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.


Technology and inequality

The rise of networked data and communication has simultaneously driven significant new power-centralising/inequality-enhancing (e.g. NSA spying, winner-take-all network effects in online services, privacy erosion, T. Cowen’s “average is over” idea) and power-decentralising/inequality-decreasing (e.g. P2P, open source, wiki, the sharing economy, net-organised protests/'seeds of revolution') trends. How do you see this tension developing into the future? What would be the scenarios if one side or the other wins out?


Very well posed question.

Open source, ubiquitous availability & the post-scarcity economy

The music industry, newspapers, encyclopedias and phone directories have all born the impact of a towering wave of content flooding out their business models. Now 3D printing is poised to release a flood of open-sourced physical objects into the marketplace with similar effects. How will the world economy cope?

Predictive Analytics

If search and analysis are inate human characteristics, will predictive analytics dehumanize us?

About Digital Disintegration

What is your opinion on the risk for Digital Disintegration of the internet and overall digital ecosystem as reported in the WEF Global Risks 2014 report.

About Digital Disintegration

What is your opinion on the risk for Digital Disintegration of the internet and overall digital ecosystem as reported in the WEF Global Risks 2014 report.

Net Neutrality

A few questions here.

- How do you see the erosion of net neutrality impacting your organization. Risks or benefits.

- Do you think court decision in favor of private interests will stand? Will there be laws pushing back?

- Should the internet infrastructure be a commonwealth asset?

Civil Society

With the invention of the Gutenberg press, access to information changed in a way that led to deep transformations in the balance of power in medieval Europe. The knowledge, which had for the most part been only accessible in Latin and locked up in monasteries, quickly found its way to inquiring minds everywhere. The renaissance, the reformation of the church, the industrial revolution all followed, and so did centuries of social disruption, war, and political chaos culminating in the Peace of Westphalia and the arrival of the nation state.

We are now at a similar inflection point, with the far reaching changes being brought about by the internet and mobile technology. Our social institutions, nation states and international organizations and laws are all undergoing change in a way that is not clearly understood, and the outcome of these changes lies beyond the horizon of our vision. What we can see is that the societies in which we live, and the values by which we live are struggling to keep up with the speed and complexity of the changes taking place.

Historically, it has been societies with deep and resilient cultures which have been able to weather great and disruptive changes, and at the ground of all those cultures has been what we would recognize as civil society.

Technology has been and is a great force for change, but that change will only be a force for good if it is directed with wisdom and awareness.

There is a great need now for our leaders to recognize that it is the health of our societies that will determine the world in which we will live, and that will decide if that world is one of peace and freedom, or one of chaos and tyranny.

Given that these historic changes are now in motion, how can our leaders meet this challenge of our time to give the depth and direction to the social structures essential to the evolution of a free, civil and peaceful future?