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World Economic Forum

Industry Governor Projects

Every year, the World Economic Forum invites Bain & Company to play an advisory role in projects identified by the WEF in collaboration with its industry governors, to develop industry-specific or thematic insights, in support of the Forum's mission and that of its stakeholders.

A Vision for the Future of Consumption in China

The Future of Consumption System Initiative of the World Economic Forum explores how rapid pace of technological advancement can drive enhanced models of consumption with sustainable benefits for business and society, across developed and emerging markets. Over the next decade, the shifting global forces, the one billion first-time consumers and the Fourth Industrial Revolution will continue to change the landscape of consumption in fast-growth consumer markets that are leap-frogging: China, India, and the ASEAN region. In 2017, the WEF launched a multi-year project "Future of Consumption in Fast-Growth Consumer Markets" endorsed by cross-industry CEOs and Board of Stewards. Its purpose: to develop a 10-year perspective of what consumption in each focus market will look like, including potential scenarios and relevant calls to action for consideration by business and policy leaders to ensure sustainable business and inclusive societies.

Bain & Company was invited to collaborate with the WEF on this project. Kicking off with a focus on China, the second largest economy in the world poised to become number one by the year 2030, the effort is led by Bain partners Bruno Lannes, Greater China head of Consumer Product & Retail, Richard Hatherall, Head of AP Customer Strategy & Marketing, and Mike Booker, Head of AP Consumer Product & Retail.

Building on the global overlay of post globalization and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the 2017 research Future of Consumption in Fast-Growth Consumer Markets (China Module) builds on the four major local forces that will influence the future of consumption in China:

  1. Continued economic growth
  2. Key generational demographic shifts
  3. The enabling innovation & technology environment
  4. The evolution of consumer attitudes

The research has identified the 10 big headlines of the base case vision which combined will define China's consumer market by 2027. Two alternative scenarios have also been developed, taking into considering the underlying uncertainties of each of those forces.

The report will highlight four major capabilities required for business to thrive in the China consumer market over the next decade, the four key societal challenges that need to be overcome through public-private cooperation, as well as possible actions to build the future business capability and overcome societal challenges. The findings will be presented in a closed-door session at the Future of Consumption System Initiative Stewards meeting during the Annual Meeting in Davos of the World Economic Forum in January 2018.

Building Tomorrow's Electricity Sector

In its fourth year of collaboration with the World Economic Forum on the Future of Electricity, Bain aims to accelerate the deployment and the benefits of grid edge technologies (GET), namely those technologies supporting the decentralization, electrification and digitalization of the electricity system, through two work streams:

  1. GET EV for smarter cities focusing on electrification and exploring the intersection between the grid edge transformation and Electric Vehicles (EVs). This will create a vision to accelerate EV deployment and their integration with other grid edge technologies and services to create smarter, energy efficient cities; and also a framework to implement the vision, encompassing policy, business models, infrastructure planning and customer experience.
  2. Accelerating GET in markets follows on to the national framework on how to rethink the energy system at the grid edge developed in 2016-17. The World Economic Forum is engaging Energy Ministries to implement this framework. Through workshops and public-private working groups, stakeholders are adapting these recommendations to propose new policies and partnerships in the respective markets.

This year, the effort is led by Bain partners Joseph Scalise, head of Bain's Utilities & Alternative Energy practice for the Americas, and Joe Herger, a leader in Bain's Americas Utilities practice.

Developing Transformation Roadmaps for a Digital Enterprise

In the initial year of collaboration with the World Economic Forum on the Digital Enterprise project, Bain is focusing on the key questions that CEOs need to answer in order to tackle the challenges of digitalization and to successfully transform their organizations into digital enterprises.

The purpose is to develop practical tools, strategies and capabilities that can help companies to advance an actionable roadmap towards their digital transformation - key emphasis of this phase of the project is on shifting the focus of attention from awareness to action – from ‘Why?' to ‘What, How and Who?'.

The cross-industry and collaborative project will engage a group of executives who will regroup multiple times during the course of the year to share common challenges, learn from mutual experiences and develop new ideas on how to drive digital transformations.

A first iteration of findings will be presented at the Governor's meeting during the Annual Meeting in Davos of the World Economic Forum in January 2018; a final report will be published in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the New Champions in China in June 2018, which will also include practical tools and case studies.

This year Bain partners Ouriel Lancry, Co-head of Bain's Global Digital Practice, and Laurent Colombani, Head of Bain's Digital Practice in EMEA, are leading the effort.

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