8 mins

What will it take to master the fourth industrial revolution?

What will it take to master the fourth industrial revolution

In April 2000, Bill Joy famously wrote in Wired Magazine: Our most powerful 21st-century technologies – robotics, genetic engineering, and nanotech – are threatening to make humans an endangered species. At the time, Joy was an accomplished technologist and chief scientist at Sun Microsystems. Yet he argued passionately that society was in danger of being ...

Davos 2011 – Committed to changing the state of the world

Cross-posted from the Risk Science Blog. As it did last year, the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos has left me with a daunting task – how do I summarize the highlights of the meeting in a single, short post? The answer of course is that I can’t – Davos is so complex, diverse ...

3 mins

Davos 2011 – Partnering with teens to build a better world

This is not a science and technology post – which is a bit odd for a science and technology blog.  But I wanted to introduce five people who together shake up the whole idea of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos as being an elitist and increasingly irrelevant gathering of middle aged balding guys ...

Davos 2011: Global Risks permeate conversations this year, but where’s the science?

Cross-posted from the Risk Science Blog. Take a metaphorical slice through this year’s annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, and Global Risk would be writ large through every part of it.  Hot on the heels of the sixth Global Risk report, this year’s meeting saw the launch of the Risk Response Network – a ...

1 min

Davos 2011 – physics superstar meets music superstar; talks cosmology

Lawrence Krauss and Peter Gabriel

I don’t usually write about personal interactions here, but this is one I couldn’t resist – physics superstar Lawrence Krauss talking cosmology with music superstar Peter Gabriel. I was with Lawrence at a World Economic Forum dinner when he bumped into Peter – as one does!  He immediately launched into an animated discussion on the ...

2 mins

Asking smart people dumb questions – the new role of challengers at Davos

Cross-posted at ForumBlog.org – the World Economic Forum blog My high school physics teacher used to tell me there’s no such think as a dumb question.  It’s a lesson I’ve carried with me through my professional career as a scientist.  But it’s a philosophy that might be just about to come back and bite me. ...

3 mins

Davos 2011: Desperately seeking Google

It’s that time of year again – 2000+ of the worlds top movers and shakers are beginning to descend on the Swiss ski town of Davos for this year’s Annual World Economic Forum meeting.  Political heavyweights like Clinton, Annan, Sarkozy and Cameron will be intermingling with the likes of Gates, Bono,  deNiro, Carreras and a ...

5 mins

Building a sustainable future: World Economic Forum tackles the opportunities and challenges presented by technology innovation

“Technology doesn’t just happen” – people must be sick of hearing me say this.  Yet as chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies, it’s something I seem to end up saying rather a lot as we strive to help decision-leaders maximize the benefits of technology innovation, while avoiding untoward consequences. ...

The Global Redesign Initiative and the need for up-front investment in sustainable technology innovation

The global financial crisis of 2008-09 laid bare the inadequacies of global systems in an increasingly interdependent world, and highlighted the need to rethink the “architecture of global cooperation” – the idea at the core of the World Economic Forum Global Redesign Initiative.  As the World Economic Forum publishes and discusses the outcomes of this ...

5 mins

Davos 2010 wrapup – inspired by youth

Well, I’ve survived my first “Davos” and lived to tell the tale.  I feel I should write about how profoundly important and influential these meetings are (and without a doubt, they are).  But it’s two o’clock in the morning, and I wanted to wrap up this blog series with a minimum of effort before hitting ...

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