The theme of the Davos meeting is ‘Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution’. In your view, how is this shaping the future of business?
The fourth industrial revolution is distinct in its transformation of entire systems of production, distribution and consumption, creating completely new ways of doing business and new business models and ecosystems. Business leaders are finding that this type of disruption is the ‘new normal’. A great example of this is the sharing economy – which has not only completely revolutionised the way business is done, but also how businesses interact with customers.
The sharing economy is the result of the collision between technological breakthroughs and resource scarcity as well as rapid urbanisation and demographic shifts. These colliding megatrends are shaping new business models that focus on access to products and services over outright ownership. The rise of peer-to-peer stems directly from the needs and desires of customers – and the sharing economy addresses these needs directly by bypassing ownership; which is a significant advantage in terms of cost savings for both businesses and consumers.
In my view, all CEOs and business decision makers need to think carefully about the disruptive challenges and opportunities that the sharing economy poses for their business models. There are few, if any, sectors that will remain untouched.
Watch Norbert Winkeljohann’s Sharing economy video.
In your view, what are the benefits of a meeting like Davos?
The annual WEF meeting at Davos has come to represent the spirit of globalisation and inclusiveness, as political and business gather to consider the major global issues of the day and to brainstorm on solutions to address these shared challenges.
In today’s fast-paced, challenging and volatile environment, where we are seeing increased geopolitical changes, it is more important than ever to look at universal issues through a diverse and inclusive lens, and to anticipate both challenges and solutions in order to work collectively towards the betterment of lives.
At PwC, our purpose is to solve important problems and to build trust in society, and we are extremely honoured to be part of this global dialogue.
What advice do you have for someone who has never been to Davos?
Make the most of the many networking opportunities available during the meeting. Try to attend as many meeting sessions as possible, they really are thought-provoking.