“The World Economic Forum is a great platform to explore the social value it can bring to us,” he said, adding, “[The] social value we can create should be part of the key considerations for business.”
Citing the example of the United States, where the digital economy has enhanced productivity by 2.7% per annum while the physical economy has grown by less than 1%, he surmised that the “tipping point” for the US will be the year 2028.
Four sectors – health, transport, energy and manufacturing, which are underpinned by digital networks – will unleash this wave of productivity.
Erosion of trust
Eileen Donahoe, Executive Director, Global Digital Policy Incubator, said there is also an erosion of confidence among governments that as technology advances and gets applied in various uses, it is possible to simultaneously protect public good and national security while advancing economic growth.
“Customer- and citizen-centricity is imperative,” agreed Alfred F. Kelly, Chief Executive Officer of Visa, adding that for the first time in history, the size of the middle class is larger than the number of people in poverty, creating never-before possibilities for financial inclusion.
“Financial inclusion comes after financial literacy,” Kelly said. “For this, education is necessary.”
Businesses and governments must invest in reskilling the workforce to address anxiety over impending job losses, said Abidali Neemuchwala, Chief Executive Officer of Wipro, adding that businesses must also improve their ability to assimilate cultures.
To this end, his company is recruiting locally everywhere in the world, hiring as many people in the US, for instance, as it typically hires in India.
A coalition of government and business to develop good privacy and cybersecurity policies that can be applied across countries would be a defining moment, Suri said, adding that it is important to spread awareness of the benefits of Globalization 4.0 and 5G technology.
Further, the business community must join the process of defining Globalization 4.0 lest distrust negatively affect more and more industries and businesses, he said.
This, he said, is the best option for the world and the best option for the company’s costs, and also matches its sense of purpose, which is “a natural part of how we do business.”
Kelly also called for greater gender equity in business.