WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “Employment contracts today are a reducing share of the workforce”, scientists worry in Davos that the 4th industrial revolution threatens employment globally

The Promise of Progress: Laura D'Andrea Tyson, Arne Sorenson, Andrew  McAfee

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 20JAN16 – Laura D’Andrea Tyson (L), Professor and Director, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, USA; Global Agenda Council on Gender Parity, Arne Sorenson (C), President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International, USA and Andrew McAfee (R), Principal Research Scientist, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA discuss during the session ‘The Promise of Progress’ at the Annual Meeting 2016 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 20, 2016. WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM/swiss-image.ch/Photo Michael Buholzer

During the afternoon of the first day of the World Economic Forum 2016, a very stimulating session took place called: “The Promise of Progress”. The panel discussion was on the 4th industrial revolution, the theme of this year’s WEF, and cast light on the reasons why the technological revolution that we are living today could pose a threat to our societies.

The panel was comprised of Mr Arne Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott International, Mr Vishal Sikka, CEO and Managing Director of Infosys, Mrs Laura D’Andrea Tyson, Professor and Director, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, Mr Guy Ryder, Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Andrew McAffee, Principal Research Scientist at MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The panel was convened with the support of Al Jazeera America and hence the host moderator was the well known anchor Mr Ali Velshi. It is true that this vibrant discussion created some uniquely interesting outputs that will be segregated in this article based on the speaker who made the relevant points.

Laura D’ Andrea Tyson

Professor Tyson started by saying that the topic of this session should have rather been “sharing of progress”. That technology is creating and will keep creating remarkable gains in the world, is something she is sure of. How will it be share though, that is a different matter as she commented.

Mrs Tyson soon discussed the phenomenon where the number of jobs in the US is declining as technology takes away jobs from many people. She said that policy wise there could be a solution to that through “minimum wage”, “collective bargaining” and “tax and transfer policy”.

Moreover, she underlined that “the number of employment contracts are a reducing share of the workforce”. This presents a heavy issue that calls policy makers to make arrangements for independent workers and entrepreneurs regarding their healthcare, pension and social benefits as a whole.

Further, Mrs Tyson shared a most conservative insight regarding the 4th industrial revolution, an insight that certainly surprised the audience coming from a professor at one of the world’s best business schools. She talked about previous industrial revolution and how it created lots of benefits and wealth that were widely shared throughout the middle class as well and lead to employment and better quality of life.

The professor presented China here as a great example country to capitalise on this previous traditional industrial revolution with releasing immense production capacity and benefiting from it through vast trade channels. The alternative to that model, according to Mrs Tyson is what we have today, numerous entrepreneurs around the world, disrupting every inch of the market.

According to her, this is not a sustainable growth way. Besides, the entrepreneurial way is not what most people want. Instead, people look more for safety and benefits rather than entrepreneurial risk. In addition, capital is truly scarce for start-ups.

Vishal Sikka

The Indian CEO had distinctly different and more forward thinking views from the American Professor. He said that automation and technology are inevitable. There is no limit to creativity, according to the panelist.

“The progress of technology creates more opportunity” Mr Sikka highlighted. Entrepreneurs in India for example have better access to opportunity than ever before. The root of the issue he aspires to be whether we can educate people on entrepreneurship.

“Do we prepare people for the world how it will be?” “Why don’t we teach millions of people to be entrepreneurs?”, the Indian businessman wonders. If we take a deeper view, he is convinced that the more access people have to jobs the more the imbalances in the society will go away.

Guy Ryder

Mr Ryder commenced by making it clear that we are situated in a too sluggish global economy outlook currently and that the spiral continues in the wrong direction. About the 4th or 2nd industrial revolution – the ranking depends on which book you read he claims – he underlines that “progress is not about technology, it is about what we make out of it”.

What is more, the ILO top manager discussed the theory of “creative destruction”, which holds that after a period of turbulence, quality growth follows. However, Mr Ryder believes that ] this time it could be a different case. “This technological revolution has the capacity to transfer the way job is created and the manner in which job is undertaken”, he continued.

The International Labour Organisation Director General argued that the world has done too well before in terms of growth and employment. Currently we are experiencing a step back to full employment, while extraordinary growth inequality leads to exclusion. The big issue is that the world has had growing inequality for so many years. Mr Ryder thinks that if the 4th Industrial revolution accentuates those inequalities, we will be very worried.

The ILO Director General closed his speech by accentuating the importance of labour market institutions in working towards better employment conditions in the new digital era.

Arne Sorenson

The President of Marriott International was also invited in the panel to share his experience about the digital revolution and its impact on business and employment.  Mr Sorenson went on saying that we are still much better off today than what we were 50 years ago. People have better jobs and more wealth and thus they can spend it on travelling, which obviously makes him and his business happy.

Further, the American CEO said that since 2000 Marriott has had an increase of approximately 200.000 employees more in their employment system. Certainly, as he supports, it is possible that the compensation or benefits could be the same or slightly less.

Overall, Marriott’s boss thinks that people should not be mislead by the advertised hypes of Mark Zuckerberg alike role model but rather have a more steady career growth plan.

