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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.

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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.

The Global Gender Gap Report 2013

October 28, 2013 Comments off

The Global Gender Gap Report 2013
Source: World Economic Forum

The Global Gender Gap Index introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2006, is a framework for capturing the magnitude and scope of gender-based disparities and tracking their progress. The Index benchmarks national gender gaps on economic, political, education- and health-based criteria, and provides country rankings that allow for effective comparisons across regions and income groups, and over time. The rankings are designed to create greater awareness among a global audience of the challenges posed by gender gaps and the opportunities created by reducing them. The methodology and quantitative analysis behind the rankings are intended to serve as a basis for designing effective measures for reducing gender gaps.

The Index is designed to measure gender-based gaps in access to resources and opportunities in individual countries rather than the actual levels of the available resources and opportunities in those countries. We do this in order to make the Global Gender Gap Index independent from countries’ the levels of development. In other words, the Index is constructed to rank countries on their gender gaps not on their development level.

New Index Identifies Countries’ Ability to Develop and Nurture Human Capital

October 2, 2013 Comments off

New Index Identifies Countries’ Ability to Develop and Nurture Human Capital
Source: World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum’s first Human Capital Index has identified the most successful countries in the world when it comes to maximizing the long-term economic potential of their respective labour forces. The Index, which measures countries on their ability to develop and deploy healthy, educated and able workers through four distinct pillars: Education; Health and Wellness; Workforce and Employment; and Enabling Environment, finds Switzerland ranked number one overall, followed by Finland (2) and Singapore (3). Six of the remaining seven countries in the top 10 are in northern Europe, including Germany (6) and the United Kingdom (8).

The Index’s 122-country ranking, which forms the basis of the Human Capital report, also finds strong performances from countries in North America, Asia and the Middle East. Canada enters the Index in tenth position, while Japan (15) and the United States (16) are solidly established in the top 20. Qatar, at 18, is the strongest performing economy in the Middle East and North Africa.

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