As technology increasingly takes over knowledge-based work, the cognitive skills that are central to today's education systems will remain important; but behavioral and non-cognitive skills necessary for collaboration, innovation, and problem solving will become essential as well.
Of course, technology is not an exogenous force over which humans have no control. We are not constrained by a binary choice between acceptance and rejection. Rather, the decisions we make every day as citizens, consumers, and investors guide technological progress.
We must address, individually and collectively, moral and ethical issues raised by cutting-edge research in artificial intelligence and biotechnology, which will enable significant life extension, designer babies, and memory extraction.
For many years prior to the 1990s, European integration was embraced and supported by a large majority of citizens. A united Europe, bound by commonly-held democratic values, was perceived as an essential and effective buffer against the Soviet empire. A united Europe made a repeat of the First and Second World Wars almost unthinkable.
Talent is a by-product of education; the quality of a country's human capital depends on it.
An overwhelming number of economists, international civil servants, and policy-makers argue that a fragmentation of the Eurozone would cause a new depression and massive wealth destruction around the world. It would also end the period of economic integration that has characterized world politics since the end of the Cold War.
Business cycles naturally entail peaks and troughs in employment, and socially responsible businesses should follow successful examples like Coca-Cola, Alcoa, Saudi Aramco, Africa Rainbow Minerals, and Google in working toward mitigating joblessness and enhancing people's abilities to earn a livelihood.
In Switzerland, we have a centuries-old tradition of living together in one confederation and one society. That holds us back from excesses. We are a civilized and enlightened community and, by practising multicultural tolerance, we manage to stop extreme developments from going too far.
As the physical, digital, and biological worlds continue to converge, new technologies and platforms will increasingly enable citizens to engage with governments, voice their opinions, coordinate their efforts, and even circumvent the supervision of public authorities.
Environmental pollution, terrorism, and many other global threats do not stop at borders. We all bear global responsibility and thus need a global identity to enable us to cope with them. We must learn to integrate different levels of identity in ourselves. What matters is not either/or, but both/and.
Europe has grown to 27 member states, encompassing an amazing diversity and richness. Some argue this is part of the problem: Europe is simply too big and culturally disparate to be managed properly. But look to India for an example of how social unity can be forged within a culturally, linguistically, and ethnically complex nation.
The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production.
For centuries, economic thinkers, from Adam Smith to John Maynard Keynes, have tried to identify the elusive formula that makes some countries more prosperous and successful than others. My curiosity about this topic spurred me, as a young professor of economics in the late 1970s, to research new ways of measuring national competitiveness.
The trends that are shaping the twenty-first-century world embody both promise and peril. Globalization, for example, has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty while contributing to social fragmentation and a massive increase in inequality, not to mention serious environmental damage.
I am a great enthusiast and early adopter of technology, but sometimes I wonder whether the inexorable integration of technology in our lives could diminish some of our quintessential human capacities, such as compassion and cooperation.
For all the opportunities that arise from the Fourth Industrial Revolution - and there are many - it does not come without risks. Perhaps one of the greatest is that the changes will exacerbate inequalities. And as we all know, a more unequal world is a less stable one.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution has the potential to empower individuals and communities, as it creates new opportunities for economic, social, and personal development. But it also could lead to the marginalization of some groups, exacerbate inequality, create new security risks, and undermine human relationships.
I am an enthusiastic European, and my first-hand experience of war and hatred has strengthened that conviction. I have seen how misguided unilateral nationalistic identities have brought destruction and death. I am, however, a world citizen, too.
Sometimes, if a country's currency is overvalued in real terms, and it looks like the current account is going to be in deficit for the foreseeable future, devaluation can make sense.
When the World Economic Forum was established in 1971, the global population was four billion, of which 50% lived in poverty.