Emerging Technologies

Everything you need to know about the Global Technology Governance Summit

A woman looks through a magnifying glass to check errors of a printer circuit board at Manutronics Factory in Bac Ninh province, Vietnam May 30, 2018. REUTERS/Kham - RC1A001B9710

The meeting will put technology under the microscope. Image: REUTERS/Kham

Linda Lacina
Digital Editor, World Economic Forum
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Davos Agenda

This article is part of: Global Technology Governance Summit

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  • The first Global Technology Governance Summit will be held 6-7 April, 2021.
  • Will explore frontier technologies and how tech can be harnessed responsibly to tackle the world’s biggest problems.
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The pandemic has sparked disruptive global change - and the rapid adoption of disruptive technologies. While these solutions are addressing critical needs in the present, they may also raise major concerns over the long term, if not deployed in a responsible way..

Many leaders who spoke at this year’s Davos Agenda meeting understood that, saying innovations should be embraced, but in a way that ensures things such as fair access and security.

At the World Economic Forum’s first Global Technology Governance Summit, leaders from more than 125 governments and 600 companies (as well as more than 2,000 participants) will convene to discuss the steps that must be made to harness the latest technologies for our greatest challenges in the fairest and most responsible ways through public-private cooperation.

“The goal of the Forum’s inaugural GTGS is to create a shared neutral space where we can discuss the governance and protocols surrounding new emerging and frontier technologies, and to share those insights with policymakers while connecting in those voices of innovators, entrepreneurs and civil society who are actually experimenting with these new technologies,” says Jeremy Jurgens, Managing Director & Head of the Forum's Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR).


What is GTGS?

The inaugural GTGS comes at a pivotal moment. Technologies have advanced to the point where solutions to long-held problems can be truly scalable. At the same time, these burgeoning technologies, still in their early phases, must be designed in a way that addresses problems rather than exacerbates them for true survival and sustainability.

Leaders will discuss technology’s evolution with three pillars in mind: the readiness for a healthy future; true resilience for companies, countries and regions; and how every stakeholder can help reimagine how business is done. Themes will include:

Industry Transformation: As every company becomes a technology company, businesses will need to find new ways to share growth, share insights and collaborate.

Government Transformation: As technology services become an essential public utility (comparable to electricity, water, or roadways), governments must consider how to build and maintain this new digital infrastructure.

Global Technology Governance: To maximize technology’s benefits, we must mitigate risks and develop policies, norms, standards, and incentives that shape its responsible development and deployment.

Frontier Technologies: Embracing frontier technologies will be essential across all sectors, revolutionizing supply chains, enabling mass customization and offering new pathways to increase the circularity of products. and halt environmental damage and climate change.

Beyond these themes, co-chairs will shape the agenda of the summit. Reflecting the multifaceted, global nature of the challenges we face, the summit has brought together leaders from a diverse range of voices and backgrounds, who can speak with fresh perspectives. The 2021 co-chairs are:

Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and MD, Reliance

Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore Foreign Minister

Marc Benioff, CEO, Salesforce

Sharan Burrow, Director General, ITUC

Alice Gast, President, Imperial College

Yuriko Koike, Governor, Tokyo

Elizabeth Rossiello, Founder and CEO AZA Finance

Susan Wojcicki, CEO, YouTube

Jim Snabe, Chairman, Siemens

Hiroaki Nakanishi, Chairman, Hitachi

Susan Wojcicki, Chief Executive Officer, YouTube Inc.

How is Japan involved?

Hosted by Japan, the event will feature research from our C4IR Centre. Sessions and reports will highlight case studies on how technologies deployed in Japan have tackled difficult challenges in aging and transportation, sharing lessons learned for leaders across the globe. ​

Prominent Japanese leaders will attend and members of the Japanese media will be covering sessions and co-hosting the Forum’s podcast Radio Davos. Sessions will be translated into Japanese and translated content will be available on the Forum’s Japanese website​.

Japan has been a partner of the Forum for more than 50 years, including jointly creating the first Centre for Fourth Industrial Revolution outside of San Francisco.

What to expect from the meeting?

A special Japan-focused report on the future of mobility.

Special Greeting by Suga Yoshihide, Prime Minister of Japan

How can I follow it?

This virtual event will feature a range of ways to watch sessions and learn about the latest research and insights.

Sessions will be held across multiple time zones. Those that will be streamed will be available via the Global Technology Governance homepage.

Social media can also keep you up to date with the highlights of the summit on social whether on our Facebook pages or via the Forum on Twitter using the hashtag #GTGS21. Updates will also be available on LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. Find more details on all of our outlets here.

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The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

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Emerging TechnologiesFourth Industrial RevolutionForum Institutional
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