Andrew McAfee

The MIT scientist began by recognising that it is the middle class globally that has been demolished. The Job incomes are under threat globally.

Technology can be one important reason for that. In the past technology was used only for the routine parts of the production line in big factories. Nowadays, they are used to perform complex jobs like thinking, understanding human speech, responding to it and so many more. Hence, Mr McAfee believes that these jobs are lost for ever to the machine evolution.

Another interesting element of his speech is the comment that entrepreneurship and startups will not be able to bring back the lost jobs to technology revolution. The reason is because startups will always use automated systems to cut costs and time.

Mr McAfee believes that policy makers need to accommodate this rapid digital advancement of our time, coordinate and try to diminish possible consequent social inequalities with better inclusive policies like tax and transfer systems, better education etc.

During the Q&A of the panel one question was distinguished and that was made by Mr Carlos Represas, Corporate Director of Bombardier, who asked a thoughtful question on how to abolish global poverty and marginalisation through coordinated policy-making. The answer of the panelists was not found adequate.

Stay tuned from 20 to 23 January as the Sting will be once more producing top class critical LIVE media coverage from the Congress Centre in Davos, Switzerland. 

Join the Hive!

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

‘Unlock opportunities’ and pave the way for sustainable development, UN chief urges on World Population Day

‘Milestones are clear’ for ‘significant progress’ in Somalia during 2019, Security Council hears

Will Europe be a different place this Monday?

Chart of the Day: These are the world’s most innovative economies

Water supply a human right but Greeks to lose their functioning utilities

The G7 should take the lead on ocean targets for 2020

The US is withdrawing from a 144-year-old treaty. Here’s the context

Draghi: printing a full extra trillion non negotiable to help all borrow cheaply

FROM THE FIELD: A mountain of indigenous knowledge in Peru

MWC 2016 LIVE: Qualcomm looks to pick up Hamilton’s winning ways

Charlotte in Ghana

Brexit Preparedness: European Commission adopts final set of “no-deal” contingency measures for Erasmus+ students, social security coordination rules and the EU budget

Celebrating Gaston Ramon – the vet who discovered vaccinology’s secret weapon

The world’s largest bus system is starting to go electric

Planes can now fly for 21 hours non-stop. But are people ready?

Who should pay for workers to be reskilled?

EU is officially in recession

The 4 types of leader who will thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Myanmar and UN agriculture agency agree framework to improve nutrition and food security

International Literacy Day: What you need to know about youth literacy

EU-U.S. trade talks – one year on, Commission presents progress report

Yemen war: UN chief urges good faith as ‘milestone’ talks get underway in Sweden

Latvian economy is thriving, but boosting productivity, improving social protection and transitioning to a low-carbon productive model are vital for sustainable and inclusive growth

Climate Change: A Healthcare Emergency

Climate change as determinant of health: the 21st Century challenge

We can’t rid Asia of natural disasters. But we can prepare for them

End racist discrimination against Afro-European people in the EU

Euro-Mediterranean Assembly fixes its permanent seat in Rome

Darfur: Inter-communal tensions still high despite improved security, Mission head tells Security Council

Boris ‘single-handed’ threatens mainland Europe; can he afford a no-deal Brexit?

State aid: France to recover €8.5 million of illegal aid to Ryanair at Montpellier airport

Eurozone: The crisis hit countries are again subsidizing the German and French banks

Phone lines open between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and people are calling strangers

These are the world’s most future-proof cities

Eurozone: Subdued inflation can lead to more recession

With a premature death every five seconds, air pollution is violation of human rights, says UN expert

Why Indian students are going abroad to become Doctors?

5 things you need to know about your microbiome

How climate change exacerbates the refugee crisis – and what can be done about it

This is the critical number that shows when housing breaks down

The latest emoji are more inclusive – but who approves them?

Draghi joined Macron in telling Germany how Eurozone must be reformed

Yes, together we can make a change! YO!Fest and EYE 2016

OK computer: why the machine age still needs humans

Dangers of poor quality health care revealed ‘in all countries’: WHO report

UN chief welcomes announcement by Emir of Qatar to allocate $50 million to support Syrian refugees, displaced persons

The Stray

25 years after population conference, women still face challenges to ‘well-being and human rights’, says UN chief

4 ways to keep the momentum rolling on mental health

Towards the Rise of the United States of the Atlantic?

Brazilian public health system and universality: a forgotten right!

‘Brutal weather’ continues as Rohingya refugee children endure devastating rainfall in Bangladesh

Germany resists Macron’s plan for closer and more cohesive Eurozone; Paris and Berlin at odds

At UN, youth activists press for bold action on climate emergency, vow to hold leaders accountable at the ballot box

Car rentals: EU action leads to clearer and more transparent pricing

Brexit: An orderly exit is in the interests of both parties

Easier Schengen Visas for non-EU holiday makers: A crucial issue for south Eurozone countries

Infrastructure around the world is failing. Here’s how to make it more resilient

Security Council gravely concerned by Ebola outbreak in DR Congo, demands immediate end to violence hampering response

UN chief calls for ‘united front’ against anti-Semitism after US synagogue mass-shooting

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s