Friday, June 10, 2016

Nik Gowing - Creating 75 million Entrepreneurs: Is it possible?

The UN estimates that 75 million young people are unemployed globally, with the vast majority relying on small enterprises to join the workforce. What measures can be taken to encourage and support younger entrepreneurs?

On the agenda:

  • Cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset at an early age
  • Redefining risk in career progression for young people
  • Building entrepreneurial ecosystems
  • John Harthorne, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, MassChallenge, USA
  • Edward Thai, Venture Partner, 500 Startups, USA 
Moderated by Nik Gowing, International Broadcaster, King's College London, United Kingdom

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Thorold Barker - The Growth Illusion

Have central banks broken the link between financial markets and the real economy?
  • Mary Callahan Erdoes, Chief Executive Officer, Asset Management, JPMorgan Chase & Co., USA
  • Raghuram G. Rajan, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India
  • Anthony Scaramucci, Founder and Co-Managing Partner, SkyBridge Capital, USA
  • Axel A. Weber, Chairman of the Board of Directors, UBS Group, Switzerland 
Moderated by Thorold Barker, Editor, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Wall Street Journal, United Kingdom

Monday, June 6, 2016

Hiroka Kuniya - A World without Work?

How will rapid technological progress and the prospect of longer, healthier lives revolutionize work? 
This session was developed in partnership with NHK. 
  • Erik Brynjolfsson, Director, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, MIT - Sloan School of Management, USA
  • Yoshiaki Fujimori, President and Chief Executive Officer, LIXIL Group, Japan
  • Dileep George, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Vicarious, USA
  • Christopher Pissarides, Regius Professor of Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom
  • Troels Lund Poulsen, Minister for Business and Growth of Denmark
Moderated by Hiroko Kuniya, Anchor, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), Japan

Friday, May 27, 2016

Hu Shuli - China's Business Context

What does China's ''new normal'' mean for local and foreign businesses?
  • Increasing competitiveness and agility in partnerships and models
  • Expanding joint ventures with foreign stakeholders
  • Improving for a simplified procedure and stable capital flow
  • Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics and International Business, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University, USA
  • Shi Wenchao, President, China UnionPay, People's Republic of China
  • Zhang Fangyou, Chairman, Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group, People's Republic of China
  • Zhang Weiying, Professor of Economics, Peking University, People's Republic of China
  • Zhang Yichen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, CITIC Capital, Hong Kong SAR
Moderated by Hu Shuli, Editor-in-Chief, Caixin Media, People's Republic of China

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Oliver Cann - Banking in Africa: A closer look at Rwanda

The financial services industry in Africa is currently undergoing a dramatic transformation to address a demanding marketplace and an evolving regulatory landscape. Atlas Mara Limited (founded by Ashish J. Thakkar and Bob Diamond) have acquired banking operations in seven sub-Saharan African countries, including Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Rwanda and Nigeria. In this press conference, they will talk about their recent acquisitions in Rwanda. 
  • Bob Diamond, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Atlas Merchant Capital, USA
  • Claver Gatete, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of Rwanda
  • Ashish J. Thakkar, Executive Chairman, Mara Sokoni, United Arab Emirates; Young Global Leader; Global Agenda Council on Africa
Moderated by Oliver Cann, Head of Media Content, World Economic Forum

Monday, May 23, 2016

Philipp Rösler - Next Steps for Iran and the World

As sanctions are lifted in the context of the Vienna nuclear agreement, what is the outlook for Iran, the region and international stakeholders? 
  • Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Mohammad Agha Nahavandian, Chief of Staff of the Presidency of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Presidency of Iran
Chaired by Philipp Rösler, Head of the Centre for Regional Strategies, Member of the
Managing Board, World Economic Forum

Friday, May 13, 2016

Georg Schmitt - Prime Minister of Sri Lanka

The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickrmensinghe, will share his perspective of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and his country's economic situation. He will also be available for questions. 
Speaker: Ranil Wickremesinghe, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka 
Moderator: Georg Schmitt, Lead, Corporate Affairs and Foundations, World Economic Forum

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wei Tian - An Insight | an Idea with Yao Chen

A conversation with actress and Crystal Award recipient Yao Chen on using social media to humanize the refugee crisis.
Speaker:  Yao Chen, Actress, Beijing Chen Xin Culture and Art Studio, People's Republic of China
Interviewed by: Wei Tian, Moderator and Host, CCTV News, China Central Television, People's Republic of China

Monday, May 9, 2016

Georg Schmitt - How can we preserve our cultural heritage?

