January 21, 2015

Inclusive growth in the digital age

During the session "Inclusive growth in the digital age" I learned this:

  • At 5:00, Erik Brynjolfsson mentioned that technology has always been destroying as well as creating jobs. Recently, there has been an important change, for example in the way that median income has stagnated. He added that when you digitize something, you can make a free, perfect copy of it and distribute it instantaneously anywhere around the world. Those 3 attributes - free, perfect, and instant - we did not apply to goods and services throughout most of history.
  • At 12:30, Hans Erik Vestberg mentioned that throughout all technological revolutions that we as human have lived through, we have always created jobs. He added that due to the fact that Ericsson is transforming fast, there are changes regarding the people working for the company. Last year, 19,000 people started working for the company, and 14,000 stopped working for the company. Hans Erik Vestberg also mentioned that today, less than 15% of the people working for the company are based in Sweden.
  • At 14:40, Vishal Sikka mentioned that technology makes people more productive. He also mentioned that there's a new frontier of "problem finding" that people will continue to do. 
  • At 18:15. Ajay S. Banga mentioned that the most important thing you can do is invest in education and infrastructure. He added, that the smartphone is an unbelievable opportunity to connect people with each other. The many different networks / communities that people can connect to using mobile electronic devices help people find new opportunities. 
  • At 22:20, Peter T. Grauer mentioned that technological changes are happening at a higher speed than changes in institutions. As an example of an area where we need changes to happen, he mentioned educational institutions. At 32:25, Peter T. Grauer explained that he spends much of his time helping people with low income get access to higher education. At 35:30, Vishal Sikka put focus on the need for each one of us to continue to educate ourselves throughout our lives - no matter where we are. He also noted that Internet access / being connected to the Internet will help us educate ourselves anytime and anywhere. Erik Brynjolfsson added that there's a need to rethink / reinvent education.

At 38:28, the moderator, Gillian Tett, asked each of the five panelists the following question: Who thinks that income inequality is going to decline over the next 5 years in the Western world?

  • Vishal Sikka said "It's not going to decline in my view". 
  • Hans Erik Vestberg said "I hope not. I'm optimistic." 
  • Ajay S. Banga said "I would say it's not going to decline, although I wish it would change." 
  • Peter T. Grauer said "no."
  • Erik Brynjolfsson said "It's a tricky question. It's our choice. The people in this room can help decide whether or not that happens."


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