Why we do what we do
Why we do what we do
The world is changing, and we want you to take part
International power relations are changing, driven by the shift towards populist politics as well as the growing power of technology companies that have access to complete and thorough user data.
As such, politics and tech firms are now crossing each other’s lines, as “security concerns” has led to the interception by Canadian officials of China’s tech giant Huawei, on behalf of the US and Japanese governments. These international political alliances point to the fact that this isn’t just about the money that a firm makes and contributes to a nation. In fact, the battle for global tech domination, is itself, a battle for world domination, since data is the new oil.
Previously, it was the military of opposition nations that went head-to-head; in the 1980’s it became war by proxy, at the expense of third-party nations. Today the pawn is the control and flow of information by the corporations that manufacture the most widely used information technology around the world. So, with the arrest of the Huawei CFO, Sabrina Meng, what comes next for the Chinese tech dragons? Is China’s next playing card their trade partnerships, their tech producers, or their military? Will it escalate beyond corporate sanctions into a full-fledged trade war, or worse?
In any of these scenarios, the distortion of the world’s largest economies will mean that the rest of the world is bound for instability. This combined with an estimated 8 million jobs to be automated by 2030, makes the short to mid term view look pretty bleak. Without economic stability, how will firms have confidence to invest in the reskilling of it’s human intelligence? Without free and transparent information, how will the emerging technologies such as Blockchain be democratised so that people beyond the elite can contribute to the new economy? If we face power struggles between superpowers that feed through our information systems, how can we ensure we have access to unbiased, truthful information?
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These are big issues, we know. That is why we convene leaders of thinking, researchers, business decision makers and trailblazers who care, and have influence to discuss what we can do at an organizational and behavioural level to make the world a brighter place for the next generations. We inspire each other to think outside our boxes; visit each other’s boxes, and morph the mindset into a fluid, expanding pool of strategy and innovation.
In fact, many game-changing inventions and business models have emerged from previous economic and military conflicts. Everything ever accomplished by NASA, for example, has its roots in the rivalry between the two superpowers of 20th century, America and USSR. Today, one of the most popular Cold War inventions is digital photography.
So with plenty of food for thought and ideas as catalysts, perhaps we can come up with some tools and business models to prepare ourselves for changes that are inevitable.
For example, climate change is a phenomenon that is still debated by dinosaurs in politics, but is a reality affecting an important part of Swiss commerce: mountain tourism. By 2100, there will be almost no snow below 1,200 meters — an average elevation for ski towns. The overall snow cover in the Alps will decline 70 percent, according to recent climate studies, affecting an industry that captures 11% market share of tourism for European people. The combined European alps resorts have 5 million beds, 60 million arrivals, average 6.2 days residence time, 370 million overnight stays, 900 million overnight capacity and 26 billion Euro revenue every year.*
What can resorts like Laax do about it? It’s unlikely that they can change the weather, but using authorized data collection and analysis, they are growing their business to be weather-resistant by creating a year-round destination driven by customer understanding.