Museums, concert halls and archaeological and heritage sites are some of the many cultural targets of violent extremism in the past 12 months alone. The destruction of tangible and intangible heritage has major implications, ranging from freedom of speech and collective identity, to looting and the financing of terrorism. Public-Private cooperation that allows for the securing and the flourishing of heritage is more needed than ever. 
  • Nico Daswani, Programme Lead, Arts and Culture, World Economic Forum
  • Richard Kurin, Acting Provost; Undersecretary for Museums and Research, Smithsonian Institution, USA
  • Martin Roth, Director, Victoria and Albert Museum, United Kingdom
  • Peter Salovey, President, Yale University, USA
  • Lynette Wallworth, Artist, Studio Wallworth, Australia
Moderated by Georg Schmitt, Lead, Corporate Affairs and Foundations, World Economic Forum

Friday, April 29, 2016

Connyoung Jennifer Moon - The State of Artificial Intelligence

How close are technologies to simulating or overtaking human intelligence and what are the implications for industry and society? 
  • Matthew Grob, Executive Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer, Qualcomm, USA
  • Andrew Moore, Dean, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
  • Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • Ya-Qin Zhang, President,, People's Republic of China
Moderated by Connyoung Jennifer Moon, Chief Anchor and Editor-in-Chief, Arirang TV & Radio, Republic of Korea

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ali Velshi - The Promise [Threat] of Progress

While technology enters its next golden age, the percentage of adults working or looking for work is the lowest in almost 40 years in countries such as the United States. Is the Fourth Industrial Revolution failing the middle class? 
  • Andrew McAfee, Principal Research Scientist, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA
  • Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Organization (ILO), Geneva
  • Vishal Sikka, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Infosys, USA
  • Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Marriott International, USA
  • Laura D'Andrea Tyson, Professor and Director, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, USA
Moderated by Ali Velshi, Anchor, Al Jazeera America, USA

Monday, April 25, 2016

Klaus Schwab - Hoping for Prosperity | Reflections on Flight to Europe

Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany
Chaired by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

Friday, April 15, 2016

Oliver Cann - Diversity Barriers in Emerging Markets

Learn in depth about the leadership and personnel challenges of multinational corporations confronted by discriminatory norms and laws against the LGBT community in emerging economies. 
  • Beth A. Brooke-Marciniak, Global Vice-Chair, Public Policy, EY, USA
  • Shamina Singh, Executive Director, MasterCard Center for Inclusive Growth, MasterCard, USA 
Moderated by Oliver Cann, Head of Media Content, World Economic Forum

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Georg Schmitt - Health as a Global Challenge

By 2050, the world’s population will have risen to 9.7 billion, with 2 billion over the age of 60. The world is ill-equipped to respond to this. The global health system will have to undergo major transformation to ensure the environment where people live fosters healthier and longer lives as well as health security across borders.
The Global Challenge on Health provides expertise, networks, and unique opportunities for public and private sector collaborations towards delivering on the health needs for 9.7 billion people. 
  • Arnaud Bernaert, Head of Global Health and Healthcare Industries, Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum
  • Frans van Houten, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Royal Philips, Netherlands
  • Omar Ishrak, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Medtronic, USA
  • Arif M. Naqvi, Founder and Group Chief Executive, The Abraaj Group, United Arab Emirates
  • Mark Suzman, President, Global Policy, Advocacy and Country Programmes, Bill & Melinda Gates. Foundation, USA; Global Agenda Council on Sustainable Development
Moderated by Georg Schmitt, Lead, Corporate Affairs and Foundations, World Economic Forum

Monday, April 11, 2016

Maria Bartiromo - Preventing Future Shocks

From monetary tightening to rattled bond markets, what are the trends and transformations reshaping financial markets in 2016? 
  • Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Renault-Nissan Alliance, France
  • Paul Singer, Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chief Investment Officer, Elliott Management, USA
  • Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive Officer, WPP, United Kingdom
  • Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Washington DC 
Moderated by Maria Bartiromo, Anchor and Global Markets Editor, Fox Business Network, USA

