Top Speakers at The World Economic Forum 2018

1) JENNIFER ZHU SCOTT

  • Jennifer Zhu Scott is the co-founder and principal of Radian Blockchain Ventures and Radian Partners, a private investment firm for family offices and UHNWIs focusing on Artificial Intelligence, the Blockchain, and renewable energy. Prior, she was head of business development and strategy in APAC for Thomson Reuters and led the firm’s speech-to-text, deep search, video-indexing projects. She co-founded one of the first education companies in China and exited before moving to UK as a senior advisor to the education subsidiary of Daily Mail & General Trust.
  • Jennifer was featured on a panel alongside Nobel Prize winner, Robert Shiller, to discuss ‘The Crypto-Asset Bubble‘. Valuations of bitcoin have reached unprecedented highs, and there are now close to 1,000 different crypto-assets on the market. The panelists generally agreed that blockchain is a promising technological advancement and urged viewers to look beyond the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and focus on Blockchain. Jennifer  commented on the discussion around price movements – mentioning the rise above $10,000 in particular – as a kind of distraction to the bigger picture involved. She remarked: “The fact that people keep talking today that bitcoin is below 10,000, it’s a disaster, or bitcoin is above 10,000 and that’s crazy. I think the fact that bitcoin is still alive, and attracting so much attention, the fact that we’re talking about bitcoin in Davos with a Nobel Prize winner, a central bank governor and a seasoned investor, I think that’s a powerful tool.”

2) RACHEL BOTSMAN

  • Rachel Botsman is the global authority on an explosive new era of trust and technology. An award-winning author, speaker and University of Oxford lecturer, she has contributed to Wired, The Guardian, The Economist, and more. Audiences leave her speaking engagements with a fresh, long-view of how technology is transforming human relationships and what this means for life, work and how we do business.
  • Rachel was featured on a panel discussing ‘In technology we trust?‘ She argued that the signs of a new distributed are everywhere: from the rise of tech platforms such as Airbnb, Tinder and Uber that depend on strangers trusting one another; to the emergence of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum that bypass traditional banks; to rating and review systems on Amazon and Tripadvisor; to the feverish consumption of news on Facebook and other social media platforms. Rachel believes we have entered an age where individuals can have more sway than traditional institutions, and customers are not just meek consumers but social influencers who define brands. And because trust is moving into the hands of the many, there will be more of it around.

3) JIMMY WALES

  • Jimmy Wales is the Internet entrepreneur best known for founding Wikipedia.org, as well as other wiki-related organisations, including the charitable organisation Wikimedia Foundation, and the for-profit company Wikia Inc., which operates Wikia.com.
  • Fake News has become real issue of the modern world especially in the age of Information Technology. Facebook and Google are facing lot of criticism from the International Community over bogus news and propaganda. Hacking, leaking and disputing the facts – it has never been easier to distort the truth. Jimmy Wales was joined by other experts in his field to discuss ‘Fake news versus Real Politics‘ and how democracies can  be protected against the implications of a digitized world. Jimmy agreed that as founder of Wikipedia, he is part of the ‘fake news’ problem but argued that there are a lot of inaccuracies in everything and that he and his team are diligently and passionately committed to getting it right. Additionally and unlike other sources of fake news, there is no malevolence behind inaccuracies on Wikipedia.

4) YUVAL NOAH HARARI

  • Professor Yuval Noah Harari is an Israeli historian and leading expert on world history. He is interested in tackling the biggest questions of history and of the modern world: What is the relation between history and biology? What is the essential difference between Homo sapiens and other animals? Is there justice in history? Does history have a direction? Did people become happier as history unfolded?
  • Yuval was featured in three panels at Davos this week; ‘Putting jobs out of work’, which discussed what future role employment play in terms of community: identity, personal livelihood and societal purpose, ‘Will the future be human?’, in which Yuval took his audience on a journey through technological development and challenged leaders to develop a substantive vision of what it means for society, politics, religion and ideology. Yuval also took a Q+A session in which he dove into what history tells us about the future of humankind.

 

5) JOSEPH STIGLITZ

  • Joseph Stiglitz is widely regarded as one of the world’s finest economic thinkers. He has made major contributions to macroeconomics and monetary theory, development economics and trade theory, public and corporate finance, the theories of industrial organisation and rural organisation, and the theories of welfare economics and income and wealth distribution.
  • In a session titled ‘Beyond Paradise Papers: Can global tax avoidance be stopped?’, Joseph and an esteemed panel of guest speakers discussed the best ways to reduce tax avoidance and tax evasion globally. Joseph and the panel accused Ireland of helping prop up a failed system of global taxation that, with the world’s largest companies such as Apple and Google, was failing to tax companies in a fair manner. Joseph said Ireland did a good job in staying competitive, “but stealing jobs and tax revenues” and “in some cases” jobs from the rest of Europe should not be allowed.

6) JIN KEYU

  • Dr. Jin Keyu is a Professor in the Economics Department at the London School of Economics (LSE) in London, and an advisor to the Chinese Government’s National Development and Reform Commission (NRDC) in Beijing.
  • Jin spoke on two panels this week. The first, ‘China in the new era‘, saw a discussion about China’s 19th CPC Congress and its ambitious domestic goals for tackling poverty while reaffirming its commitment to further opening up to the world. The second discussed ‘The global impact of America first’ in light of the Trump administration’s consistent assertion that national interests are pre-eminent. 
Speakers We Admire