In an effort to help policymakers and businesses negotiate the right balance between emerging technologies and proactively alleviate the potential social risks which may emerge, the World Economic Forum (WEF) launched six Global Fourth Industrial Revolution Councils. The initiative took place on 29 May 2019, in San Francisco, USA at the Global Fourth Industrial Revolution Council.

The newly formed global councils are centered on pressing technology areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous mobility, blockchain, drones, Internet of Things and precision medicine. The event brought together top decision-makers and experts from the public and private sectors, civil society, and academia from all over the world to debate and reflect upon the impact of disruptive technologies on various sectors, and how to respond to potential social pressures. Industry leaders and representatives of international organizations have positioned themselves as chairs of the six global councils, such as Leaders of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Dana-Farber, European Commission, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Uber, and the World Bank.

The first of its kind on the international stage, the organization is committed to researching how to govern emerging technologies and unite together actors from a myriad of fields, including business, government, academia, and NGOs. With a wide spectrum of representation, members will come from 27 countries, to collaborate on developing policy guidance and address “governance gaps” or the absence of well-defined rules for emerging technology.

Richard Samans, Managing Director and Head of Policy and Institutional Impact of the World Economic Forum, underlined that “Companies and governments are not moving fast enough to anticipate social expectations in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”. Samans further outlined the scope and approach of the organization “We believe that that this bottom-up, societally-focused approach can help to build and maintain public trust in the technologies while strengthening the evidence base on which policy decisions are made by governments and companies. This is the first place where this kind of high-level, strategic dialogue on the governance of these technologies will take place across stakeholders and regions on an ongoing basis.”

The Global Fourth Industrial Revolution Councils aim to:

• Enable cross-country exchange of policy and regulatory experience, including through case studies;

• Identify and take action to address gaps in public policy or corporate governance through multistakeholder cooperation;

• Shape a common understanding of “best” or “good” policy practice as a means of enabling better policy coordination within and among countries;

• Provide strategic guidance to the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network regarding the governance projects and pilots it undertakes.

Councils are organized by the World Economic Forum Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network. Headquartered in San Francisco, the Network expanded internationally in 2018 to the People’s Republic of China, India, and Japan. Affiliate centers in Colombia and the United Arab Emirates opened in early 2019. Five of the G7 countries and more than 100 organizations are officially partnered with the Network to create policy frameworks, pilot them and scale up around the world.

Global Technology Governance Summit

Council members will provide valuable insight to the Global Technology Governance Summit which will take place in April 2020. The event is shaped to be a leader-level, multi-stakeholder meeting dedicated to shaping the governance of emerging technologies. The objective is to unite government ministers, chief executive officers, civil society leaders, start-ups and international organizations and stimulate new approaches and collaborative efforts across stakeholders that are human-centered.

The six Global Councils

Global Artificial Intelligence Council Co-chairs Lee Kai-Fu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sinovation Ventures Bradford Smith, President, Microsoft Corp

Global Autonomous and Urban Mobility Council Co-chairs Brian Gu Hong-Di, Vice-Chairman and President, Xpeng Motors Keiichi Ishii, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan Dara Khosrowshahi, Chief Executive Officer, Uber Technologies

Global Blockchain Council Co-chairs Elizabeth Rossiello, Chief Executive Officer, Founder, BitPesa Denis Robitaille, Vice President, Information and Technology Solutions, World Bank

Global Drones and Aerial Mobility Council Chair Violeta Bulc, Commissioner for Transport, European Commission

Global Internet of Things Council Co-chairs Cristiano Amon, President, Qualcomm Incorporated Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, European Commission Adrian Lovett, President and Chief Executive Officer, World Wide Web Foundation

Global Precision Medicine Council Co-chairs Laurie Glimcher, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Peer Schatz, Chief Executive Officer, QIAGENPeer Schatz, Chief Executive Officer, QIAGEN Wang Chen, President, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences

About The Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network

The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a hub for global, multistakeholder cooperation to develop policy frameworks and advance collaborations that accelerate the benefits of science and technology. By tapping into the World Economic Forum’s global convening power, community creation and insight generation, the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco promotes cross-sector cooperation for Fourth Industrial revolution Governance. The organization develops, pilots and scales human-centered governance tools that can be implemented by policy-makers, legislators and regulators from all over the world to overcome challenges related to emerging technologies.

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