Fourth Industrial Revolution
Most participants in Davos think that we are on the cusp of a Fourth Industrial Revolution. And it’s unlike anything we’ve ever experienced: “As a society, we are entering uncharted territory,” Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau added: “We don’t want technology simply because it’s dazzling. We want it, create it and support it because it improves people’s lives”.
Technological progress and future employment
As with earlier revolutions, this one will not be painless. A Forum report released at the start of the meeting predicted that by 2020, 5 million jobs will be lost as a result of technological changes. But the risks on employment at least have been over-hyped, according to Erik Brynjolfsson, Director of the MIT Initiative for the Digital Economy. The idea that robots will take our jobs is “the biggest misconception I’ve heard here at Davos.” Instead, he emphasized technology’s potential as a powerful tool.
Digital revolution and opportunities for women
A fourth industrial revolution also gives us the opportunity to rethink the way we work so that both men and women can fairly compete. It also means making sure that the digital revolution lifts the lives of women, according to the IMF’s Christine Lagarde: “We've heard a lot about the Internet of Things — I think we need the Internet of Women”.
New philosophy of success
The actor Kevin Spacey shares a new philosophy of success which may really change the world for better: “If you've done well in the business you wanted to do well, then it's your obligation to spend a good portion of time sending the elevator back down”. Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, shared a similar message: “Those people who have been successful in life owe it to others to help them do the same”.
“Dream big”, — will.i.am told a packed plenary hall on the opening day of the meeting. It was something he brought up again later in the week: “We need to be teaching young people to aspire to achieve great things. It's important to inspire children to dedicate their lives to solving the world's problems”.
The Fourth Industrial revolution will require a "holistic" style of leadership, which views today's global challenges as inherently connected. Leadership in the fourth industrial revolution needs to be bold, brave and based on real action, participants agreed. Award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio added: “If we act with bold leadership, we can achieve meaningful progress”.