Collaboration is key to strengthening the global economic system: ‘We must come together’

Oct 17, 2023…

“Trust-building and collaboration across countries, industries and disciplines is more important than ever,” said Forum Managing Director Mirek Dušek.

Al-Bayan, a UAE daily newspaper, conducted the following Q&A with Mirek Dušek, Managing Director World Economic Forum, during the Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils in Dubai.

What are the most pressing upcoming challenges facing the global economy and sustainable development?

“The world is facing multiple complex interconnected challenges – from increasing geopolitical volatility to an uncertain economic outlook to urgent climate, nature and energy crises. During this time of fragmentation, we must come together – across geographies, industries, and viewpoints – to find solutions to address immediate crises while also laying the groundwork to create a more sustainable, resilient world.

“This meeting provides the space for experts to consider opposing views and generate new insights to improve future decision-making for managing technology, improving societal resilience, growing economies and protecting the planet.”

What are the effects of geopolitical unrest and conflicts on the global economy?

“In an increasingly fragmented and polarized world, trust-building and collaboration across countries, industries and disciplines is more important than ever. At the meeting, cross-cutting sessions on growth will explore what economic growth means in the current context and propose the kind of growth we should be striving for. Ultimately, the world needs productive and effective cooperation to allow for the trade, investment and exchange of ideas needed to achieve and sustain growth.”

What is the importance of education and skills development in promoting economic growth and employment?

“Education, skills development and job creation must be central to economic growth, and a major global reskilling and upskilling effort is needed to prepare workers for the jobs of tomorrow. Governments and businesses must invest in education, reskilling and social support structures to ensure inclusive economic growth that empowers individuals to thrive in the future of work.”

How can a balance between economic development and social justice be achieved?

“Countries too often face a trade-off between economic growth and sustainable development, especially during times of political and financial volatility, as seen in the Forum’s recent Chief Economists Outlook. There is an urgent need for innovation, cross-border investment and technology transfer to ensure inclusive growth, climate action and social justice.”

What is the role of innovation in encouraging economic growth and improving the quality of life?

“Innovation, with its emphasis on new ideas and approaches, can spur the momentum needed to create more equitable, sustainable and resilient growth. We must ensure continuous funding for digital and green industries to bring innovation to market and scale technological solutions that address pressing problems. Our meeting in Dubai will challenge participants to step out of siloed approaches and integrate the latest thinking across disciplines to improve the quality of life for all.”

Are there any new topics discussed for the first time during the Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils 2023 meeting?

“Generative artificial intelligence (AI) makes a debut at this year’s Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils, with multiple sessions in the program addressing the effect of the rapid advancement of the technology on industries, economies, and societies. In response to the need for a comprehensive approach to this technology, the World Economic Forum’s AI Governance Alliance brings together key stakeholders from the public, private and civil sectors to champion responsible design, development and release of transparent and inclusive AI systems.”

What new technologies can contribute to enhancing economic growth and increasing productivity?

“The acceleration of AI and other advanced technologies is starting to turbocharge industries and increase productivity. For example, large language models, which are deep-learning algorithms that can recognize, summarize, translate, predict and generate content using very large datasets, could benefit jobs that involve critical thinking and complex problem-solving skills, according to a recent Forum report.

At the same time, technological advancements present profound dilemmas for humanity, and it is critical that governments and businesses collaborate to ensure responsible, inclusive development and deployment that put people at the centre.”

How can the private sector contribute to promoting economic development and creating job opportunities?

“Public-private partnerships are critical to promoting an inclusive, sustainable, resilient economy. For example, a new Forum report, launched this week in Dubai, shows how private-sector climate action in the Middle East and North Africa could unlock economic growth, high-quality job creation and global leadership in new technologies.

As the International Organization for public-private cooperation, the World Economic Forum is working to advance opportunities for multistakeholder collaboration across the many themes featured in the Global Future Council network, including job creation, the energy transition, and trade and investment.”

How can the resilience of the global economic system be strengthened?

“The only way for the world to strengthen the global economic system is through collaboration. Addressing the many complex challenges facing the world requires connecting the dots across industries and geographies. We must take an inclusive approach to identify and develop solutions, and to create spaces to learn from each other through constructive dialogue.”


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