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WEF inaugurates global councils to restore trust in technology

The Global Fourth Industrial Revolution councils will work together to develop policy guidance and address governance gaps in areas such as AI, IoT and blockchain.

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Councils will tackle pressing technology areas emerging from 4IR
Councils will tackle pressing technology areas emerging from 4IR

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has created six global councils to help determine how emerging technology can be governed for the benefit of society and to improve trust.

 

The Global Fourth Industrial Revolution councils will work together to develop policy guidance and address “governance gaps” in the areas of artificial intelligence, autonomous mobility, blockchain, drones, the Internet of Things (IoT) and precision medicine.

 

Need to move fast

 

The global councils intend to bring together more than 200 leaders from the public and private sectors, civil society and academia from around the world.

 

“Companies and governments are not moving fast enough to anticipate social expectations in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Richard Samans, managing director and head of policy and institutional impact, World Economic Forum.

“This is the first place where this kind of high-level, strategic dialogue on the governance of these technologies will take place across stakeholders and regions on an ongoing basis”

“We believe that that this bottom-up, societally-focused approach can help to build and maintain public trust in the technologies while strengthening the evidence base on which policy decisions are made by governments and companies.”

 

He continued: “This is the first place where this kind of high-level, strategic dialogue on the governance of these technologies will take place across stakeholders and regions on an ongoing basis.”

 

Global fourth industrial revolution councils will seek to:

  • Enable cross-country exchange of policy and regulatory experience, including through case studies;
  • Identify and take action to address gaps in public policy or corporate governance through multi-stakeholder cooperation;
  • Shape a common understanding of ‘best’ or ‘good’ policy practice as a means of enabling better policy coordination within and among countries;
  • Provide strategic guidance to the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network regarding the governance projects and pilots it undertakes.

The inaugural council meeting has already taken place in San Francisco and a global summit on technology governance has been announced for April 2020.

 

Input from council members will inform the agenda of the Global Technology Governance Summit.

 

WEF intends to bring together government ministers, chief executive officers, civil society leaders, start-ups and international organisations. According to WEF, it will be a catalyst for driving new approaches and collaborative efforts across stakeholders that are “human-centred”.

 

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