Leaders explain how data can meet the global challenges of 2022

  • Data can help us address our biggest societal challenges, including climate change, inequality, global health and economic resilience.
  • But how do we ensure that our global data systems are structured to capture the true value of data, not just financial data?
  • Business leaders share their insights on the true power of data and how to harness it to tackle 2022’s biggest challenges.

With every advance in the digital world, we release an unlimited resource: data. It is both a by-product and an engine of global development that has transformed the way we make decisions. Not only do we have increased granularity and precision to inform evidence-based decision-making, but through AI and machine learning, we enable technology to make decisions on our behalf.

The value of this data is well established in the private sector. Successful companies have captured this value through increasingly effective and targeted advertising and product design – with a global market for marketing data worth an estimated $52 billion in 2021. the financial plan, but fails to capture the true productive power of data.

Data can help us address our biggest societal challenges, including climate change, inequality, global health and economic resilience.

We can better understand the impact of temperature changes on our environment and predict global weather disasters. We can measure inequality to inform the policies that can best ‘close the gap’. We can limit the spread of global diseases. And we can hold companies and governments accountable for the environment and the human rights of their citizens.

We need to use data to empower the masses, not the few. But how do we ensure that our global data systems are structured to capture the true value of data, not just financial data?

Ahead of this year’s virtual Davos Agenda meeting, we invited leaders to share their views on the true power of data and how it can be harnessed to help tackle 2022’s biggest challenges.

“Exploiting predictive analysis”

Vijay Guntur, Corporate Vice President and Head of Engineering and R&D Services, HCL Technologies

It is predicted that 2022 will see a proliferation of COVID-19 mutations and the power of data will be key to minimizing their impact on the world. Big Data and IoT technologies are evolving at an unprecedented rate to enable us to collect, prepare, analyze, anonymize and share pandemic-related data at volumes and speeds that would have been unimaginable a few years ago. Access to a trusted global data ecosystem enables healthcare professionals, governments and large enterprises to take advantage of predictive analytics, model different scenarios, and refine and redeploy these models as more data becomes available.

We anticipate that the disruption we have seen in the global supply chain will continue through 2022 and that once again the power of data will be key to relieving much of the stress this has caused. The use of low latency data transmission via 5G networks, IoT data streaming and real-time information will provide demand planning, forecasters and logistics managers with better visibility into different parts of their supply chain and allow them to react instantly in the event of a problem. .

The data can help us prepare for other variants of COVID-19.

The data can help us prepare for other variants of COVID-19.

Image: Unsplash.

“Developing a global talent pool”

Igor Tulchinsky, Founder, Chairman and CEO, WorldQuant

At least 2021 has reinforced the inevitability of uncertainty. Thanks to the growth of data and the growing power of AI and machine learning, we are now in the age of prediction. We’ve already seen the promise of prediction in sectors like healthcare, where Weill Cornell Medicine has enhanced its machine learning capabilities to predict COVID-19 infections in two hours – much faster than is possible with RT-PCR tests.

Over the coming year, I expect the role of predictive analytics to continue to grow in both the public and private sectors, integrating into many aspects of work and life. But, to cope with the growing influx of information, there needs to be a greater focus on developing a global pool of talent with the right technical skills, unified by advanced and shared goals, to interpret it and achieve the full potential of prediction.

The needs of the future present a huge opportunity and maintaining a global mindset will allow new sources of talent to contribute in a meaningful way. Organizations are already adopting new ways of working, finding and developing talent, which will be essential for success in the age of prediction. Businesses and society have enormous potential to harness this opportunity and have an exponential positive impact on a global scale.

Allowing data to cross borders’

Dr. Norihiro Suzuki, Vice President and General Manager, Chief Technology Officer, General Manager of Research and Development Group and General Manager of Corporate Venturing Office, Hitachi, Ltd.

The answer to many of our unsolved problems lies in the almost unfathomable wealth of existing data. This wealth of knowledge can accelerate solutions ranging from climate change to urbanization and education. For example, working with The Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) Japan and the G20 Smart Cities Alliance, we harness data to create safer, liveable and sustainable cities.

However, a lack of coordination in data governance and regulation limits international data flows – each country has only a fraction of the information it needs to effectively address global challenges. We must enable data to cross borders, building trust between businesses and consumers, aligning regulations across jurisdictions, and ensuring that governments and large organizations form partnerships to support small and medium-sized businesses. .

“Inclusive and responsible solutions”

Crystal Rugege, Managing Director, The Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) Rwanda

The last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic have amplified the critical role of data and technology in solving the deeply complex and highly dynamic challenges of our time. Going forward, we must prioritize building a comprehensive global data ecosystem that balances privacy rights, socio-economic development, and technological advancement. This requires agile and interoperable data governance frameworks that provide an array of instruments from policies to regulations that can adapt over time as new ideas evolve.

The World Economic Forum was the first to bring the world’s attention to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the current period of unprecedented change driven by rapid technological advancements. Policies, standards and regulations have not been able to keep pace with innovation, creating a growing need to fill this gap.

The Forum established the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network in 2017 to ensure that new and emerging technologies will help – not hurt – humanity in the future. Based in San Francisco, the network launched centers in China, India and Japan in 2018 and is rapidly establishing locally-run affiliate centers in many countries around the world.

The global network works closely with partners from government, business, academia and civil society to co-design and pilot agile frameworks to govern new and emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles, blockchain, data politics, digital commerce, drones, internet of things (IoT), precision medicine and environmental innovations.

Learn about the groundbreaking work the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution network is doing to prepare us for the future.

Want to help us shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Contact us to find out how you can become a member or partner.

Additionally, we need open, high-quality datasets to build inclusive and accountable solutions that leverage machine learning and other emerging technologies to improve our ability to deliver at scale. Finally, a comprehensive, multi-stakeholder approach will be imperative to build the hard and soft infrastructure needed to facilitate cross-border data flows and knowledge circulation to build more resilient economies and more equitable societies.

“Changing the Fate of the Ocean”

Kimberly Mathisen, CEO, The Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) Ocean

The old slogan “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” has never been more relevant. Industry 4.0 technology will allow us to manage and measure in ways we are only just beginning to understand.

By sharing ocean data, we can change the fate of the ocean by unleashing the power of data, technology and collaboration. We see strong indications that the world is gearing up to share more ocean data. This is the starting point for data to become powerful, accelerating good solutions for more sustainable blue foods, more renewable energy sources, and greener transport – a few areas where the power of data will benefit the ocean. .

Achieving ocean sustainability requires transformative solutions based on data and science. A concrete example of benefits is our Ship Emissions Tracker, developed with NOA Ignite and Microsoft. Thanks to open source data combined with the famous ICCT emission algorithm, the Tracker makes it possible to estimate the greenhouse gas footprint of each or all of the 250,000 ships in the world’s merchant fleet.

This provides compelling information to progressive shipping industry leaders with targets to reduce emissions by at least 50% by 2050, and to end customers who want to purchase greener means of transport.

The power of ocean data to improve the health and wealth of the oceans is immense. But for data to become powerful, sharing ocean data is the first step.

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