On the 17th January 2017, global political and business leaders will meet in Davos for the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting. Ahead of the next summit, we look back at six of the key trends discussed at last year's Annual Meeting. The theme was Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, here we review and share our commentary on how the trends materialised, .
"The bill for hindsight is much more expensive than the receipt for foresight.” - Johnnie Dent Jr.
1. [Dis]empowered citizens
Protest intensity has reached its highest level since 2011 and the Arab Spring. Global data suggests we are approaching levels of protest last seen in the 1980s, when social turmoil included Cold War tensions, anti-apartheid sentiment, and the Tiananmen Square protests.
2. The rise of automation
We are at the beginning of a Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is estimated that up to 50% of jobs in the USA will be automated in the next two decades and 65% of children entering primary school today will end up working in job types that don’t yet exist.
“We are living in a world of widening, not diminishing, financial inequality, in which many people can see not just their standard of living, but their ability to earn a living at all, disappearing” Stephen Hawking.
4. Cybercrime and civil liberties
Cyber-crime results in over $440 billion being stolen from the world economy each year, and it continues to grow exponentially. In eight countries, cyber-crime has now been identified as the number one risk for doing business, including in the US, Japan, Germany, Switzerland and Singapore.
5. Climate change on food security
Climate change and food security is a complex issue. While agriculture is responsible for 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions, nearly a billion people are still hungry today. With agricultural yields set to drop 20% in some areas because of climate change, action is urgently needed.
6. Pandemics threaten social cohesion
The spread of infectious diseases has been identified as a top 8 risk by WEF. It is estimated that antibiotic-resistant bacteria could result in US$100 trillion in lost output by 2050 if no action is taken.
In 2017, Article 13 will be profiling the outcomes from the WEF Annual Meeting
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