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Innovation

The Future of Work in Africa : Harnessing the Potential of Digital Technologies for All

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, August 1, 2019
Abstract in English: 
This companion report to the World Development Report (WDR) 2019: The Changing Nature of Work addresses the key themes of creating productive jobs and addressing the needs of those left behind. It builds on and contextualizes some of WDR 2019’s main messages to key specificities of the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region. It focuses on how global trends especially the adoption of digital technologies (DTs) may change the nature of work in SSA by creating new opportunities and challenges. The report is structured around three main issues that will shape the future of work in Africa, namely the human capital needs of a young and rapidly growing largely low-skilled labor force, the prevalence of informal workers and enterprises and the social protection policies to mitigate risks resulting from disruptions to labor markets. The report highlights important unanswered policy questions where new research, supplemented by new data, could yield learnings with high policy payoffs in the SSA context.
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188
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What is DARPA? How to Design Successful Technology Disruption

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, July 14, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Throughout history, humanity’s successes and failures and the survival of societies and nations have derived in large parts from technical innovations and disruptive technologies that have replaced the status-quo with new and better ways of doing things. It is thus understandable, indeed necessary, that nations and governments ask what mechanisms and instruments they should put in place to encourage scientific discoveries and to create technical breakthroughs, particularly for technologies with a transformative, strategic dimension that a nation can ill-afford to miss or fail to understand, control and
shape.

Many funding schemes and government programs already exist around the world that aim to support scientific discovery and societal innovation. Many are curiosity driven scientific endeavors that -like artadvance our understanding of the world and our lives and our identity as humans. Others attempt to promote more pragmatic goals and improve engineering and development processes. All are important and necessary mechanisms to drive science forward.
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18
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Incentivizing responsible and secure innovation Principles and guidance for investors

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, July 3, 2019
Abstract in English: 
This report proposes an innovative focus on cybersecurity incentives for the investment community. Investors in innovation and technology-driven companies have a responsibility to ensure that cybersecurity is given priority in the early stages of product development. By ensuring cybersecurity from the outset – including features like security-by-design and security-by-default – investors can increase the likelihood of company success in the long term, promote more durable technology and improve overall cyber resilience. This report proposes principles for investors that will raise their internal cybersecurity awareness and offers a complete framework enabling investors to assess the cybersecurity preparedness of their target company.
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Top 10 Emerging Technologies 2019

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Abstract in English: 
The technologies on the list, which is curated by members of the Forum’s Expert Network, are selected against a number of criteria. In addition to promising major benefits to societies and economies, they must also be disruptive, attractive to investors and researchers, and expected to have achieved considerable scale within five years. “From income inequality to climate change, technology will play a critical role in finding solutions to many of the challenges our world faces today. This year’s emerging technologies demonstrate the rapid pace of human innovation and offer a glimpse into what a sustainable, inclusive future will look like,” said Jeremy Jurgens, Chief Technology Officer at the World Economic Forum. “Technologies that are emerging today will soon be shaping the world tomorrow and well into the future – with impacts to economies and to society at large. Now that we are well into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it’s critical that we discuss and ensure that humanity is served by these new innovations so that we can continue to prosper,” said Mariette DiChristina, Editor-in-Chief of Scientific American, and chair of the Emerging Technologies Steering Committee.
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Data Science in the New Economy: A new race for talent in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Abstract in English: 
As the Fourth Industrial Revolution unfolds, led by advances in technologies such as data science and artificial intelligence, the labour market is again changing in a fundamental fashion. In 2018 the Future of Jobs Survey and Report revealed that business leaders believe that by 2022, human workers and automated processes are set to share the workload of current tasks equally, while a range of new roles is expected to emerge simultaneously as digital innovation is absorbed across industries and regions. While the new labour market is changing at a rapid pace, emerging data sources are shedding light on its composition with a new depth and dynamism that has not previously existed. This Report focuses on data science, among the most competitive skills of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, in collaboration with Burning Glass Technologies, LinkedIn and Coursera to shed light on how data science talent is being developed and deployed across today’s labour market.
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Data Collaboration for the Common Good: Enabling Trust and Innovation Through Public-Private Partnerships