Friday, April 1, 2016

Rich Lesser - Digital Transformation of Industries

What big bets are companies making in the digital transformation of their business models and organizational structures?
On the agenda:
  • Defining digital transformation
  • Making the right investment decisions
  • Designing a digital culture
  • Marc R. Benioff, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Salesforce, USA
  • Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alcoa, USA
  • Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Schneider Electric, France
  • Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kaiser Permanente, USA
  • Meg Whitman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, USA 
Moderated by Rich Lesser, Global Chief Executive Officer and President, Boston Consulting Group, USA

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Steve Sedgwick - New Climate for Doing Business

What are the opportunities and responsibilities in terms of business, innovation and entrepreneurship that have emerged from the Paris conference on climate? 
On the agenda:
  • Business implications of the political direction set by world leaders - Requirements to mobilize investment and reduce emissions
  • Opportunities for public-private collaboration for action
  • Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Bonn
  • Stuart T. Gulliver, Group Chief Executive, HSBC Holdings, United Kingdom
  • Doug McMillon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Wal-Mart, USA
  • Feike Sijbesma, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Managing Board, Royal DSM, Netherlands
Moderated by Steve Sedgwick, Presenter, CNBC, United Kingdom

Monday, March 28, 2016

Adrian Monck - Fourth Industrial Revolution

The Co-chairs of the Annual Meeting 2016 will share their view on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and their expectations for the meeting - followed by a Q&A session.
  • Mary Barra, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, General Motors Company, USA; Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2016
  • Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Brussels; Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2016; Meta-Council on the Circular Economy
  • Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft Corporation, USA; Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2016
  • Hiroaki Nakanishi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Hitachi, Japan; Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2016
  • Tidjane Thiam, Chief Executive Officer, Credit Suisse, Switzerland; Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2016
  • Amira Yahyaoui, Founder and Chair, Al Bawsala, Tunisia; Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2016; Global Shaper
Moderated by Adrian Monck, Head of Foundations and Public Engagement, Executive Committee Member, World Economic Forum

Friday, March 18, 2016

Al Gore - Around the World Without Fuel or Fear

Learn how breakthroughs in clean technology can take us to new heights with the explorers who broke the record for the world's longest solo flight using only solar energy. 

  • André Borschberg, Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Pilot, Solar Impulse, Switzerland
  • Bertrand Piccard, Initiator; Chairman and Pilot, Solar Impulse, Switzerland

Introduced by Al Gore, Vice-President of the United States (1993-2001); Chairman and Co-Founder, Generation Investment Management, USA

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Georg Schmitt - GAVI | Merck Announcement on Ebola

Press Conference: GAVI and Merck announce agreement to help prepare for future Ebola outbreaks
The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has had dramatic repercussions, claiming more than 11,000 lives and devastating communities. Today in Davos, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and Merck will announce an agreement that will ensure the world is better prepared for future Ebola outbreaks. 
  • Seth F. Berkley, Chief Executive Officer, GAVI Alliance, Geneva
  • Julie Louise Gerberding, Vice-President, Strategic Communications, Global Public Policy and Population Health, MSD, USA
  • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair, GAVI Alliance, Nigeria
  • Jeremy Farrar, Director, Wellcome Trust
Moderated by Georg Schmitt, Lead, Corporate Affairs and Foundations, World Economic Forum

Monday, March 14, 2016

Andrew Sorkin - Transformation of Tomorrow

Humankind is at the threshold of transformation driven by the confluence of emerging technologies. How will the Fourth Industrial Revolution transform industries and societies? 
This session was developed in partnership with The New York Times.
  • Zachary Bookman, Chief Executive Officer, OpenGov, USA
  • Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda
  • Anand Mahindra, Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra, India
  • Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft Corporation, USA
  • Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer and Member of the Board, Facebook, USA
Moderated by Andrew R. Sorkin, Columnist, New York Times, USA

