From 20 to 23 January, over 40 heads of state and government, as well as 2,500 leaders from business and society convened at the 46th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. The Forum theme was “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Forum participants examined the challenges of geo-economics, global security, public health, education, gender parity and climate change. Perry Center Diplomat-in-Residence Ambassador Adam Blackwell attended the Forum on behalf of the Perry Center. Ambassador Blackwell, the former Secretary of Multi-Dimensional Security at the Organization of American States (OAS) from July 2010 to October 2015, participated in discussion on global security issues and solving problems in the global commons. Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, and Secretary of State John Kerry led the US delegation.
Three key themes shaped the 2016 agenda:
- Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution – This new revolution is distinct in the speed, scale and force at which it transforms entire systems of production, distribution and consumption. How is technology changing our lives and that of future generations, and reshaping the economic, social, ecological and cultural contexts in which we live?
- Addressing Global Security Issues – The humanitarian tragedy of the unfolding refugee crisis and reverberations from terrorist attacks are reminders of how geostrategic competition, renewed regionalism and new antagonists are eroding global solidarity. How can public- and private-sector leaders prepare for a rapidly changing security landscape in which emerging technologies also play a key role?
- Solving Problems of the Global Commons – Geo security tensions exacerbate the challenges of governing at a global level even as the urgency increases to pursue environmental and social sustainability, financial system reform and openness of the internet. How can problems of the global commons, from climate change to the future of the internet, be tackled through new models of public-private cooperation and the application of breakthrough science and technology solutions?