Shaping the impact of ‘disruptive’ technologies

29/06/2018

 

Our world is being transformed by such technologies as artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, 3D printing and blockchain, which impact the way we work, live and relate to each other. During Ethical Leadership in Business, an event of the Caux Forum, participants and speakers explored the question of how to lead in times of disruptive technological innovations. From 28 June to 1 July, leaders from various countries and sectors learnt how ethical leadership can drive innovation and build resilience, thus strengthening organizational performance while furthering the future of society.

ELB 2018

Christophe Barman, ex CEO of Loyco, showed how, by introducing a flat hierarchy, his company increased employee engagement and responsibility and established an innovative and resilient corporate culture.

One of the greatest challenges brought by disruptive innovations is the likelihood of large-scale work displacement, as more jobs are automated than created. Ambassador Christian Dussey, Director of the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, pointed out that we constantly update our phones but need to ask ourselves how often we update our mindset. While our digital and other ‘hard’ skills need constant updating, it is equally crucial to work on our attitudes, so that we can seize opportunities in a constantly changing environment.

Japman Bajaj, a telecommunications executive from Calgary, Canada, maintained that ‘adaptability’ is the most important skill, and requires a sense of humour, integrity, and ‘looking at the world from 19 different perspectives’. Angelica Kiboro, Deputy Principle of the Strathmore Institute in Nairobi, Kenya, said that leaders must remember that not only technical skills matter but also ‘soft power’ skills such as attitudes, communication and being a team player. In summary, business leaders must ensure that employees have the skills and attitudes to remain relevant on the labour market.

Leading in times of disruptive innovations not only requires leaders to keep up with trends, but also to think ahead, about the impact of the technologies they are developing or applying. Eric Salobir, a Catholic priest who founded the OPTIC Network and is a consultant to the Holy See, pointed out that technology cannot be neutral: ‘It is always for a purpose.’ So it is crucial that various representatives of society, including business, build a shared vison of technology’s role. For example, society needs to define what role and responsibilities it wants to hand over to robots. The celebrated robot inventor Professor Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann said that social robots could mitigate the negative impact of ageing populations by taking care of the elderly, but that society must ensure that technology is used for the common good.

Ethical Leadership in Business explored many other aspects of ethics in business and new technologies, the role of being human in a machine age and how to strengthen personal and professional resilience. It was a starting point for conversations and joint actions. The Ethical Leadership in Business community on Linkedin aims to continue sharing practices that can support business leaders.

Join it to keep informed about upcoming webinars, meet-ups and other events.

Ethical Leadership in Business will take place from Thursday 27 to Sunday 30 June 2019.

 

With contributions from Mike Smith, Anna Luliza Behrens and Annika Hartmann

Featured Story
Off

related stories

COVID 19 slider EN final

COVID-19 : The Caux Forum 2020 is being transformed

In light of the global health crisis surrounding coronavirus, as well as its organizational and financial implications, the Council of Initiatives of Change Switzerland has decided to adapt the Caux F...

Jowan Oesterlund big

My Learning Story: Jowan Oesterlund

Discover our interview with Jowan Oesterlund, Founder & CEO at Biohax International, as part of our series ‘My Learning Story’....

Bram Jonker long

My Learning Story: Bram Jonker

‘My Learning Story’ hopes to become a global learning experience, connecting people around the world as they share their stories of what we all do every day: learning to build a brighter future. Disco...

Caux_Palace_Sunset

Job offers for the Caux Forum 2020

For the Caux Forum 2020 IofC Switzerland is looking for a Dining-room Manager, a Cash Desk Manager, a Buffet Manager, an Allocation Manager and a Support Team Manager....

Open House Day group with kids

Internship: Open House Day & Project Support (40%)

IofC Switzerland is looking for an intern who will be in charge of the Open House Day on 5 July 2020. The intern will also support IofC's projects in the area of trustbuilding, in particular with rega...

Caux Palace, credit: Paula Mariane

3 Job Offers: Dining-Room Assistant / Technical Services Assistant / Reception Desk Assistant

You would like to work in an inspring place with people from all over the world? IofC Switzerland is looking for a Reception Desk Assistant, a Technical Services Assistant and a Dining-room Assistant...

Biliana Vassileva

My Learning Story: Biliana Vassileva:

Our new feature ‘My Learning Story’ hopes to become a global learning experience, connecting people around the world as they share their stories of what we all do every day: learning to build a bright...

Rainer Gude

My Learning Story: Rainer Gude

The UN’s fourth Sustainable Development Goal is about access to quality education and life-long learning – both essential to bringing positive change into the world. Our new feature ‘My Learning Story...

Michael Akampa

Making investment work for the people

The Caux Dialogue on Land and Security (CDLS) in 2017 was a ‘turning point’ for sustainable investment professional, Micheál Akampa, who was invited to speak at its Invest in Peace conference. ‘I met ...

CDLS 2019 Tom Duncan

Empowering communities to restore mangroves

Tom Duncan is passionate about problem solving and strategic systems thinking, primarily in regenerative economics, green finance and financial technology, as a means of restoring relationships betwee...

Nhat Vhuong

Plucking water from the air

Webmarketing consultant and social entrepreneur Nhat Vhuong is passionate about tackling water scarcity. A Vietnamese refugee, who grew up in Switzerland, he worked in Japan for eight years before ret...

Aibanshngain Swer CDLS 2019

Protecting Meghalaya’s water sources

Some billion people rely on water sourced in the hills of Meghalaya, in North East India. One of those responsible for water conservation in the State, Aibanshngain Swer, took part in the Summer Acade...

CDLS 2019 Chau Duncan

Bridging the financial divides

Chau Tang Duncan is applying over 20 years’ experience in banking, trade and commercial diplomacy to improving the financial access of disadvantaged communities. ...

Meghalaya CDLS 2019 Conrad Sangma

Meghalaya’s lighthouses of sustainable development

‘Our goal in Meghalaya is to build a low-carbon economy through complete involvement and ownership of communities,’ Conrad Sangma, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, told the opening session of the Caux...

Digital Day Switzerland 2019

IofC opens Swiss Digital Day in Geneva

“I am aware of the impact of digital technology on my everyday life.” Do you agree or disagree with that sentence?’ Rainer Gude, Partnerships Manager of Initiatives of Change (IofC) Switzerland, asked...