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Meet the Leader

European space chief on speaking to inspire - and making big change possible

Josef Aschbacher's role as Director General for the European Space Agency (ESA) requires mobilizing support for visionary innovations that often take decades to build. He shared the strategies he’s learned while at ESA to talk about technical marvels in a clear way, without jargon, to earn buy in for big ideas and connect with a range of stakeholders from policy makers to children. These methods for sparking inspiration, trust and excitement can be critical to any leader making long-term change a reality. He also discussed the $350 billion dollar (and growing) space economy, sharing how a range of initiatives and shifts can foster new businesses and help ensure space will continue to strengthen economies and protect the environment for years to come.

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Podcast transcript

Hosted by:
Linda Lacina

Digital Editor, World Economic Forum


Fourth Industrial Revolution

The Fourth Industrial Revolution represents a fundamental change in the way we create, exchange, and distribute value. It is a technological shift merging our physical, digital, and biological worlds into one. The fast-developing technologies pushing it forward, such as artificial intelligence, genome editing, augmented reality, robotics, and 3-D printing, are promising smart solutions for intractable challenges. But this revolution also calls for governing these solutions in ways that empower, foster collaboration, and help build a more sustainable foundation for social and economic development.

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