|24 January 2016|

Serious steps need to be taken by business leaders and governments to ensure the fourth industrial revolution works for and not against people, that’s according to an influential panel who discussed the ongoing impact of technology at last week’s World Economic Forum.

The fourth industrial revolution refers to the seismic changes taking place in all aspects of life and work created by rapid advances in technologies.

Marc Benioff, chairman and chief executive officer of Salesforce in the US, believes there needs to be better leadership from governments.

“We are in a leadership crisis. We are seeing technological shifts and changes on a scale we have never seen on this planet. These require severe and extreme leadership. Countries that are having a problem are those with the weakest leadership. There is a leadership void in this world,” he said.

Erik Brynjolfsson, director of the Initiative on the Digital Economy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management in the US, said education must be a key focus.

“Education has to be fundamentally reinvented so that young people are given the critical 21st-century skills to cope with the rapidly changing world,” he said.

Mr Benioff added: “Everyone has to work together in a new way. Leadership can’t be defined anymore by who the head of the country is. We have to have multi-stakeholder dialogues.”