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Abstract in English: 
This report, done in collaboration with McKinsey and Company, represents a year-long effort with business, government, civil society leaders, experts and practitioners to advance public-private data collaboration to address some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian and sustainable development challenges.
The report provides a holistic governance framework designed to strengthen trust, balance competing interests and deliver impact. It offers insights to balance both the need to innovate in the use of data and the mandate to protect vulnerable populations against known and emerging harms.
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Health and Healthcare in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Global Future Council on the Future of Health and Healthcare 2016-2018

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Scientific and technological advances in medicine promise to transform health and healthcare to become much more connected, precise and democratized, with significantly improved human outcomes. To comprehend the scope of scientific and technological breakthroughs and their potential impact on healthcare provision, the 2016-2018 Global Future Council on the Future of Health and Healthcare prepared this report to serve as a key resource in understanding the effect of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on health and medicine. The report seeks to characterize how this revolution will affect us in the coming decades and to discuss the societal implications and governance of key emerging technologies related to health and healthcare.
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A New Circular Vision for Electronics, Time for a Global Reboot

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, January 24, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Rapid innovation and lowering costs have dramatically increased access to electronic products and digital technology, with many benefits. This has led to an increase in the use of electronic devices and equipment. The unintended consequence of this is a steep growth of electronic and electrical waste: e-waste. E-waste is now the fastest-growing waste stream in the world. It is estimated this waste stream reached 48.5 million tonnes in 2018. Globally, society only deals with 20% of e-waste appropriately and there is little data on what happens to the rest, which for the most part ends up in landfill, or is disposed of by informal workers in poor conditions. Yet e-waste is worth at least $62.5 billion annually, which is more than the gross domestic product (GDP) of most countries. Changes in technology such as cloud computing and the internet of things (IoT) could hold the potential to “dematerialize” the electronics industry. The rise of service business models and better product tracking and takeback could lead to global circular value chains. Material efficiency, recycling infrastructure and scaling up the volume and quality of recycled materials to meet the needs of electronics supply chains will all be essential. If the sector is supported with the right policy mix and managed in the right way, it could lead to the creation of millions of decent jobs worldwide. A new vision for the production and consumption of electronic and electrical goods based on the circular economy is needed. It is easy for e-waste to be framed as a post-consumer problem, but the issue encompasses the lifecycle of the devices everyone uses. Designers, manufacturers, investors, traders, miners, raw material producers, consumers, policy-makers and others have a crucial role to play in reducing waste, retaining value within the system, extending the economic and physical life of an item, as well as its ability to be repaired, recycled and reused.
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Advanced Drone Operations Toolkit: Accelerating the Drone Revolution

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
Abstract in English: 
The Advanced Drone Operations Toolkit provides a modular approach for governments to enable societally important and safe drone projects. Each recommendation is based upon lessons learned from the latest successful pilot projects in Switzerland, Rwanda, and Malawi – saving lives and creating new forms of aerial logistics. This toolkit is the first multi-stakeholder publication to collect and share vital lessons from across the planet as an enabler for new drone programs that can save lives safely. By leveraging the formative work of innovative governments and supported by those private companies leading the technological revolution, the toolkit accelerates access to airspace and begins to promote a unified vision for autonomous flight.
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ESPAS Report 2019 : Global Trends to 2030

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, April 5, 2019
Abstract in English: 
For something as unknown as the future, it appears to have become surprisingly predictable. A Google search of ‘future 2030’ yields more than 97 million results, all more or less claiming similar things: that 2030 will see a more connected, yet fragmented world, with hazardous shifts in demography and energy, and dangerous changes in technology, environment, and politics.
The future, while overall negative, appears to be a rather certain place.
This illusion of definitiveness is created by two dynamics: first, the pessimistic tone that runs through the vast majority of foresight reports. This is a common feature when it comes to future thinking, with one study showing that all studies undertaken on the future over the last 70 years have one thing in common; pessimism. The reason for this is simple: although both optimism and pessimism are natural human dispositions, the latter is more prevalent by far. Humans are, genetically speaking, biased towards the negative – some studies even indicate that this is particularly the case for Europeans. Second, pessimism in foresight is encouraged by the grave air that surrounds it: in general, negative statements are given more attention than positive ones. That said, more pessimism in foresight does not equal greater accuracy, as one study shows.
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52
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