Friday, March 4, 2016

Daniel Yergin - Transformation of Energy

What trends and uncertainties are shaping the future of energy value chains? Transformations to be addressed:
  1. Digital and renewable energy innovation
  2. Price and demand uncertainty
  3. New oil and gas suppliers
  • Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency, Paris
  • Hiroaki Nakanishi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Hitachi, Japan
  • Ignacio Sánchez Galán, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Iberdrola, Spain
  • Eric Xin Luo, Chief Executive Officer, Shunfeng International Clean Energy, People's Republic of China
Moderated by Daniel Yergin, Vice-Chairman, IHS, USA

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Victor Halberstadt - Long Term Imperative

In an era of growing complexity and uncertainty, how can business leaders make decisions for the long-term? 
  • Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director, McKinsey & Company, USA
  • Laurence Fink, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, BlackRock, USA
  • Andrew N. Liveris, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Dow Chemical Company, USA
  • Güler Sabanci, Chairman and Managing Director, Haci Ömer Sabanci Holding, Turkey
  • Tidjane Thiam, Chief Executive Officer, Credit Suisse, Switzerland
  • Mark Wiseman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canada. Pension Plan Investment Board, Canada
Moderated by Victor Halberstadt, Professor of Economics, Leiden University, Netherlands

Monday, February 29, 2016

Yo-Yo Ma - Musical Perspectives on Global Cultures

Acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma brings together a world-class ensemble of master musicians, including from his award-winning Silk Road Ensemble, for a globe-spanning concert celebrating intercultural dialogue and trust. 
Yo-Yo Ma is joined by Sérgio and Odair Assad (Brazil), Sandeep Das (India), Johnny Gandelsman (USA), Cristina Pato (Spain), Kathryn Stott (UK) and Wu Tong (China) in a Silk Road collaboration.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Hilde Schwab - 22nd Annual Crystal Awards

The World Economic Forum's Crystal Award honours artists whose important contributions are improving the state of the world and who best represent the “spirit of Davos." 
  • William Adams, Founder, I.Am.Angel Foundation, USA
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, Actor, United Nations Messenger of Peace for Climate and Founder, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation - LDF, USA
  • Olafur Eliasson, Artist, Studio Olafur Eliasson, Germany
  • Yao Chen, Actress, Beijing Chen Xin Culture and Art Studio, People's Republic of China 
Chaired by Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Switzerland

Monday, February 15, 2016

Joe Biden - Cancer Moonshot: A Call to Action

US Vice-President Joe Biden convenes international leaders in cancer research, cancer treatment and data science to discuss potential opportunities to advance the pace of progress in the fight against cancer.

Chaired by Joseph R. Biden Jr, Vice-President of the United States of America 
Discussion Leaders:
  • David B. Agus, Professor of Medicine and Engineering, USC Center for Applied Molecular Medicine, USA
  • José Baselga, Physician-in-Chief and Chief Medical Officer, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, USA
  • Elizabeth Blackburn, Professor, University of California, San Francisco, USA
  • Francis S. Collins, Director, National Institutes of Health, USA
  • Delos M. (Toby) Cosgrove, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Cleveland Clinic, USA
  • Jennifer Doudna, Professor of Chemistry and of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, USA
  • Paula T. Hammond, David H. Koch Professor in Engineering; Head, Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA
  • Sylvia Mathews Burwell, US Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Bill McDermott, Chief Executive Officer, SAP, Germany
  • Charles Sawyers, Chairman, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP), Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, USA

Friday, February 5, 2016

Women Equality = $12 Trillion in Global Growth

Improving economic parity between men and women can add $12 - 28 trillion in annual global GDP.

Creating the changes that will lead to gender parity

Creating the changes that will lead to gender parity | barriers to gender parity

Creating the changes that will lead to gender parity | 4 types of gender inequality

Creating the changes that will lead to gender parity | priorities for gender parity

Creating the changes that will lead to gender parity | working solutions for gender parity

Creating the changes that will lead to gender parity | addition to annual global GDP

Gender inequality is not only a pressing moral and social issue but also a critical economic challenge.

~Jonathan Woetzel et al

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Jeff Immelt: Leadership with less Control

"The most important thing that happens with tenure is you just become more humble."

