Fourth Industrial Revolution

These 3 trends will define your future, says Jack Ma

ack Ma, Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group, People's Republic of China speaking during the session: An Insight, An Idea with Jack Ma at the Annual Meeting 2017 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 18, 2017 Copyright by World Economic Forum / Greg Beadle

'The next 30 years are critical for the world' Image: World Economic Forum / Greg Beadle

Ross Chainey
Content Lead, UpLink, World Economic Forum
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Fourth Industrial Revolution

This article is part of: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

In a one-on-one interview on the second day of Davos, Alibaba founder Jack Ma gave his take on a wide range of global issues, from the backlash against globalization and the incoming Trump administration, to the prospects of a trade war between China and the US (it will never happen, he said) and the future of jobs.

He even let slip his favourite film (it’s Forrest Gump).

At the very end of the interview, Ma told the audience that he had one last piece of advice to share – what our priorities should be for the next three decades.

“The next 30 years are critical for the world,” he said. “Every technological revolution takes about 50 years.” In the first 20 years, we witnessed the rise of technology giants like eBay, Facebook, Alibaba and Google. This is “good”, Ma said, but now we need to focus on what comes next.

“The next 30 years,” should be about handling “the implications of this technology,” he argued.

“The most important thing is to make the technology inclusive – make the world change. Next, pay attention to those people who are 30 years old, because those are the internet generation. They will change the world, they are the builders of the world.

“Third, let’s pay attention to the companies who have fewer than 30 employees. So, 30 years, and 30 years old, and 30 employees, that way we can make the world much better.”

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Related topics:
Fourth Industrial RevolutionFuture of WorkGlobal GovernanceChinaEconomic Progress
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