To remoralize globalization

To remoralize globalization

If two years ago the founder and executive president of the World Economic Forum, the German-born professor Klaus Schwab of Germany, urgently called for a new world elite to face the enormous challenges of humanity, and at last year's meeting, the Impressive media deployment by the presence of very high personalities such as the American President, Donald Trump, or Felipe VI, was a milestone for the WEF (World Economic Forum), opening the way to a generalized and somewhat naive optimism for the good prospects of a « synchronized growth "of the world economy, this year, in the midst of a worrying international uncertainty, Schwab puts his finger on the wound and demands a moral rearmament of globalization.

Given the undoubted fatigue experienced by our democracies, the growing danger of fracture in our societies, before the erosion suffered by the concept of globalization, a term that has become "parola non grata", Schwab, on the cusp of success, seeks the reorientation of your organization, one of the most powerful and influential institutions on the planet. In this 49th edition of the forum, under the somewhat weighty theme of "Globalization 4.0: forming a global architecture in the era of the fourth industrial revolution", more than 60 heads of state and government and nearly 3,000 leaders, including politicians, businessmen , scientists, executives, artists and representatives of multiple organizations have gathered for another year in the highest city in Europe, in the alpine village of Davos, in search of peace and inspiration.

And it is that the "Davos Man", the "man of Davos", as defined by the American sociologist Samuel Huntington, perhaps perhaps excessively critical the profile of the young man, of success, representative above all of the financial economy, which meets in Davos to rub shoulders with his counterparts in concentric circles and thus show his ephemeral power, is in crisis, disoriented by the collapse of the old certainties of prosperity and progress, orphan of an authentic vision of the future. Although it is in good company, and where are the recipes that help us to overcome definitely the effects of the economic crisis, the colossal challenge posed by the digital revolution, to mention only two phenomena that condition our future? Where are the big thinking factories, the famous «Think Tanks», once authentic laboratories of ideas? And is globalization the cause of all the evils that afflict us today? Have we exaggerated globalization, creating unacceptable inequalities even in our most advanced societies?

For years, Professor Schwab has been warning that we are facing major systemic changes and that therefore we must fight a certain atmosphere of complacency that has taken over our Western societies, while the feeling of helplessness grows. The most serious economic and financial crisis of recent decades has clearly demonstrated the dimension of the change from "the globalization of opportunities" to "a globalization of problems". This dramatic turn demonstrates the transformation of a strongly interrelated world, more vulnerable and subject to complex and changing dependencies. On this year's agenda and in most of the Forum's debates and work, two major issues were highlighted: globalization, which, despite having contributed to an amazing increase in world wealth and having rescued more than 300 million people of the threshold of poverty, has led to a certain tipping economy, generating inequalities, especially in industrialized countries, a situation that threatens international collaboration and favors populist and nationalist movements. The second determining factor that organizers have wanted is the extraordinary development of the internet and consequently the exponential acceleration of time, which has left literally obsolete many of the work schemes that we have been using.

The dominance of companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba, Tencent, Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, Salesforce and Oracle, some of them with billings higher than the GDP of many countries of the first order, has already dramatically transformed the consumption of services and goods and will inexorably change our habits of life and work. If we also take into account the latest Oxfam report, opportunely published before the Forum and which reveals the resounding inequality not only between the richest and the poorest but the growing deterioration of the middle class, baluster of our democracies, and we add for more inri the great migratory movements, the excessive indebtedness that still weighs on our public accounts, the clumsiness of the Brexit, the cybersecurity or the environmental deterioration, it is evident that our unbound world needs a pressing ideation. And despite everything, Schwab wants to be optimistic and bet, against all odds, for a new "spirit of Davos", for a globalization based on a liberal-democratic order, and above all inclusive.

Sinforiano de Mendieta is a journalist and entrepreneur.

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