What were your lasting impressions from Davos 2014?
Ian: 2014 was my sixth visit to the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos and the mood of the meeting was characterised by improved confidence and optimism. The event continues to bring together leaders from all walks of life, so the diversity of perspectives makes it unique.
What are you expecting to get out of Davos 2015?
Ian: Globally, we’re currently facing significant changes and challenges: economically, politically and socially. The theme of the meeting, ‘The New Global Context’, will therefore be particularly relevant. I’m expecting to participate in some interesting and wide-ranging debates on critical issues such as gender inequality, technological change and demographic challenges including youth unemployment. Tackling key business and social issues can’t be owned by any one group in society, which is why after 40 years Davos remains so relevant.
You mentioned challenges and critical trends…
Ian: We know that a number of megatrends are shaping business and society today. In fact, they’ll affect everyone to some degree over the next few years. For example, the ‘new global context’ includes social transformations such as rapid urbanisation. This particular megatrend brings significant implications for businesses as they refocus their products, service offerings, marketing and distribution towards an increasingly urban customer base with distinct needs and consumption habits. Business leaders, like all leaders, must be ready to respond to this change.