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Joblessness, Inequality the New Normal as Geopolitical Trends Climb Global Agenda

November 10, 2014 Comments off

Joblessness, Inequality the New Normal as Geopolitical Trends Climb Global Agenda
Source: World Economic Forum

Deepening income inequality and jobless growth head the Top 10 trends for 2015, according to the Outlook on the Global Agenda, which is published today. These long-standing economic challenges are joined in this year’s survey by growing political and environmental concerns.

The trends are based on a survey of almost 1,800 experts from the Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils as well as other communities within the World Economic Forum on what they believe will preoccupy leaders over the coming 12-18 months.

The Top 10 Trends for 2015 are:

  1. Deepening income inequality
  2. Persistent jobless growth
  3. Lack of leadership
  4. Rising geostrategic competition
  5. Weakening of representative democracy
  6. Rising pollution in the developing world
  7. Increasing occurrence of severe weather events
  8. Intensifying nationalism
  9. Increasing water stress
  10. Growing importance of health in the economy

The prominence of inequality and unemployment at the top of the list signifies that they are viewed even more severely than in previous years, with stagnating wages contributing to a vicious cycle of entrenched inequality through suppressed growth and employment prospects.

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Rethinking Arab Employment: A Systemic Approach for Resource-Endowed Economies

November 7, 2014 Comments off

Rethinking Arab Employment: A Systemic Approach for Resource-Endowed Economies
Source: World Economic Forum

Countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have made tremendous progress in the past decades, building cities at the forefront of innovation, becoming global leaders in select industries, and continuously expanding their global aspirations. Yet, to sustain this momentum, dramatic progress needs to be achieved in how young people, a demographic majority, engage in the economy and society at large. GCC leaders are acutely aware that a job is more than a salary, and that the possible consequences of compromised futures, because of under- and unemployment, are deeply destabilizing. They understand that providing a dynamic, enabling environment in which these youth legions can realize their ambitions is critical to whether their economies can achieve their long-term aspirations, particularly in light of the current social context.

At present, however, even with wide acknowledgment of the importance of the matter and despite decades of economic expansion and extensive investments in education, infrastructure projects, and economic diversification, high youth unemployment rates persist, often reaching double digits.

Delivering Digital Infrastructure

May 7, 2014 Comments off

Delivering Digital Infrastructure
Source: World Economic Forum/Boston Consulting Group

The Internet is the essential infrastructure of the twenty-first century. It is as revolutionary in its effects on how people live, work, play, and interact as transportation, energy, and telephony were in the past. For billions of people already—and for billions more to come—life without digital interaction is all but unthinkable.

But suppose the unthinkable were to happen. Imagine that the infrastructure fails. Picture a bridge with a fractured support. Or a pipeline slowed to a trickle. Or an electrical grid that functions only intermittently. Such infrastructure-related realities occur all too frequently—and they represent big daily headaches and economic impediments for the people who must contend with them.

The costly and complex infrastructure that carries the traffic to make digital services possible is hardly immune to similar headaches and impediments. As the World Wide Web passes its twenty-fifth birthday, the volume of traffic that its infrastructure must carry is exploding at an exponential rate. This infrastructure is under strain; it needs investment and maintenance. It has limitations in reach, penetration, and capacity that can only be overcome through innovations. Perhaps most important, it needs the continuing collaboration of its own ecosystem of participants—companies, governments, users, and other parties—to keep pace with the increasing demands being placed upon it.

A new report by the World Economic Forum, written in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group, Delivering Digital Infrastructure: Advancing the Internet Economy, is the first to undertake a comprehensive examination of the present threats to digital infrastructure with input from representatives of all affected stakeholder groups. These stakeholders include communications services providers (CSPs), content and digital-services companies, and hardware manufacturers active in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. They also include government representatives and NGOs.

WEF — Increased Cyber Security Can Save Global Economy Trillions

January 30, 2014 Comments off

Increased Cyber Security Can Save Global Economy Trillions
Source: World Economic Forum

Failing to improve cyber security could cost the world economy and lead to more frequent cyberattacks, according to a new report released today by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with McKinsey & Company.

The Risk and Responsibility in a Hyperconnected World report addresses options that institutions can take to improve cyber resilience and mitigate the economic and strategic impact of such attacks. With the recent proliferation of cyberattacks, corporate executives need to devote increasing attention to protecting information assets and on-line operations.

The report notes that major technology trends, including massive analytics, cloud computing and big data, could create between US$ 9.6 trillion and $US 21.6 trillion in value for the global economy. However, if attacker sophistication outpaces defender capabilities – resulting in more destructive attacks – a wave of new regulations and corporate policies could slow innovation, with an aggregate impact of approximately US$ 3 trillion by 2020.

WEF — Seven Principles for Adapting to the New Digital World

January 29, 2014 Comments off

Seven Principles for Adapting to the New Digital World
Source: World Economic Forum

  • New principles developed through World Economic Forum call for global collaboration to address the borderless nature of digital media
  • Internet users report relatively low awareness of laws regulating the use of digital content
  • Over 100 experts from media and technology industry, government, civil society and thought leaders, including innovators and artists, contributed to the principles

WEF — Global Risks 2014

January 23, 2014 Comments off

Global Risks 2014
Source: World Economic Forum
From press release:

The chronic gap between the incomes of the richest and poorest citizens is seen as the risk that is most likely to cause serious damage globally in the coming decade, according to over 700 global experts that contributed to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks 2014 report, released today.

Taking a 10-year outlook, the report assesses 31 risks that are global in nature and have the potential to cause significant negative impact across entire countries and industries if they take place. The risks are grouped under five classifications – economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological – and measured in terms of their likelihood and potential impact.

Most likely global risks: After income disparity, experts see extreme weather events as the global risk next most likely to cause systemic shock on a global scale. This is followed by unemployment and underemployment, climate change and cyberattacks.

Most potentially impactful global risks: Fiscal crises feature as the global risk that experts believe has the potential to have the biggest impact on systems and countries over the course of the next 10 years. This economic risk is followed by two environmental risks – climate change and water crises – then unemployment and underemployment, and then critical information infrastructure breakdown, a technological risk.

Income Gap and Unemployment to Dominate International Agenda in 2014

November 15, 2013 Comments off

Income Gap and Unemployment to Dominate International Agenda in 2014
Source: World Economic Forum

An urgent need to address long-simmering economic problems such as widening income gaps and structural unemployment, coupled with growing concerns over the quality of economic policies and tension in the Middle East and North Africa, rank among the Top 10 trends for world leaders in 2014, according to the World Economic Forum’s Outlook on the Global Agenda, which is published today. These economic trends are accompanied by a broad swathe of concerns, including inaction on climate change and a lack of values in leadership, that demonstrate the complexity and interrelatedness of the challenges for leaders in the year ahead.

The findings of the Outlook come from a survey of more than 1,500 experts from the World Economic Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils and the Forum’s Young Global Leaders and Global Shapers communities. As well as indicating the emerging trends for the year ahead, the survey also attempts to map the connections between them, with the aim of helping leaders and policy-makers formulate effective responses.

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