of items for you out of Davos -– always interesting reading!

Davos Snapshot

Davos Meeting Preview 2016: What To Watch For At World Economic Forum In Switzerland
(Monday – January 18, 2016) Source: International Business Times – With the World Economic Forum set to begin Wednesday in Davos, Switzerland, world leaders, business tycoons and journalists have already begun flocking to the snow-capped resort town in the Swiss Alps in preparation for the…

Davos 2016: Who’s who at the World Economic Forum (and who’s notably absent) – from Leonardo DiCaprio to Travis Kalanick and George Osborne
(Monday – January 18, 2016) Source: City AM – On the Swiss slopes, the annual gathering of the World Economic Forum which kicks off this Wednesday, brings together the world’s biggest politicians, business leaders and a sprinkling of celebrities to liven things up too.

Who will win Davos 2016?
(Wednesday – January 20, 2016) Source: Quartz – Sure, the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos is the premier gathering of global power brokers, a place for the great and the good to address the thorniest issues facing society. But it is also an unparalleled display of…

This is where the real deals at Davos are done
(Thursday – January 21, 2016) Source: BBC – Call it the Davos Fringe Festival. Increasingly this “fringe”, the privately-organized events, are taking the attention of attendees away from the Congress Centre and the WEF’s carefully curated program. Invitations to private…

What are the 10 biggest global challenges’
(Friday – January 22, 2016) Source: World Economic Forum – World Economic Forum – The scale of the employment challenge is vast. The International Labour Organization estimates that more than 61 million jobs have been lost since the start of the global economic crisis in 2008, leaving…