Capitalism

Davos 2020: “Capitalism, as we knew it, is dead”

On January 21-24, Davos (Switzerland) hosted the jubilee, fiftieth World Economic Forum, which brought together about 3 thousand representatives of government, interstate structures, heads of leading companies, representatives of the cultural sphere and public figures.

For several years now, Russia has been present in Davos as an observer. This year, under the conditions of sanctions and the sudden dissolution of the government, the issue of country representation became especially acute. As a result, the Russian delegation was led by the acting Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin. Other representatives from Russia at the forum were made by the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriev, the president of the United Rusal company Oleg Deripaska, as well as other prominent representatives of the business elite: German Gref, Vladimir Lisin, Alexey Mordashov, Vagit Alekperov, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, Leonid Mikhelson, and others.

The main topic of the forum was the capitalism of stakeholders and the creation of more sustainable and inclusive business models that take into account not only commercial but also social and environmental interests of society. Other widely discussed issues in Davos 2020 include the climate and environmental issues, the development of artificial intelligence and new technologies, and the situation in the Middle East.

Executive.ru collected statements on the most pressing issues of our time, voiced at the World Economic Forum 2020.

About the climate crisis

Simonetta Sommaruga, President of Switzerland: “Biodiversity is like the Eiffel Tower. Remove one screw a day and nothing will happen at first. But then you take away too much and everything will collapse. ”

Greta Tunberg, eco-activist: “Let’s be honest: we don’t need a“ low-carbon economy. ” We do not need to “reduce emissions.” If we do not want to exceed the limit of 1.5 degrees, then emissions should stop.

We demand the immediate cessation of all investments in the exploration and production of fossil fuels. We demand to immediately and completely get rid of fossil fuels. We do not want all this to be done by 2050, 2030 or even 2021, we want this to be done now.

I am here to tell you that, unlike you, my generation will not give up without a fight … You are the ones who give up.

Our house is still on fire. Your inaction only inflates a fire every hour. And we ask you to start acting as if you love your children more than anything else. ”

Al Gore, former US vice president (1993-2001), Nobel Peace Prize laureate (2007): “The climate crisis is much more serious than it seems to people at first glance. And the burden of responsibility for acting lies with the generation of people living now, it’s not just an ethical task, it is Thermopylae. This is Agincourt. This is the Ardennes operation. This is Dunkirk. This is September 11th. We must be on top of the challenges we face. ”

Donald Trump, President of the United States: “Today is not the time for pessimism, today is the time for optimism. Fear and doubt are not the best thought processes, because the time has come for great hope, joy, optimism and, most importantly, action … But in order to take advantage of the possibilities of tomorrow, we must reject the ever-whining predictors of the end of the world and their prophecy about the near Apocalypse.

These “prophets” are the heirs of yesterday’s fortunetellers and fortunetellers for fools. I have them in my country, and you have them – we all have them. And they all want to see our failure, but we will not let this happen. They predicted a crisis of overpopulation in the 1960s, mass starvation in the 1970s, and they threatened us with the fact that oil reserves would run out in the 1990s. ”

For some reason, these alarmists always require the same thing: absolute power over us, so that they can dominate our lives, change them at will. And at the same time also control our everyday behavior, learning about all our actions. ”

Alexei Yakovitsky, VTB Capital CEO: “We are moving towards making money on ESG (independent ratings that evaluate the performance of industrial companies according to three impact factors: environment, social sphere and management – approx.) Companies that incorporate ESG topics into their strategy receive competitive advantages that will translate into higher capitalization. ”

Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund: “Over the past two years, all people on Earth have experienced climate change on themselves. Europeans who in summer got a temperature of 42-43 degrees in Spain; Russians who see that there is no snow in winter. This has become such an important element of the agenda that at meetings with investors half the time is devoted to the issue of climate responsibility. Many investors are already asking the funds the question: how responsible is your portfolio in terms of climate? How much does it increase the average temperature in the world? Someone has four degrees in five years, while someone has two degrees – it’s better … Funds have already begun to compete for raising funds from investors in terms of environmental impact. ”

“Russia has a lot of strong arguments and a very strong position in resolving the climate problem. And we need to clearly argue it. What does Russia have? First of all, gas is an environmentally friendly fuel, and we are leaders in gas. New gas pipelines to China and Europe are a very important contribution of Russia to the global environmental agenda. The second aspect is that Russia has the largest forests, Russia is actually an oxygen donor, the lungs of the planet. ”

On Stakeholder Capitalism

Mark Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com: “Capitalism, as we knew it, is dead. This obsession with maximizing returns for shareholders has led to incredible inequality and a planetary emergency.

