Commercial feature - Klaus Schwab is the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum which holds its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. He makes several predictions on global governance and the reform of the global monetary system.
In general, he believes that 2011 will be a year where it becomes clear if world leaders have learned any lessons from the economic crisis, or if they continue to behave as if the crisis never happened.
He points out that 2011 is the beginning of a new economic and social reality. Global cooperation, national policies and business models are in a fundamentally changed context. Part of this new context is the fast rise of new movers on the world stage that was not seen previously. He believes that the digital generation will impact social behaviour much more than we imagine. Also, that security for natural resources and climate change will have a very powerful impact on our lives. Each one of these aspects can develop in unpredictable ways and the success for global, national and business sectors will depend on their ability to anticipate, manage and mitigate risks.
Dr. Schwab emphasises global interconnectivity and the fact that in the future, every challenge must be met on the basis of togetherness. For this, there must be shared norms at every level. Without shared norms, there would be no meeting place to solve problems and any agreement would be temporary. He states that 2011 needs principles and values that are not based on the old-world models of unfettered capitalism and state-directed collectivism, both of which have been squandered.
He predicts the way forward is to consider the interests of all those with whom we have a mutually dependent relationship as part of the pursuit of our own interests. This needs to be realized on all levels including family, community, business or politics.
He states that in 2011, the G20 will have to demonstrate that it can address issues of global governance, the reform of the global monetary system and the fair dealing with global natural resources as well as the needed financial reforms. Business leaders will need to focus on entrepreneurial creation of jobs and reducing the income gap.
His question for 2011 is whether governments and business will demonstrate that they understand the new global reality and are taking steps to respond to the world as a whole, not simply their personal or political interests.