According to Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman and Founder of the World Economic Forum, the fourth revolution is marked by the confluence of new technologies that erase the boundaries between biological, digital and physical sectors.
“Like the revolutions that preceded it, the Fourth Industrial Revolution has the potential to raise global income levels and improve the quality of life for populations around the world,” Schwab said.
“To date, those who have gained the most from it have been consumers able to afford and access the digital world; technology has made possible new products and services that increase the efficiency and pleasure of our personal lives.”
The current industrial revolution, if compared to previous ones, is characterized by the unprecedented velocity of developments. Moreover, the scale of influence is huge as it affects almost every industry, from governance to production.
The emergence of new technologies creates completely new ways of satisfying customer needs. Meantime, an access to data and mobile networks steadily transforms consumer behavior. Companies are forced to adapt to the occurring changes and modernize their products and services.
It is important, Schwab underlines, to keep abreast with technological innovations and “relentlessly and continuously” enhance their products.
The main concern associated with the fourth revolution is the growing unemployment. “Technology is therefore one of the main reasons why incomes have stagnated, or even decreased, for a majority of the population in high-income countries: the demand for highly skilled workers has increased while the demand for workers with less education and lower skills has decreased. The result is a job market with a strong demand at the high and low ends, but a hollowing out of the middle,” Schwab said.
Most sessions will focus on innovative technologies transforming the globe’s financial system. The leaders from the financial services industry, including PayPal’s CEO, Dan Schulman, and International Monetary Fund’s Christine Lagarde are anticipated to speak on the impact of fintech revolution on the financial sector. Besides, they will address the issues of regulation, digitization and information security.
Among other speakers are Deutsche Bank’s co-CEO John Cryan, President of Visa Ryan Mclnerney, Lloyds of London’s CEO Inga Beale, Swift’s Chief Executive Gottfried Leibbrandt, the CEO of ING Ralph Hamers and James Gorman from Morgan Stanley.
Ripple’s CEO, Chris Larsen, will also take part in the forum and will speak on such topics as the fintech revolution and transformation of finance. TransferWise’s CEO, Taavet Hinrikus, is expected to speak on the “unicorn effect”.
The bitcoin community is likely to hear some interesting discussions on digital currency as well, as Eygeny Kaspersky and Mauricio Macri, the known blockchain advocates, will attend the event.