By Javier Garcia-Martinez*, Founder and Director, Rive Technology, Spain
As I leave to the Annual Meeting of the New Champions, I wonder who the champions of this new reality really are and most importantly how we make sure that we get the best possible talent for the problems we face today.
One thing that is for sure is that almost all of the old champions are not suited for the new job. It is not only lack of leadership, either in Government or corporations, it is mainly the lack of the right kind of talent for providing disruptive solutions to increasingly complex problems. From financial markets to clean energy and from water scarcity to climate change, business as usual will not get us there. New technologies, such as advanced data visualization, crowdsourcing and nanotechnology are important, but insufficient. It is not innovation we lack but innovators, and not only in technology but in business, policy and NGO, with too few exceptions.
The new generation, upset by the legacy received, is asking for profound changes in the way politics and business are done, from the Arab countries to Spain, from Chile to Israel. The Forum is launching a new program, the Global Shapers, a community of extraordinary individuals under 30, to connect, empower, and give visibility to the new generation of leaders. They can greatly benefit from other successful initiatives of the World Economic Forum, like the Young Global Leaders, but I suspect that is the Forum which will benefit the most from engaging with people with a fresh and unbiased vision.
As I packed to Dalian, I wondered who will be the new champions of this annual meeting, which are their skills, which the disruptive innovations that will create new markets, solutions to provide clean energy and water for 7 billion people, reality and opportunities for the unemployed and unsatisfied youth. What innovations will allow for organizing and implementing their demands, creating the jobs they lack and the clean environment they demand? Who are the champions of this new generation? Are we promoting them, giving them visibility and opportunities they demand, or killing their creativity and leadership in an education system that treats everybody as if we all were alike?
*Javier Garcia-Martinez, is Founder and Director of Rive Technology, Spain. He is attending the upcoming World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions held in Dalian, China 14-16 September 2011.