Davos 2019: Key Themes and Expectations

Bain Partner Hernan Saenz discusses his observations at the beginning of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos.


Davos 2019: Key Themes and Expectations

Hernan Saenz, who leads Bain's Global Performance Improvement practice, outlines the main topics of discussion at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting, including the policy and infrastructure changes that will be necessary in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Read the transcript below:

HERNAN SAENZ: The conference here at Davos is focusing mostly on how to set up a new world architecture and policy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. What do we mean with Fourth Industrial Revolution? There's a world with data, integrated into platforms, giving you real-time predictive and prescriptive capabilities.

So technology policy has to change, regulatory policy has to change, economic policy has to change from a world of cooperation to a world of coordination.

So what are some of the key themes coming up? Well, first and foremost, society has to work together with governments and firms to define the new world infrastructure. Number two, there's a lot of excitement about what technology can do in the future to improve our world. But number three, there's a lot of fear of what's going to happen to laborers when that technology gets deployed. And they need to move away from materialism into humanism.

And what about our advice for our CEOs, on both sides of the capital equation? Number one, technology to be used to make supply chains resilient—not lowest cost, [but] flexible. And on the human capital side: lifelong learning. That's the only way that the employees will thrive.


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