San Francisco, 10 October 2016 – The World Economic Forum announces the opening of its new Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco. The Center will serve as a platform for interaction, insight and impact on the scientific and technological changes that are changing the way we live, work and relate to one another. It is the first permanent, globally active office of an international organization in the Bay Area.
“Given the accelerating change brought on by innovation, continuous public-private cooperation on a global level is needed more than ever,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, ahead of the opening in San Francisco. “This is the purpose of our Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco, which will serve as a global platform for dialogue and collaborative action on the most important questions related to the impact of emerging technologies.”
The Center will bring together entrepreneurs, start-ups, investors, businesses, regulators, policy-makers, international organizations, NGOs and academia from all over the world. It aims to develop a common understanding of the disruptive technologies and scientific advances affecting the economy and society, and facilitate the development of policy frameworks and norms to govern them.
The opening today will be attended by more than 200 representatives from the private and public sector, academia and NGOs. It will include a panel on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its implications for Business, Government, the Individual and Society, featuring Marc Benioff, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Salesforce, and member of the World Economic Forum Board of Trustees; Penny Pritzker, United States Secretary of Commerce; Bernard J. Tyson, Chief Executive Officer of Kaiser Permanente; and Mike Wirth, Executive Vice President of Chevron. The panel is on the record and can be viewed here as of 4PM Pacific Time.
“The San Francisco Bay Area is the center of technology innovation, with an amazing community of entrepreneurs, business leaders and thought leaders who are paving a way forward,” said Benioff ahead of the panel. “The Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution can serve as an essential platform where some of the brightest minds can help understand the trends shaping our world and navigate the future.”
The Center will focus on technologies, concepts, scientific developments and new business models such as artificial intelligence and robotics, precision medicine, blockchain, drones and their civilian use, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, and the role of the individual in the era of big data, the internet of things and artificial intelligence. It will also advance Forum projects such as industrial internet of things safety, digital trade, advancing the shared economy and project-based workforce, and harnessing Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies and innovation to improve global ocean health, management and governance.
The Center will be led by Murat Sönmez, Chief Business Officer and Member of the World Economic Forum Managing Board, who joined the Forum in 2014 after having spent 25 years in Silicon Valley.