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As the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum is underway in Davos Switzerland this week, it dawned on me that I may be one of the fortunate generations who have direct experience of both analog-driven world and digitalized world.  At Davos, many issues are discussed and debated around the topic of the Fourth Industrial Revolution with both opportunities and threats we are faced with.

I have been involved in the group briefly which published White Paper (must have been discussed at Davos) entitled “Dialogue Series on New Economic and Social Frontiers” In that we covered four main topics in the face of 4IR, namely, 1) Rethinking Economic Value, 2) Addressing Market Concentration 3) Enhancing Job Creation and 4) Reimagining Social Protection.  For each one of the four, Emerging challenges and Opportunities, and Emerging Responses are discussed.  My interest has been focused on 3) Job Creation. There are some specific examples of responses for this item, but the other three laid out diverse approaches and perspectives of the issue and even more diverse responses.  In other words, for all the four issues, there are NO single, clear perspectives (the report  describes as a multiplicity of narratives about the new context) and and evidence has been emerging, but far from complete.  I concluded after reading the report that we need to think on our own, free from the conventional approaches or one RIGHT approach concept.

Though the reality is as above, it is quite difficult to get this message across to the people, as they tend to sound academic and too theoretical.  I like the examples of responses for job creation and will think about whether they can be applied to our situation.

Another thought came to me as I started this blog. That is, rather than being perplexed and frustrated about the multiplicity of narratives and diverse responses, I can think myself as crossing very different era.  Generation that had digital since their birth and tech skills at their finger tips will create the future in a different way.  My generation (baby boomer) can feel left out or anxious about these differences. But we can embrace the two very different worlds and era.

As I came to realize this, I felt very lucky. My curiosity was even more stimulated.  Do you want to feel anxious and scared of the new era which is so different? or do you want to take it as new journey.  (After all, human race has undergone incredible transformations. I think we can do it, if we believe in ourselves.) Featured photo shows amazing growth of Alibaba singles day sales.

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