Mission Davos: How to shape Globalisation 4.0

A wishlist for the World Economic Forum 2019, to create a truly global strategy for growth

Updated: Jan 21, 2019 06:23:49 PM UTC
Image: Arnd Wiegmann / Reuters
Image: Arnd Wiegmann / Reuters

The snow-clad Swiss Alps offer me a big white canvas each year to exchange ideas with the mélange of minds that shape the world. As part of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, this year, representatives of the WEF, as well as experts from business, politics and academia will convene to strategise on the theme of Globalisation 4.0 and creating a global architecture to leverage the best of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Here’s a wishlist to making the most of this event.

Bold business models
It is quintessential to evaluate the existing means and business models of economic growth and a dramatic change is inevitable. A bolder approach to business models, policies, collaborations and alliances is the need of the hour.

Identifying the Globalisation 4.0 charter
The key will be whether we can rise to the challenge of Globalisation 4.0 and collaborate to disrupt. While we are all ready to lap up the change, we are not quite sure of what the purpose is. We are on the cusp of digital transformation, therefore it is almost statutory to identify what we, as a collaborative entity, are trying to achieve.

Citing the voice of millennials, the recently published Annual Survey by the World Economic Forum, puts forth the top-10 most concerning world issues—lack of economic opportunity and employment, lack of education, inequality and climate change. It is important to utilise ‘global collaboration’ as a force to combat these real-world challenges and respond to the changing demand dynamics.

What we do today will define our future. Co-creation and collaboration across economies will go a long way in shaping the society’s collective destiny.

Geo- Politics and Digital Economy
While the businesses are in a momentum, you cannot discount the business anxiety that holds back any radical growth initiatives in uncertain times. Europe is grappling with the idea of a post-Brexit world and new rules of engagement are yet to be inked. On the other hand, issues like trade barriers and protectionism have marred the the US-China trade relations and are likely to be a spot of worry for the overall global economic growth. The fate of this movement called ‘Globalisation 4.0’ depends largely on our ability to drive the agenda of international co-operation in wake of the prevalent geo-political tensions and constant disruptions in the digital economy.

Harness the power of technology
While we are living with geo-political anxiety across board, it is equally true that we are living in exciting times defined by incredible opportunities shaped by the confluence of digital and futuristic technologies like 5G, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence.

We are witnessing a massive technology revolution that has disrupted and dispelled the proven norms and is continually pushing boundaries to decide how greatly, it can ‘enhance’ our lives. The world has literally converged in our palms—our smartphones and other smart devices. The revolution is unleashed, connecting devices and people seamlessly across boundaries.

Build an inclusive future
As Professor Klaus ‘Schwab, founder and chief executive of the World Economic Forum points out, “This fourth wave of globalisation needs to be human-centered, inclusive and sustainable.”

With the issue of climate change looming large on our success in the future, we need to figure out better ways to drive sustainable impact of globalisation on our planet, people and communities.

This would entail developing means of reducing the environmental impacts of production, unlocking new sustainable resources and fostering the growth of a circular and low-carbon economy.

The blueprint for our roaring transition due to Globalisation 4.0 calls for swift action from all leaders, mentors and the government to step forward and design an inclusive approach, where in all the stakeholders collaborate and not just cooperate to improve the state of the world, make the economy more resilient and achieve long-term sustainable growth.

With great expectations, I look forward to the attending the annual debate and thought exchange at Davos. Globalisation 4.0 could very well be the stepping-stone to a truly connected digital world where the physical and digital boundaries blur to deliver connected experience to all.

The writer is MD and CEO, Tech Mahindra.

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