The world’s political and economic elite gather in Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economic Forum (WEF) amid most interesting if not confusing set of conditions to discuss the worlds crippling problems with this year’s theme as “The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business”. While many tend to focus on the geo and socio political component to the meeting, I am usually drawn to a particular fork that celebrates technological breakthroughs and the companies behind them that truly hold the promise of a better more efficient future. Covering a diverse range of industries and opportunities – green tech, education, health care, information services to name afew, I will share some personal favorites out of the thirty six from across the globe that made it to the list.
We churn copious amounts of data daily, leaving digital footprints as we go along. Leveraged for good, these data points have immense potential in crafting services we can never do without in the future from the sheer value added to our lives. But where would one begin? Enter Kaggle, a platform that brings together data scientists from across the globe to compete and improve predictive analysis by working on efficient algorithms to solve business challenges and help companies extract value from data.
I have issues with the positioning and model of delivery in the current systems of education; having a skewed focus on examination and grading as opposed to knowledge transfer whose measurement should be in the application of the acquired skill. Coursera and Codecademy democratize the knowledge transfer process while taking into account the nuances of learning such as not everyone picks up concepts at the same rate. A certain level of knowledge has historically been positioned as a reserve for the privileged; not anymore.
There are amazing things happening on this front with applications focused on more refined and targeted healthcare delivery. Agios is crafting enzymes that starved diseased cells of nutrients and Bluebird bio is taking bold steps using viruses to “rewrite” DNA to stem effects and spread of genetic diseases.
There are robotics and green energy plays, but I feel we are not in that opportunity zone yet. Beyond the roundtables, keynotes, breakout sessions and the inevitable partying that happens at Davos, some actionable and commendable good – achievable in both short and medium term is output by way of identifying standout technologies , whether in production or already deployed.