Last week, 3000+ global leaders attended the 50th Annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos. This year’s theme was very apt to the global issues – Stakeholders for a cohesive and sustainable world.
I had the rare privilege of attending the forum this year as a speaker and panelist in multi-lateral sessions along with global CEOs and statesmen of large countries. I spoke on the below topics –
- How can urban data integration and analysis be improved to build more cohesive and sustainable cities?
- Helping cities to transition in the Digital Age
- Future of cities, infrastructure, and urban services
- Scaling smarter cities
It’s been a gratifying experience to share thoughts with such leaders and be reassured that Quantela’s mission and business model is in the right direction. Below are a few takeaways/ insights from the World Economic Forum 2020 Annual meeting, Davos that are crucial for the coming years:
- Smart city initiatives are underway across the world. Even though they’re geographically dispersed, the problems are similar. And the major one is that of self-funding the infrastructure needs of cities. Almost all cities without fail, want to upgrade infrastructure to improve the safety and security, traffic, environment with an aim to provide better services to its citizens. But this transformation can be too costly without help from private companies. So, there is a high-need for outcome-based models
- The volume of data available to companies is growing exponentially and Data Monetization is an unmissable emerging trend. There is a strong need to build a governance framework to support privacy laws and data usage while monetizing it.
- Climate change has become a defining factor and the resolve towards a carbon-neutral future is stronger than ever in companies & governments.
- Businesses need to respond to complex shifts and trends that are influencing global trade. There is a need for connecting businesses to regional and global value chains, which in turn create good jobs and drive economic growth for all.
Sustainability and Digitization really drove the discussions this year at the World economic forum 2020. The bottom line is that technology isn’t the biggest story in Smart cities, it’s just a part of the overall solution to a larger problem that we face today. Sustainability and the need to solve urban problems is the real deal.
84% of the cities today face a financial need of $13 trillion to solve just the infrastructure needs as per a recent study. The smart city ecosystem has not been looking at this need holistically from the lens of government decision bodies all this while. The 2020s will be the decade of Outcome-based conversations new financial models to fulfill the funding gap. Companies and governments will start embracing this and will be the way forward. A neutral body like the World Economic Forum will continue to grow in importance in building consensus and driving action towards sustainability.
At Quantela, we are committed to reimagining urban life for a sustainable future!