Mohammad Al-Gergawi, United Arab Emirates Minister for Cabinet Affairs and the Future of the UAE recently told the opening session of the World Government Summit in Dubai that Data is the “oil of the future”.
The crowded audience heard the minister set out the agenda for the 3 day event, which brought together over 4,000 leaders from the worlds of business, economic and public policy.
Al-Gergawi noted that digital communications titans like Facebook and Google would soon know more about individuals than governments do.
He said big data companies will be able to transfer and upload the contents of the human mind to a data center by the year 2045. He said governments must be prepared for these changes that are coming. He added that the aim of the summit was to find answers and set out priorities to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.
Speaking to the attendees of the summit dubbed “Shaping future governments,” Mohammad Al-Gergawi detailed some of the challenges that will be faced by policy makers in health, crypto currencies and artificial intelligence and their impact on global finance, climate change and digital connectivity issues.
Founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab who also spoke at the opening session of the summit, reflected back a decade to the start of the global financial crisis, which he said endangered economies, societies and generations.
He said that even though countries avoided a complete breakdown of the financial system, there was however a heavy cost. The world’s debts now add up to 200 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the world!
Schwab also noted that most expert institutions in the likes of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), were predicting two years of “sound and comprehensive growth.” He however believes that the financial markets were still addicted to low interest rates and cheap capital.
Schwab believes that there were still risks of a social crisis, with stages of inequity and an unfair system of wealth distribution, in addition to a generational crisis.
“The world’s education systems do not satisfy the requirements of the 21st century” he said.
Schwab also highlighted global threats such as geopolitical issues, cyber security, inequity, gender inequality and failures of leadership.
The speed of technological change was increasing all the time and adding to the pressures on policy makers. Schwab said that the speed of change has never before been as fast as in 2018, but also, the speed of change will never before be as slow as it is in 2018.