Eric Schmidt, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Google, is co-chair of The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2007 (Annual Meeting) convened today in Davos, Switzerland.
Google, Inc. is a “Strategic Partner” of this year’s high-powered, world agenda setting meet-up of many of the most powerful and influential people in the world. Google apparently also helped set the Annual Meeting's agenda.
As a “Strategic Partner,” Google “contributed” expertise and resources in support of the Annual Meeting. As a co-chair, Eric Schmidt undoubtedly personally contributed his point of view.
The Annual Meeting aims to “shape the global agenda.”
The formal agenda of the Annual Meeting 2007 is headlined “The Shifting Power Equation” and it privileges the world-wide role of the Internet.
Two out of the Annual Meeting’s four sub-themes are technology and Web focused:
TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY: IDENTITY, COMMUNITY AND NETWORKS
Presented with the vast possibilities of an "always on world" and community-building social networks, created by "Web 2.0" technologies and architectures, the individual is increasingly in control of both information received and content generated. The impact on society, especially on models for innovation, customer relations and the media, promises to be profound. Moreover, scientific and technological advances are having a far-reaching impact on personal and collective identity. No longer limited to local or national allegiances, many are finding their identity in newly formed communities and social networks, sometimes feeding their sense of belonging by actively working to exclude others. In the coming years, this phenomenon may nurture a growing sense of tribalism, which will test the skills of political and business leaders as they search for common ground and will compel them to strengthen the dialogue between cultures and religions.
BUSINESS: LEADING IN A CONNECTED WORLD
Decentralized power is changing the conduct and management of business, the way people think about their professional activities and their expectations as employees or colleagues. Simultaneously, technology is connecting the dispersed units of power and helping grass roots movements grow into global communities. Businesses will have to understand and recognize how accelerated communication power is both changing global customer bases and the effectiveness of their operational designs. New business models will be needed to harness innovation to respond to this shift. The ability to identify and retain the best global talent will be even more critical. At the same time, incumbents face new competition from fresh quarters. Emerging market corporations, in particular from China and India, are already reshaping entire industry sectors. The challenges their leaders face in taking their companies global and the strategies they develop to integrate into the larger framework are of crucial importance to the world economy.