~Jeff Immelt
GE Chairman and CEO

Reference: GE’s Jeff Immelt on digitizing in the industrial space.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Jeff Immelt: The GE Store

"Leadership and education, one company strategy. We call all of that 'The GE Store'."

~Jeff Immelt
GE Chairman and CEO

Reference: GE’s Jeff Immelt on digitizing in the industrial space.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Jeff Immelt: Evolving corporate giant

"We're really in this period of slow growth and volatility. There's not a lot of tailwind; you have to make your own tailwind."

~Jeff Immelt
GE Chairman and CEO

Reference: GE’s Jeff Immelt on digitizing in the industrial space.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Jeff Immelt: Changing company culture

When you think about internal change—culture, people, leadership development—again, here’s a time where multiple things happened at the same time. We started our digital initiative maybe five or six years ago. We’ve also, as a company—and I don’t think GE’s unique—lived through the financial crisis. And we’re an old company. We live in highly regulated industries. What we found was our culture was too complicated to get the work done the way we needed to get our work done, both in terms of how we were trying to digitize and how we were trying to survive in terms of a more highly regulated world. And just think about our footprint and the complexity of running a global operation: even since I was CEO, GE has gone from 70 percent inside the United States to 70 percent outside the United States. 
So what we’ve tried to do inside the company is really just drive what we call a “culture of simplification”: fewer layers, fewer processes, fewer decision points. We’ve adapted the lean tools in what I would call a Silicon Valley approach, what we call “Fast Works.” We’ve embraced some of the Silicon Valley tools in terms of putting everything on the clock, bringing commercial intensity into the company. The way I describe that is, like most big companies, we’re willing to take all kinds of market risk so that we don’t have to take internal risk, right? We try to say, “Look, let’s actually be aggressive in the markets, and let’s count on our own execution to risk reduce inside the company.” And broadly, getting to digitization, we’re democratizing information inside the company; getting IT tools that were contemporary in a mobile setting, and we call these things the culture of simplification.
My notion is we’re in a permanently complex world. And this historical organization chart with lots of processes is a thing of the past. We’ve basically unplugged anything that was annual. The notion is that, in the digital age, sitting down once a year to do anything is weird, it’s just bizarre. So whether it’s doing business reviews or strategic planning, it’s in a much more continuous way. We still give a lot of feedback. We still do a lot of analysis of how you’re performing. But we make it much more contemporary and much more 360-degree. So somebody can get interactions with their boss on a monthly basis or a quarterly basis. And the data you get is being collected by your peers, the people who work for you, in a much more accurate and fluid way.
Reference: GE’s Jeff Immelt on digitizing in the industrial space.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Jeff Immelt: Hiring the right people

We have probably hired, since we started this, a couple thousand data scientists and people like that. That’s going to continue to grow and multiply. What we’ve found is we’ve got to hire new product managers, different kinds of commercial people. It’s going to be in the thousands.
So what you’re going to do is you’re going to blend them with the GE team, and then we’re going to recruit differently. When we go to college campuses, we’re going to look for different skills. We’re going to put them in different training programs. It’s a combination of we’ve got to bring our culture along, but that’s not enough. We’ve got to bring thousands of people in from the outside. That’s the only way we’re going to get there fast enough. 
This is something I got wrong. I thought it was all about technology. I thought if we hired a couple thousand technology people, if we upgraded our software, things like that, that was it. I was wrong. Product managers have to be different; salespeople have to be different; on-site support has to be different. We’ve had to drill and change a lot about the company. And I just think it’s infecting everything we do. It’s infecting our own IT. It’s infecting our own manufacturing plants. It’s infected everything we’re doing, I think in a positive way.
Reference: GE’s Jeff Immelt on digitizing in the industrial space.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Jeff Immelt: Being a platform and app company

