Digitization enables new ecosystems to help solve our most pressing global challenges

January 22, 2020

The small town of Davos has come alive for a week every winter for the last 50 years, transforming from a skiing and snowboarding destination into the global center of business and political dialog. Security in the village is like nothing I have ever seen, with the perimeter cordoned off completely for attendees. However, the opportunity to have open dialogue with the C-suite of our clients in small intimate settings is unparalleled

Among everyone I speak with, a few key topics are top of mind: digitization, partnerships and building ecosystems, climate and sustainability, inclusion, and cybersecurity.  In particular, how digital technologies are fundamentally transforming not only the way companies work, but also the way we work together to shape a better world.

Cloud, social and collaboration technologies enable communication and collaboration across vast distances to connect a globally dispersed society working to solve common challenges. 

Ajay Banga, President and CEO of MasterCard, gave compelling examples on Monday evening about how his organization is creating private-private partnerships to generate business value while also addressing inequality, including one with Walmart. And at breakfast just this morning, Judith McKenna, President and CEO of Walmart International, talked about the imperative to co-create with an ecosystem of partners outside of their industry. Trust, in her view, has to develop from a model that allows each ecosystem partner to bring what others can’t do effectively themselves.

In the next decade, we expect this paradigm will be applied toward solving complex global challenges, such as climate change, access to clean water, safe infrastructure and more – creating an opportunity for organizations to deliver new value.

Take the built environment as an example. Buildings and construction together account for 36% of global energy use, according to the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction. We believe we can help create a better world in part by partnering with clients to address sustainability challenges, and that we have the right data, technology and talent to play a leading role in creating new ecosystems and partnerships to do so. 

Exactly how digitally-enabled collaboration will impact the future remains to be seen, but one thing is certain. Unprecedented access to new data and insights, combined with human creativity, intuition, and imaginative problem-solving, will inspire an innovation arms race sure to shape a better future.

Sanjay Rishi
Americas CEO, Corporate Solutions