PwC and the World Economic Forum

A strategic partnership promoting responsible and equitable 4IR technology

As one of the strategic partners with The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, PwC continues to build on a relationship with the WEF by sharing experience, skills and insights to help promote a safer, more equitable society. Together, we’ve collaborated on initiatives ranging from anti-corruption to climate change.

Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies impact people and entities around the world. Our continuing partnership with the Centre examines how technology can be designed and deployed in ways that help protect the interests, security and safety of all people.

We are working side by side with other companies and governments to help develop governance protocols and frameworks on the topics of AI, IoT and data policy. Three PwC fellows are engaged in these three disciplines led by PwC principals Anand Rao, Rob Mesirow and Jane Allen. These workstreams explore how 4IR technologies build on PwC’s portfolio of 4IR-related thought leadership, research and insights. They are also central to our partnership with WEF: to help promote ethically deployed technologies for the betterment of society—and particularly for the benefit of future generations.

Boards need stronger foundations to govern cyber risks effectively —  starting with a principle-based approach to delivering successful cyber-risk governance at board level. That’s the goal of the World Economic Forum, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and the Internet Security Alliance (ISA), along with our global partners and our project adviser, PwC.

Data for common purpose

The DCPI is built on the belief that orienting data policy and data models around common purposes, such as specific use cases, will unlock opportunities for both the public good and commercial spheres. Data can and should be treated differently depending on its actual and anticipated use and that 4IR technologies are on a path to enabling differentiated permissioning of the same data, dependent upon context. PwC is partnering with WEF to develop governance models and support platforms that manage data for ethical use that will benefit people around the world. The goal is to reimagine the future of data exchange and data trust to encourage commercial incentive to create an ecosystem and encourage our clients to participate in future data exchanges.


Generation AI project

The Generation AI project is developing a suite of initiatives aimed at responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI), especially as it may affect today’s children -- arguably the first generation coming of age in a world immersed in AI-driven digital technologies.

Toward this aim, the project will develop corporate governance guidelines to help protect children’s rights when experiencing AI in their homes, schools, and public places and promote education for children, young adults, parents, and guardians about leading practices for responsibly using AI. It will also endeavor to promote AI technology to help empower the most under-served including girls, communities of color, and developing countries.

IoT Governance

There are already more connected devices in the world than people — by 2025 there will be approximately five times more devices (42 billion) than human beings. “State of the connected world: 2020 Edition” — a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), researched in collaboration with PwC — warns that when it comes to governance, that thick web of connections has plenty of gaping holes — and the gap between IoT’s potential risks and the structures needed to mitigate them is widening.

No surprise there: standards and laws usually lag technological advances. But when a technology is as pervasive and indispensable as IoT, the stakes are so much higher. The risk areas identified as highest-impact — safety and security, and privacy and trust — cross geographic boundaries and touch consumers, enterprises and governing bodies alike.

In its report, the WEF stresses the responsibility placed on IoT device makers, service providers and industry groups to address these governance gaps. In Protecting the connected world, PwC highlights four actionable implications to build out Action #2 in the WEF report: ease and incentivize the adoption of cybersecurity best practices to enable a common duty of care among connected device manufacturers, system integrators, service providers, purchasers and users.

Board Governance of Cybersecurity

With the burgeoning growth of our global digital footprint, cybersecurity will remain a priority for business leaders for years to come. The World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report 2021 lists cybersecurity failure as a top “clear and present danger” and critical global threat.

Cybersecurity governance has risen in importance as a matter for boards of directors. Research has shown that when boards consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, companies that manage the entire portfolio of risks, including cyber, they do better in the marketplace.

Boards need stronger foundations to govern cyber risks effectively —  starting with a principle-based approach to delivering successful cyber-risk governance at board level. That’s the goal of the World Economic Forum, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and the Internet Security Alliance (ISA), along with our global partners and our project adviser, PwC.

In shaping the principles and supporting practices for boards of directors, the team consulted cyber and functional experts and invited corporate directors at some of the most advanced companies in the world to validate the principles.

Using AI and human ingenuity to emerge from the pandemic

Hear how artificial intelligence (AI) is being deployed to support societies through a recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Topics include:

  • 2:22 - Why AI models can be wrong… yet useful
  • 6:24 - The delicate dance of AI:  ensuring transparency and privacy
  • 14:30 - AI at work

Duration:  23:03 

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How responsible AI is shaping society now and the future

Hear how the success of AI hinges on governing and mitigating the risks and biases this technology can usher in.

Playback of this video is not currently available

Topics include:

  • 1:18 - Post-COVID-19, companies need to double down on AI risks
  • 8:46 - Scaling up AI in inclusive ways
  • 26:13 - Making AI a “utopian reality”

Duration: 28:42 

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Contact us

Jane Allen

Principal, West region, PwC US

Rob Mesirow

PwC Connected Solutions Leader, PwC US

Anand Rao

Global & US Artificial Intelligence and US Data & Analytics Leader, PwC US

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