TIME

THE OPTIMIST’S PLAYBOOK

Davos summit founder Klaus Schwab on a game plan for confronting nationalism, inequality and the fourth industrial revolution

WHEN KLAUS SCHWAB, THE founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, hosted the first summit in Davos in 1971, the global community was on the precipice of profound change. Mass poverty was endemic, computers were the size of Xerox machines, and globalization was still a theory taught to economics students.

Forty-eight years on, the world is utterly transformed. Extreme poverty has halved over five decades, roughly 2.5 billion of us now carry supercomputers in our pockets, and globalization has become the bedrock of the modern economy. But once again, we are facing a period of tumultuous change. In the coming years, the 80-year-old Schwab predicts, our planet will undergo what he calls the fourth industrial revolution: an era of rapid innovation catalyzed by automation, artificial intelligence

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from TIME

TIME2 min readPsychology
A Humble Solution To Global Depression
In Zimbabwe, the term for depression is kufungisisa, which translates to “thinking too much.” Like many low-income countries, Zimbabwe is ill-equipped to care for its citizens suffering from mental illness. The country of roughly 16.5 million current
TIME3 min read
Comedies Find Surprising New Life In The Afterlife
IN THE BEGINNING, GOD CREATED Heaven Inc. and the earth. And the earth was a hot new innovation overseen by the angels at God’s celestial startup—a goofy blue planet where each human creature was endowed with free will. Several eons later, all that c
TIME1 min read
A History-making Legislative Session
NEVADA’S NEW LEGISLATIVE SESSION ON FEB. 4 signaled more than the start of government as usual. It carried the weight of history. The session marked the first time in U.S. history that women have made up a majority of any state’s legislature. The oc