Iniciativas de sistema Shaping the Future of Consumption
Global Future Councils
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Shaping the Future of Consumption

Theory of change

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is transforming entire systems of production, distribution, and consumption providing both opportunities for value-creation through game-changing technologies, as well as challenges on ensuring inclusivity. Consumer spending, which drives nearly 60% of world GDP, is an engine for economic activity. Emerging business models that embrace new patterns of consumption enabled by disruptive technologies can stimulate growth and jobs. In brief, to successfully navigate through the Fourth Industrial Revolution, there will be a premium placed on innovation, willingness of organizations to disrupt themselves, and a collaborative spirit.

In this context of seismic change, the World Economic Forum’s Future of Consumption System Initiative envisions a future where benefits of technological advancement are inclusive and firmly embedded in people’s lives, making daily consumption experiences simpler, accessible, highly personal and more enjoyable while also imbued with trust and in harmony with nature. It takes a holistic view of addressing the question, “How can technological disruption drive enhanced models of consumption with sustainable benefits for business and society”, across developed and emerging markets?

Challenges to overcome

In order to achieve the future that the System Initiative envisions, navigating through the unchartered territories of digital disruption will give rise to critical challenges that will need to be addressed:

  • Managing the evolution of key demographic shifts around the world including the rise of the millennial generation in parallel with a growing aging society, and the rise of the middle class in emerging economies in tandem with increasing income inequalities.

  • Meeting consumer demand for convenience, instant gratification, personalization, services and experiences over products, or access versus ownership.

  • Embracing ground breaking technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Autonomous Vehicles/Drones, and Robotics, and thereby managing the massive transformation of business and operating models that will ensue.

  • Ensuring inclusive value creation by addressing societal challenges (divides such as young versus old or rural versus urban, data privacy and security, and new skills and employment models to support digital enterprises of the future) while also establishing environmentally-friendly solutions to help communities prosper and businesses grow. Forum’s platform for public-private collaboration presents leaders with the opportunity to tackle these challenges head-on.