2019 World Web Forum: Key Takeaways

Written by
Duncan Cox

2019 World Web Forum: Key Takeaways

Written by
Duncan Cox

2019 World Web Forum: Key Takeaways

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Written by
Duncan Cox

Photos courtesy of WorldWebForum

2019 WorldWebForum: Key Takeaways

LAAX is a special place for Learning Economy. It’s where our founders first created the idea of an equitable economy around education. This year, we went skiing for the second time with the WorldWebForum Trnsfrmrs Club, a pre-conference meeting of some of the greatest minds in the world. The highlight of this experience was a beautiful evening where everyone hiked a mountain, torches stuck in the snow to light the way. At the top, we sat beside a fire and ate an amazing traditional Swiss dinner, with plenty of hot cider.

A broken ankle and snowstorm delays aside, Ana made it to the top of the mountain to lead the annual session at the Galaxy at LAAX featuring speakers from Coinbase, LAAX, SingularityNET, and The Future Society. The discussion looked at how new technologies like AI, blockchain, and cryptocurrency are revolutionizing sectors as diverse as tourism and law. We made some amazing relationships from this panel, and are continuing conversations with folks from these organizations.

The Galaxy at LAAX panel, led by Ana. Photo courtesy of Jacksón Smith


This year’s WorldWebForum had “a total rockstar vibe, straight out of the mind of Fabian (the founder of WWF)”, said Chris Purifoy. An engaging mix of policy and technology, the annual World Web Forum is one of the highlights of the year. This year’s theme asked the question: “Will we be master or a slave?” in the midst of this new tech evolution. Founders Tim Sullivan, Ana Rold, and Chris Purifoy all spoke on panels alongside thought leaders from adidas, Ernst & Young, Disney, Accenture, and more.

The new geopolitical struggle will be in the digital realm.

Ana participated in one of the main stage panels moderated by world-renowned host Ghida Fakry of TRT World and the Doha Debates. The discussion “The New Pecking Order in the World” considered how power is in the midst of a radical shift, featuring expert opinions on the “New Cold War” between old and emerging superpowers. Ana discussed the American perspective while Edward Tse, Founder and CEO of Gao Feng Advisory discussed the Chinese in the new digital battles for dominance in AI and other top technologies.

Arif Khan of SingularityNET speaking on sovereignty.

Data sovereignty is key to the future of tech development.

Arif Khan of SingularityNET delivered an amazing keynote on data, sovereignty, and breaking the dopamine cycle created by data-driven social media companies. His creative slides and engaging presence made this a standout presentation and drew attention to issues caused by the centralization of data and lack of individual sovereignty over our own data. A potential solution to these issues, Khan says, is using blockchain to decentralize information.

Global Talent Summit

Global Talent Summit occupied the Main Stage of WorldWebForum this year in a unique partnership as one of the key tracks.

Ana hosted the sixth annual event under the auspices of the WorldWebForum and brought key partners and advisors to discuss the future of education and talent. Here are the key takeaways. Visit here for a more comprehensive report of this year’s GTS.

Rapid automation will require rapid training.

McKinsey & Company, a key partner of the WorldWebForum, sent folks to participate in the GTS discussion. Angelika Reich, partner at Mckinsey, spoke on the way automation will change the shape of the future of the workforce, requiring stronger soft skills development and focused plan to provide training opportunities for all.

The skills gap can be solved with human understanding.

Our advisor Jacob Sherson of ScienceAtHome challenged us to develop a greater understanding of skills and human capacity. Without that, we have no framework to fully tackle the problem of the global skills gap. Games developed by ScienceAtHome help bridge this gap in understanding by measuring and training soft skills.

We welcomed some amazing new advisors to the Learning Economy team. We’re very thankful to have Arif Khan, Danny Laker of Accenture, Bob Sumner of Disney Research, and Anders Hedberg of Hedberg Consulting on board.

Final Thoughts: Information and value barriers have been shattered.

The combination of the internet and blockchain are removing the middleman and making value and information transferable directly from person to person. 

This has forced our age of progress to an inflection point, where policy and global standards are required to rebalance the chaotic landscape and protect our generation from frauds and coercion. 

At WWF 2019, a unique bundling of technologists, policy makers, and researchers came together to create collaborative solutions.

So, will we be master or slave to the new tech evolution? At Learning Economy, we tend to think the answer is somewhere in the middle, using technology to augment open collaboration.

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