World Economic Forum 2019

eBusiness Institute at Davos 2019

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The eBusiness Institute’s CEO, Luigi Matrone, joined other global experts from politics, business, media, and culture gathered this week in the small Swiss ski resort of Davos for the World Economic Forum at Davos 2019.  The overarching theme of this year’s Davos is ‘Globalization 4.0’. Klaus Schwab, the Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, expanded on this theme in his opening address: “We feel that Globalization 4.0 has to be more human-centred because we are now in some way in a battle between robots and humankind. We don’t want to become the slaves of the new technologies so globalization has to aim at being human-centred.”

Among the topics that the 3000 global influencers meeting at Davos will be discussing this week is what the world of work should look like in the future.  As industry undergoes its fourth revolution, we are witnessing the convergence of the real and virtual worlds and the creation of the “4.0 world”. Increasingly, jobs that were once done by humans are being taken over by machines, with goods being produced faster than ever before and at unprecedented levels of efficiency.  These developments are bringing about fundamental changes to the way in which people live and work. While the future may be challenging, it need not be seen in a negative light. Delegates at Davos will be debating what they can do to best help people adapt their lives to the new reality whilst ensuring that the corporate sector maximises the benefits of automation and advanced data.  

Credit: REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann

Another topic under discussion at Davos this week will be digitalization and the need to understand both the benefits and the challenges that technology can bring to society.  This is particularly apt given that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the invention of the internet. According to Derek O’Halloran of the World Economic Forum, as of December 2018, 50 % of the world’s population are digitally connected and of those, 45% believe that technology will make their lives better.  


Managing this ever-increasing global connectivity together with the flood of new technologies and the use of data and social media is not only the role of governments but of business too. Joe Kaeser, President and CEO of Siemens AG argues that global companies in particular have the resources and capabilities to make a positive contribution.  This is in their own and everyone’s long term interests: “If digitalization and globalization produce more losers than winners, we will all fail.”

Digital transformation also promises to be a hot topic at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos. Several high-profile CEOs including Daniel Zhang from Alibaba, Satya Nadella from Microsoft and Marc Benioff of Salesforce are due to speak on different aspects of digital transformation on Thursday, 24 January. According to Scott Ozanus, Chairman of KPMG’s Americas region, most CEOs are positive about digital and feel confident in leading the organizational transformation of their companies.  They recognise the imperative to innovate more quickly and to enlist the help of third-parties in order to unlock the value of data, alliance partnerships, networks, and other intangibles.

The eBusiness Institute’s CEO Luigi Matrone is in Davos all week where he will be meeting some of the world’s most influential thinkers and discussing the key topics that are set to shape the future of business and society. Follow Luigi on Twitter and LinkedIn for Davos updates and join in the conversation.

At the eBusiness Institute, we have extensive experience of working with numerous brands on their digital transformation. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.


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