The theme of the 2014 meeting is ‘The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business’. How is the world reshaping itself – and what does this mean to business?
Dennis: The world is reshaping itself in many ways. From the shift in global economic power towards the developing world, to the development of new technologies, to the changes in demographics – to name but a few. But one thing is clear – the financial crisis has showed us how interconnected the global economy really is. The slow-growth economic mode impacting the US and parts of Europe is affecting China today, as well as India, Brazil and Russia. All of this is connected. For businesses around the world including PwC, this brings challenges and opportunities. The challenge of growing in a slower growth economy – but also how to adapt to this evolving business environment and make the most of the opportunities out there today and in the future.
How does the transformation relate to PwC's five megatrends?
Dennis: Over the next three to five years, we anticipate large transitions affecting economies driven by what we call megatrends, revolving around rapid urbanisation, resource scarcity, technological breakthroughs and perhaps the most influential trend for most businesses today, the gradual steady rise in incomes and new economic opportunities for millions of people. We believe these megatrends will change the way the world looks, bringing challenges and investment opportunities for business around the world. So it's really these megatrends that are driving the transformation.
Every year, PwC launches its Annual Global CEO Survey in Davos. What issues is the survey going to cover this year?
Dennis: Last year's survey found that organisations, faced with the increasing pace, range and impact of disruptive events, were looking to become more agile and adaptable in order to not only survive, but thrive, amidst disorder. In the 17th Global CEO Survey, we’ll focus on how fundamental external forces of change are reshaping the enterprise – and what that will mean for tomorrow’s business. We’ll look at the three global trends CEOs believe will transform their businesses in the next five years. We’ll also explore CEOs’ views on the purpose of business and the importance of building and sustaining trust in this new environment. And we'll look, as we have in past surveys, at how confident CEOs feel, given the state of the economy.