Robots, AI And Blockchain: How Tech Pioneers Are Exploring New Frontiers In Davos

Donald Trump, Bill Gates and other prominent CEOs are likely the first people you picture in Davos at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting each January. While you’ll likely read about Bill Gates wanting to use smart data to end malaria and hear President Trump’s latest statement from the Swiss alpine town, these headlines only show a small section of those who attend Davos.

Who you’re less likely to read about are the thriving groups of smaller business leaders who attend each year. However, these up and coming cross-industry emerging leaders are out in full force at the meeting in Davos each year. One excellent example of how up-and-coming innovators are included in our annual meeting is in our Technology Pioneers.

Who are Technology Pioneers?

Tech Pioneers are on the frontier of innovations, bringing new technologies and uses for technology to the world. They are selected by a committee of technology experts based on their innovation, impact, and leadership.

All of our Tech Pioneers are independent businesses using technologies in new or novel ways. As these technologies are rapidly evolving, multi-stakeholder discussion is essential to ensure we all envision and create a desired future whereby technology assists in making the world more inclusive and sustainable. These new technologies are already having an impact on business and society, an impact that is expected to grow substantially in years to come. We have seen past Technology Pioneers soar to the top of their industries and become leading global businesses. Notable past Technology Pioneers include companies such as Google, Kickstarter, Airbnb, Twitter, Spotify, Bloom Energy, and Foundation Medicine.

A robot on display at the World Economic Forum – Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin, People’s Republic of China 2016.

Who’s coming?

Our Pioneers come from all around the globe. They include business leaders at the frontier of many technology fields including AI, robotics, blockchain, 3D printing, cybersecurity and genomics.

Just as our Technology Pioneers represent diverse businesses, they also have diverse leadership. Over half of our Technology Pioneers come from outside the United States with many from emerging markets. Furthermore, one out of three of 2018 Tech Pioneer companies is female led.

Attendees include Frida Polli, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pymetrics, a company using neuroscience games and bias-free AI to predictively match people with jobs where they will perform at the highest levels. Also attending is Matt Barnard, Chief Executive Officer of Plenty, a company that is combining leading agriculture and crop science with machine learning to create indoor farms that produce crops using 1% of the water and less than 1% of the land used in traditional farming.

This is just a small sample of our Tech Pioneers who are all leading equally groundbreaking work that will shape society and business in the coming years. Additional Technology Pioneer companies attending the 2019 annual meeting include: 1928 Diagnostics AB, Agrosmart, Apeel Sciences, BenevolentAI, BestMile, Cadenza Innovation,, CognitiveScale, Color Genomics, CUJO AI, Cymmetria, Delair-Tech, Desktop Metal, Everledger, EVRYTHNG, Fetch Robotics, Grid Singularity, Malong Technologies, Melonport, Modern Meadow, Ovamba Solutions, Precognize, Pymetrics, QuintessenceLabs, Soft Robotics, Suade Labs, Tulip Interfaces, Upskill, and WaystoCap.

How do they participate?

Over the course of the week, our pioneers will discuss this year’s theme of ‘Globalization 4.0’ with their peers as well as with participating Forum members. Our contributing Tech Pioneers are given the opportunity to have candid discussions with top business leaders about innovation and the future of technology and business.

However, these Tech Pioneers are not just here to learn from larger business leaders. They are also here to share the groundbreaking ways their companies are using technology to impact business today and in years to come. In past years, our attendees have participated in multiple panels and workshops, leading discussions on how emerging technologies will affect the future of industries as diverse as finance, energy, healthcare, and manufacturing. This year is no different with Tech Pioneers participating in many different sessions, panels, and as speakers. Events that Tech Pioneers will contribute to include Building Sustainable Markets, A New Kind of Learning, Advancing Africa’s Growth Agenda and many more.

What’s on the agenda?

Technology Pioneers Community Impact Building

Technology Pioneers will take part in a peer-to-peer exchange session where they will discuss Globalization 4.0. This means they will discuss the future of globalization under the Fourth Industrial Revolution which accelerates innovations at an unprecedented speed.

These Technology Pioneers are set to discuss changes the next wave of globalization will bring, a topic they are most qualified to comment on. Emerging technologies open doors to substantially enhance services in the areas of health, transportation, financial services, energy and more. Technology Pioneers’ insights are crucial to forming thoughts and best practices for the next stage of globalized trade. This discussion will bring into focus their contributions to the annual meeting discussions, and well beyond, in shaping Globalization.

Market Place with Technology Pioneers and other Innovators

Technology Pioneers will also have the chance to engage with titans of industry. During this session, International Business Council members and the Community of Chairmen will have an opportunity to exchange with our Technology Pioneers about how to use emerging technologies to maximize benefits to business and society while minimizing the risk.

These attending CEOs of innovative companies will host small circle discussions during which IBC members and Chairmen are invited to circulate and exchange insights with Tech Pioneers on emerging technologies and their future implications from their differing small and large company perspectives.

Technology Pioneers Welcome Reception and Dinner

The Technology Pioneers will celebrate the World Economic Forum annual meeting by engaging in serious discussions such as universal basic income and how the future of work will change. Technology Pioneers will hear from entrepreneur and robots expert Cynthia Breazeal of MIT and well-known author and historian Rutger Bregman of De Correspondent, a crowdfunded news site in the Netherlands. Both experts will add their unique voices to this important discussion.

Technology Pioneers Partners Workshop

Technology Pioneers and their Community Partners will explore leading an organization through a new age of distributed trust. Special guest, Rachel Botsman, a Visiting Academic from Said Business School, University of Oxford, will engage participants on the topic of what trust is, how it works, and why it matters more than ever in the digital age.  Participants will discuss trust barriers to stakeholders having complete confidence in their product or service.

A Conversation with Doug McMillon

This year Technology Pioneers will meet with Doug McMillon, President and CEO of Walmart for a candid discussion about leadership and innovation. Mr. McMillon will share his own leadership challenges and lessons learnt while spurring Technology Pioneers to reflect on their own leadership journeys and the legacy they wish to leave.

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