Davos 2014

Here are my thoughts from the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos...

1) I always go to Davos with a quick poll to ask my fellow attendees. This year my question was: "Is Edward Snowden a traitor or a hero?" 32 attendees voted "traitor" while 21 voted "hero." Europeans and young people tended more to the "hero" side. Everyone involved with the U.S. government (senators, congressmen, ex- or current administration officials) unanimously voted "traitor."

2) When I asked Marissa Mayer of Yahoo what she would ask President Obama to do to regarding security and privacy, she had a simple answer -- "More transparency."

3) When I asked my technology panel how much of a citizen's digital information he or she could expect to be private in the future, the answer was "90%." That would mean that 10% of your emails would be viewable by a third party -- but you wouldn't know which 10%. I'm not sure customers would tolerate these levels.

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Davos Panel: The New Digital Context

Here at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, I moderated a CEO discussion on “The New Digital Context” (video below). Thank you to my panelists Marissa Mayer (Yahoo), Marc Benioff (salesforce.com), John Chambers (Cisco), Randall Stephenson (AT&T), and Gavin Patterson (BT).

We are in the age of the customer, where technology is dramatically accelerating the shift in power from institutions to individuals, forcing organizations to be with their customers as they move through time and space.


My big takeaways from the panel:

  • The age of the customer underpins what’s coming next in tech: context-driven systems, the Internet of everything, and customer-centric software.
  • Much of the Internet of everything will focus on personal care and health.
  • These leaders want more transparency from the Obama administration regarding privacy — critical to regaining customer trust.
  • Total privacy is history. The national security concerns are too great. In the future, the best that people can hope for is that 90% of their data will be private.
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What Questions Would You Ask At Davos?

I am moderating a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos in two weeks. The title is:  "The New Digital Context -- What societal, economic and technological forces are shaping the digital landscape?" 

The panelists are:  Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, and Gavin Patterson, CEO of British Telecom

I need your help. What questions would you ask my panelists? What topics would you want my group of CEOs to explore? What areas of technology should we focus on?

Leave your suggested questions here as comments. I will take the best one and pose it to my panel -- and I will give the author a shout-out.

Thanks in advance.