Net employment outlook by job family, 2015–2020. Graphic: WEF

By Judith Magyar
22 January 2016

(SAP Community Network) – Emerging technologies such as 3D printing and genetic engineering offer a lot of promise, but can also be double-edged swords. They can help make our lives easier, safer and healthier, but there is also potential to build weapons or dangerously modify organisms.

Developments like these raise questions for visionaries such as Nicholas Davis, Head of Society and Innovation, World Economic Forum. Over the course of three previous industrial revolutions, work changed from manual to mechanical to automated mass production. We are now entering the fourth cycle, the world of cyber systems which is disrupting industry faster than ever before.

So it is essential to world peace and prosperity that global leaders address ethical issues surrounding technology, cultivate new norms and values worldwide and provide more opportunities for growth, writes Davis in his thought provoking essay on understanding the fourth industrial revolution.

That’s why the brightest minds from government, business and civil society meet annually to tackle big issues together in the collaborative Spirit of Davos.

The World Economic Forum has been convening annually in the Swiss city for 45 years. Its mission is to improve the state of the world through public and private cooperation. […]

As we change technology, it changes us! Machines and robots are taking over the work of humans so quickly that jobs are becoming obsolete much faster than we can create new ones. Technology is threatening jobs that we previously considered safe, such as taxi drivers and airplane pilots -- both in danger from self-driving vehicles. Drones are even delivering pizzas!

New products and processes will certainly lead to new growth, but change does not happen at the same pace everywhere. Technologically advanced societies will profit more while others will lag behind. It’s up to the attendees in Davos to ensure that everyone will have the right education and skills to benefit from these exciting developments. [more]

Will the Fourth Industrial Revolution improve the state of the world?


23 January 2016 (DNA India) – The World Economic Forum exuded confidence that its growth story would continue and the country would consolidate its position as the 'bright spot' of the world.

The 5-day annual jamboree of the world's rich and powerful came to a close in this Alpine resort on Saturday, with leaders raising concerns about economic headwinds from China, geo-political risks arising from the refugee crisis in Europe and terror attacks in various parts of the world.

With regard to India, the leaders at the World Economic Forum (WEF) exuded confidence that its growth story would continue and the country would consolidate its position as the 'bright spot' of the world. It will also become easier to do business in the world's fastest growing economy, they felt. […]

Converging under the theme of “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution”, the 46th edition of the WEF discussed a raft of issues, including those pertaining to economic uncertainties, geo-political worries, refugee problem and innovations ahead. […]

At the end of the meeting, various leaders also suggested that CEOs have to turn away from short-term thinking and narrow concerns of shareholder gains and instead take bold steps to improve workers conditions, promote diversity and take a wider stakeholder perspective.

There was a consensus on this among business, labour and academic leaders in a session on the last day of the WEF meeting that focused this year on the challenges posed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the wave of rapid advances across technologies that are changing all aspects of life and work.

IMF Chief Christine Lagarde said the global economy would see a modest growth with a downside risk this year, while calling for a change in the way GDP is calculated in the wake of the emerge of various new sectors and business landscapes.

"We see global growth in 2016 as modest and uneven … There is modest optimism but significant risks," she noted. [more]

World Economic Forum meet ends; raises concerns over China, terror and refugees

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