Every year, world leaders from both the public and private sector, meet at Davos Switzerland to discuss the biggest issues facing our society at the World Economic Forum. Their mission is to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
For 2014, the main themes are:
- Achieving inclusive growth
- Sustaining a world of 9 billion
- Embracing disruptive innovation
- Meeting society’s new expectations
Looking through the tweets (hashtag #WEF14) and some of the press commentary, two things really caught my attention. One, is the surprise appearance by Pope Francis and his appeal to the world rich. I’ve been impressed with the Pope’s actions since he assumed the role, but if you have to listen to one thing regardless of religion, please make this be it. You have to serve the world with your wealth, not be ruled by it. He picked the right audience to deliver the message, as many of the world’s billionaires are attending. See the full list of WEF 2014 participants .
The second area of interest is technology and the impact it has on society. Marisa Mayer was pleased that the Forum recognized the role of tech in reshaping the world. The session “The New Digital Context” the discussion focused just on that. Also, today the WEF unveiled the “Forum Academy“, a Moocs platform in collaboration with EdX to educate anyone with an internet connection on the world’s pressing issues.
The panel included John Chambers (Chairman and CEO of Cisco), Marc Benioff (Chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com), Randall Stephenson (Chairman and CEO of AT&T), Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo!) and Gavin Patterson (CEO of British Telecom) moderated by George Colony (Chairman and CEO of Forrester Research).
On the question of how companies can be more disruptive, Mayer responded that disruptive means having the right people, cultivating transparency in decision-making and welcoming input from employees. For Cisco, building risk into the company’s DNA and allowing people to make mistakes is an important feature.
Watch the video:
The world Economic 2014 in Pictures:
All I hope is that the World Economic Forum produces RESULTS beyond talk and real change.