Inside in the company, we’re about $5 billion in revenue—this is from software, analytical applications, things like that. We’ve built up a population of applications; we’re approaching $500 million of productivity a year. Now what we’re trying to do is push that back inside the company. We’re selling it, but we want to get our own internal company on the same basis, on the same platform, using the same skills—what we call the “digital thread.” We want the digital thread to go from engineering all the way through our installed base. 
We’ve made the decision that we’re going to try to be both a platform company and an application company. So we have a platform called Predix, and we’re building applications on top of that. We’re probably the only industrial company that’s actually trying to do its own. And we’re opening up our platform to our customers. We’re saying to our customers, “Look, if you want to write apps, applications on Predix, you’re free to do it.” 
I always think risk first, like most CEOs. I basically say to investors, “Look, if all we did is we got more productivity, higher service sales, applications, you guys are going to love this. If we end up having the platform that works, it’s a whole new company, you know? So you get that for free.” 
But that’s why I circle back and would say to any CEO, industrial or nonindustrial, that where we are right now is going to be the most important thing that you’re going to work on, at least in this era. And you give up your latitude at your own peril.
Reference: GE’s Jeff Immelt on digitizing in the industrial space.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Jeff Immelt: Building versus buying

We went through a process of “make versus buy,” “in versus out.” We basically said, “Look, do we want to make a big acquisition in analytics or IT?” And we analyzed a bunch of different cases and said, “We don’t have the foundation inside the company to do a big acquisition. Do we want to partner, or do we want to do it ourselves?” We have lots of good software partners, but, basically, we said, “We need to do this ourselves. Let’s err on the side of seeing if we could approach it in that way.” That was 2010. So we brought people in from the outside. We built a center in California. We started populating our businesses. Roll forward, we started doing applications with customers. We started building it into our service business, things like that. 
I could give you a bunch of different analogies, but in the case of our locomotive customers, they have a phrase called “velocity.” Every CEO of a railroad could tell you their velocity. The velocity tends to be, let’s say, between 20 and 25 miles per hour. This tends to be the average miles per hour that a locomotive travels in a day—22. Doesn’t seem very good. And the difference between 23 and 22 for, let’s say, Norfolk Southern, is worth $250 million in annual profit. That’s huge for a company like that. That’s one mile [per hour]. So that’s all about scheduling better. It’s all about less downtime. It’s all about not having broken wheels, being able to get through Chicago faster. That’s all analytics.
Reference: GE’s Jeff Immelt on digitizing in the industrial space.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Jeff Immelt: Digitizing the industrial space

We think about this as digitization of the industrial world. We as a company didn’t go to bed one night and say, “We can’t be an industrial company anymore. We need to be more like Oracle. We need to be more like Microsoft.” It happened more on an evolutionary basis, really based on the industries we’re in and the technology we serve. 
You think about a jet engine today or a locomotive or an MRI scanner. A new jet engine might have a hundred sensors on it. These sensors have the capability to take continuous data about the heat of an engine, fuel consumption, the wear of the blades, the environment it’s taking off in—a series of things. And one flight between New York City and Chicago produces a terabyte of data. 
So industrial companies are in the information business whether they want to be or not. This is going to happen in the industrial space. Now, add to that a series of decisions every company needs to make: “Do I outsource all of that? Do I do it myself? Do I change my business model accordingly?” The decision we’ve made is that we just want to be all in. 
We want to treat analytics like it’s as core to the company over the next 20 years as material science has been over the past 50 years. We can hire the talent. We can evolve our business model accordingly. We need to treat our service agreements to share outcomes with our customers the same way an IT company might approach that in the future. So, in order to do that, we have to add technology, we have to add people, we have to change our business models. We have to be willing to do all those things. 
But the point I’d make to people is, if you think about today, 15 percent or 20 percent of the S&P 500 valuation is consumer Internet stocks that didn’t exist 15 or 20 years ago. The consumer companies got none of that. When you look at retailers, banks, consumer-product companies, they got none of that. If you look out 10 or 15 years and say that same value is going to be created in the industrial Internet, do you as an industrial company want to sit there and say, “I don’t want any of that. I’m going to let a Newco or some other company get all that”? Is that really what you’ve relegated yourself to? 
So I think all these things led us to say, “Let’s build it. Let’s see if we can be good at it. We may be wrong. We don’t think so, but we may be wrong. But let’s not sit back and just say, ‘Look, that’s somebody else’s job,’ or ‘We’re not good enough to do it,’ or ‘We can’t change.’” We’re unwilling to take that as a fait accompli.
Reference: GE’s Jeff Immelt on digitizing in the industrial space.