GLOBSEC Future …a unique opportunity to set trends

 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is quickly redefining not only today’s business environment, but also the way our economies and societies work. Leaders are faced with challenges and changes that transform where, how and with whom they do business. Those who can stay ahead of this changing environment and plan innovative strategies for the future will likely become tomorrow’s winners. What approaches should these leaders use to compete in such fast shifting playing field? What areas should investors be seeking to invest in? GLOBSEC Future will look closer into the future trends and innovations and will thus help provide answers how and where to create future added values to various businesses.

To enable companies to stand out from the crowd as well as enhance their reputation and impact even more, GLOBSEC 2017 Bratislava Forum will introduce a new set of discussion formats covering trendsetting business and technology topics. The ambition of this format is to create even stronger bond of policy-making and business in order to introduce sustainable solutions to global challenges.

 

GLOBSEC Future 2017 Topical Framework

 

NAVIGATING THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

Fourth Industrial Revolution, due to its unprecedented speed of system-wide transformation, requires quick understanding of the changing environment and continuous innovation. While receiving around half of the European public investment, the cities are true laboratories of innovation. Local authorities in partnership with businesses are seemingly far more agile and capable of coping with rapid pace and broad impact of the transformation than governments. Which of these best practices can ensure appropriate institutional adaptation to the ongoing modernisation on the national and international level? Where lies the contribution of “smart cities” to better seizing the opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution? How does the EU plan to lead the way through the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Do we think strategically about investing into innovations, particularly with focus on industry 4.0, to enhance competitiveness while avoiding growing social inequality and environmental insecurity?

 

SAFEGUARDING THE FUTURE: HOW TO OUTSMART THE AI?

With the fast-approaching world where AI will perform number of our current roles, safety and security remains the only limit to emerging of full AI capability. Safety challenge increases with changing behaviour of the AI based on machine learning and interactions between separately-developed AI systems. In order for the AI to be transparent, trustworthy and remain under human control, its development requires productive collaboration of whole AI community. What is currently being done to secure the emergence of the general AI? Will the developers sacrifice safety for the sake of advancing the AI capability? How to achieve enough diversity of inputs into technological development? How can legal framework support safe AI? Will safety concerns hamper the implementation of the AI into business?

 

DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND FUTURE CONFLICT: INVESTING IN THE FUTURE OF DEFENCE

The roadmap for the maturation of disruptive technologies requires a smart investment strategy that manages the natural tension between requirement, capability, risk and cost. In the context of building a robust transatlantic defence of the future, innovations in autonomy, deep-learning systems, human-machine combat teaming and other next-gene ration technologies can shape the vision for the art of the possible. How do we characterize the most urgent common threats that disruptive technologies must resolve? What are the important emerging technology trends that could impact transatlantic defence? To what extent do we have viable approaches to evaluate where to make technology investments? How do we define the measures of success of these disruptive technology investments?

 

PROTECTIONISM VS GLOBALISM: GLOBAL FREE TRADE RUNNING ON INNOVATION 

Recent developments in the world politics put a big question mark over the future of the free trade agreements. While after the end of the Cold War leaders of states called for closer economic cooperation and showed great support for free trade agreements, nowadays calls for greater protectionism are rising. At the beginning of this year, UK announced its aim to negotiate bilateral free trade agreements with the EU member states and a few days later the United States withdrew from the TPP. On the other hand, negotiations on RCEP, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, continue and China seems to be aiming to took over the position of a leader of globalisation. What is the future of free trade? Is it lying in bilateral or multilateral agreements? Are we on a path to the protectionism? Can such development endanger already fragile world stability? If the focus is on bilateral agreements, what impact will this change have on national economies? 

 

D4: CAN DEMOCRACY WITHSTAND INFORMATION REVOLUTION?

Social media are transforming the world in a much faster way than anyone could have predicted. Traditional media are being challenged by the plurality of internet news sources and social networks. More Internet users are relying on the abundance of unfiltered alternative media that often-spread fake news or propaganda. Search engines and social media work with algorithms that personalise visible content, thus preventing exposure to differing views and reinforcing the confirmation bias. Research shows that populist and extremist right-wing groups excel in abusing these algorithms that amplify their propaganda and spread it like a virus across the Internet. What can be done to protect internet users from fake news, lies and propaganda? How can this be done without introducing censorship and impeding freedom of speech? What is the role of IT companies in this matter? To what extent do social media bear responsibility for what is regarded as relevant and trustworthy information? How can we fight extremist groups in the Internet battlefield, an environment that they have so successfully mastered?