What were your impressions of the 2013 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos?
Ian: It was my fifth Annual Meeting in Davos and it's a unique gathering of high profile international attendees. In 2013, the mood was more upbeat and there was a sense of cautious optimism among the delegates. The 2013 theme of 'resilient dynamism' was a key topic of discussion both at the formal and informal meetings.
What are you expecting to get out of the World Economic Forum 2014?
Ian: I think the sense of optimism will continue to gather pace into the 2014 meeting. More advanced economies are showing signs that economic growth is steadily improving and there’s renewed confidence after a period of concern and uncertainty about the future. The theme in 2014 is 'Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business'. We can expect a lively debate on the topic at Davos given the business, political and non-governmental leaders present.
The theme of the meeting is 'The Reshaping of the World'. How have CEOs adapted the way they run their business in response to society, political and business changes?
Ian: Demographic shifts, especially rapid urbanisation and the rise of the middle class, are all trends that are having a significant impact on business and society. In addition, the changing digital landscape is profoundly affecting the way the world operates. CEOs today have to anticipate and respond to a host of ever-changing dynamics in their strategic planning. With all these forces putting pressure on businesses, CEOs that are actively embracing these changes are more likely to be well placed for the future.