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PwC at Davos 2020

Creating a cohesive and sustainable world

From increasing wealth disparity and technological disruptions, to demographic pressures and growing populism, to the climate crisis and declining confidence in the institutions that underpin society, now is an important time for leaders to come together and work towards a more sustainable world.

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos will bring together leaders from all around the world to discuss these pressing issues. In January, we’ll be joining them to take part in discussions and events aimed at discussing possible solutions. We’re also launching the findings of 23rd Annual Global CEO Survey.

No single organisation alone can address the economic, environmental, social and technological challenges of a complex, interdependent world. Guided by our purpose, we’re committed to working together to bring about change. Join us here, and on Twitter and LinkedIn, for insights and live updates in the lead up to and during Davos.

Watch our livestreams from Davos

Social mobility: Reskilling the next billion

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How are businesses and governments leading a reskilling revolution for 1billion people? Our Global Chairman, Bob Moritz, joined a panel discussion held at the World Economic Forum. (Duration: 44m57s)

CEO Survey launch recap from Davos

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Our Global Chairman, Bob Moritz, revealed the findings of PwC’s 23rd Global CEO Survey at a press conference in Davos the eve of the WEF. (Duration 2m)

Watch the launch in full (Requires login/registration) 

 

30%

Of jobs are at risk of automation by 2030s according to PwC estimates

1.6%

Reduction in global carbon intensity in 2018. A rate of 7.5% per year is needed to limit warming to 2°C

72%

Of business leaders surveyed mention the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in their reporting, but only 1% measure performance against SDG targets

$15.7 tn

Potential contribution to the global economy by 2030 from AI — if it is used responsibly

Davos Talks 2020 podcast

As leaders gather for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, PwC releases a new podcast series looking at four themes which are high up the agenda in Davos: upskilling, purpose, technology and climate change. Hear from experts on the challenges and opportunities facing organisations, including practical solutions.

Explore the series

Insights on four Davos issues

Upskilling for a digital world

One of the most pressing problems facing our world today is the growing gap between the skills people have and those needed for the new digital world. The technological revolution is transforming many aspects of life as we know it. This can bring with it many benefits for society but also some unintended consequences such as the obsolescence or disruption of jobs and businesses, and an increased disparity between those with technological skills and those without. While business has an important role to play, there is an urgent need for organisations, governments, educators and citizens to come together with business to address the many implications for society. 

How can businesses contribute to solving this societal issue? How can they upskill their employees and engage with their communities and other stakeholders to help those who are currently disadvantaged and the next generation to enhance their skills and capabilities? To see how we are tackling this at PwC, take a look at New world. New skills – our programme to reach millions of people around the world – which will be featured as a “Lighthouse project” at Davos. Lighthouse projects describe the way in which organisations are making concrete progress to address the pressing societal, economic, environmental, technology, regional and industry challenges of our time. 

And what should organisations think about as they embark on a programme to upskill their workforce? Our six-step approach provides a good starting point on how businesses and governments can work together.

Find out how we can help

Delivering on profit and purpose

For many years, economic growth supported ongoing improvements in many people’s lives. This can no longer be assumed. It’s time to realign the purpose of an economy and rewire business so it delivers on profit and purpose. 

As part of the change that is needed, we should think differently about value, considering longer term time horizons and broader societal impact, rather than short-term inputs and gains.

As part of this effort, organisations should measure and report on societal outcomes, not just financial ones. This raises some important questions: What are the priority metrics that all companies can report on so that stakeholders can see how they are delivering on societal goals and their own purpose? We’re supporting the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council to identify those metrics. 

Although we’re seeing some progress, with business leaders and the investment community increasingly focusing on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors as key to their assessment of risk, value and prospects, there is more to do at a systemic level to achieve the scale and pace of change that is needed. Watch out for more on this conversation at Davos.

Explore our thinking

Taking action on climate change

As extreme weather events become more commonplace and global warming continues, there is a need for governments, businesses and institutions to expeditiously work towards reaching “net zero” emissions.

Climate action is increasing: in 2019, many countries pledged to implement decarbonisation strategies to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Corporate action is also growing with over 100 “net zero pioneer” companies and their CEOs committing since September to achieve net zero emissions across their operations and value chains by 2050. PwC is working with clients around the world to help them achieve this ambition. 

To manage our own impact, in 2018, we set a baseline commitment across our 21 largest territories to reduce our absolute carbon impact, offset air travel emissions from FY19, source 100% renewable energy for our electricity consumption, and offset residual energy use by FY22. At the end of FY19, our commitment covered over 90% of our global revenue with all of our 21 Strategy Council firms and a number of other member firms working towards this commitment.

For business, climate change is creating risks and opportunities in many different ways. As attention on the issue grows, investors, regulators and other stakeholders are challenging companies to demonstrate an integrated, strategic approach to addressing climate risks and opportunities. Boards of directors have an important responsibility for the long-term stewardship of the companies they oversee. However, to govern climate risks and opportunities effectively, they need to be equipped with the right tools to make the best possible decisions. See our report with World Economic Forum which outlines eight guiding principles for how to set up effective climate governance on corporate boards.

The risks of nature loss

PwC is also working with the World Economic Forum on the first report of the New Nature Economy initiative, focused on business risk from nature loss. As ecosystems dramatically decline and scientists predict a million species face extinction within decades, we are crossing the planet's boundaries and natural systems' ability to cope, increasing the risk of large-scale, irreversible environmental and societal changes. The report will look at the scale and urgency of the nature crisis and the potential consequences for businesses and the wider economy if it goes unchecked. Find out more in January when the report will be published.

Find out how we can help

Using technology responsibly

Technology deployment is having a remarkable impact on human beings and society more broadly. The technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) are enabling the transformation of entire systems  and networks. But technologies can also put greater stress on our planet, its resources, and on our society. How can they be harnessed so they fulfil their potential to transform the lives of people and fast-track sustainable development globally? 

PwC is working with the World Economic Forum to explore this issue. Together, we are launching at Davos a public-private cooperation platform which will connect technology innovators, businesses, governments, international organisations, civil society, academics and investors to scale the 4IR technologies for societal and environmental good. We will also launch research on how new technologies can help meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Find out more and watch out for the launch in Davos.

Artificial intelligence (AI) could contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. But with its great potential comes great risk. Launched at the World Economic Forum meeting in China, PwC’s Responsible AI provides practical guidance to help organisations build trust in AI, by focusing on five key dimensions.

Explore our Responsible AI toolkit

Contact us

Mike Davies

Mike Davies

Director, Global Communications, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 7803 974136

Andrea Plasschaert

Andrea Plasschaert

Senior manager, Global communications, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 79 599 9567

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