Globalization 4.0 Attempts To Address Populist Revolt
Global leaders gathered in the icy cold confines of Davos Switzerland for the 2019 edition of the World Economic Forum (WEF). This 49th annual gathering’s theme focuses on Globalization 4.0 in the fourth industrial revolution. Though most have not encountered the third industrial revolution, let alone the fourth, the digitization wave has hit organizations and individuals with tsunami level disruption to the status quo.
While noble in intent, the forum drives deep discussion among its members. The research into political, societal, economic, and technology issues have raised public awareness. Despite the number of world leaders, business executives, non-profit pioneers, and other change agents, few major initiatives move from concept to commercialization and impact the general populace. Hence, many skeptics continue to criticize the WEF efforts.
Figure 1. Registration at Davos
Trends Show Massive Schisms As Humanity Expects Concrete Actions Not Cheap Talk
Throughout the conference, six forces emerge in on-going discussions among the Davos-set. The discussion points behind these conversations show a crisis of hope and a need to address systemic challenges:
- Massive global debt crisis continues to harm future growth
- Expectations gap widens and creates a sense of helplessness
- Equality and equal opportunity remain at odds
- Aging wealthy populace confronts less abundant growing youth
- Artificial Intelligence will permeate all future designs but populace questions benefits vs threat
- Winner takes all network platforms dominate each industry creating mass losers
Figure 2. Globalization 4.0 Under Fire As Global Leaders Fail The Populace
The Bottom Line: Real Leaders Needed Ahead
As world leaders and elites convene to discuss Globalization 4.0, the lack of self-awareness and empathy of populist view points hinder policy effectiveness. Swift decisive actions now trump patient planning and decision making regardless of impact. The populace yearns for a clear path to equal opportunity, fairness, and meritocracy. Unfortunately, leaders have no more tools to offer other than empty promises.
The need for leadership has never been greater and the forces of good must trump evil in this precarious period. This call to action must be heeded. As centralized systems create winner takes all markets and exacerbate inequality, decentralization will empower a shift of power and create new opportunities. Leaders must step up to craft systems that ensure equal opportunity.
(Cross-posted @ A Software Insider's Point of View)