And the good news – I think you will see it in Davos – is that stakeholder capitalism has finally reached a tipping point. ”

Dan Schulman, CEO of PayPal: “In my opinion, which many may disagree with, each of us serves several interested parties. Workers, buyers, regulatory authorities, shareholders. For me, group number 1, the interests of which we must consider, are our employees. Undoubtedly, one can not hope to become a developed company if enthusiastic and dedicated people do not work for you. ”

“I find it stupid that ideas of profit and goals work against each other. I believe that they should work together . This Milton Friedman system was not based on mathematics, but on bright headlines. And she worked for quite some time. But in fact, if you do not take into account the interests of all parties, you will not be able to fully organize the work of the company. ”

“Working for profit and to the detriment of people’s interests is a huge problem, not only in companies … but also in democracy.”

“My favorite quote about democracy is:“ Democracy should be more than a vote of two wolves and one sheep about what they will eat for lunch. ” (James Boward,“ Lost Rights: Destroying American Freedom ”- approx.) . This means that in order for democracy to work, we must rise above our own interests. ”

Vladimir Zelensky, President of Ukraine: “Contrary to the global trend, Ukraine is accelerating climate change. I deliberately made such a scandalous statement in order to focus your attention so that everyone would hear. Of course, I’m only talking about positive changes in the business climate. ”

“We have now prepared a new program called Investment nanny. For each investor who brings more than $ 100 million to Ukraine, we will provide a separate contract with the state. It is the state that will protect you. You will have a manager who speaks five languages, and this manager will work with you 24/7. ”

“My goal is to have Ukraine appear in textbooks next to the cases of Japan, South Korea and Singapore. Ukraine should become an investment mecca of Eastern and Central Europe! ”

“What does it mean not to invest in Ukraine today? It means being George Bell, who in 1999 refused to buy Google for a million dollars. ”

“The pragmatic, ossified world is in dire need of a miracle. Ukraine is the place where miracles take place. ”

German Gref, head of Sberbank of Russia: “Russia is one of the most advanced countries in terms of financial services, and this was achieved primarily due to the fact that regulators did not intervene. Active intervention is a great harm. I have never hidden my point of view and I consider this policy to be erroneous. The regulator needs to deal with its regulatory functions. ”

“It seems to me that we can greatly benefit the country today, using our platform for technological transformation. There are not so many alternatives in Russia, and we can be a very powerful platform for the development of the country, for digital transformation. ”

About high technology

Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba Group: “Artificial intelligence and Big Data pose a threat to humanity. I believe that artificial intelligence should work for humanity. Technology should always increase, not diminish, human capabilities. ”

“Computers will always be smarter than humans. They do not forget anything, they are not angry. But the computer will never have human wisdom. AI and robots will greatly reduce the number of jobs; in the future, many tasks will be performed by machines. The service industry has particular expectations, but it requires a special approach. ”

Yuval Noah Harari, historian, author of the international bestselling book “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humanity”: “At the lowest level, this could translate into a repeat of the nineteenth-century industrial revolution, when the leading countries controlled the economies and politics of the world. I see the modern arms race as imperial. It makes no sense to send a soldier somewhere if you already have all the data about this country.

The idea is that if you collect enough data about people, you will know them better than they do. We live in a world where companies and authorities can “hack” millions of people, that is, they know my medical history, personal weaknesses.

All that is needed is knowledge of biology, powerful computers, and enough information. You can hack my body, brain, life, study me to such an extent that you will know me better than myself. ”

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google Inc: “When I think about the future and progress, quantum technologies seem to me to be one of the possible tools in our arsenal to further develop such theories as, for example, Moore’s law. In 5-10 years, quantum computers will change the concept of encryption in the modern sense, we will circumvent it by creating quantum encryption. As with any new technology, the development of quantum computers will cause certain difficulties, but, in my opinion, the combination of AI and quantum technologies will help us solve some existing problems of a large scale. ”

“Climate and AI require the same approach – it is impossible to ensure security if only one company or country works on them. A system of common effort is needed. The main mistake related to AI will be the refusal to develop it, as it can affect the lives of billions of people. ”

“At the basic level, nature works according to the principles of quantum mechanics: at the subatomic level, objects can exist simultaneously in several states. Ordinary computers work in a binary number system, and we understand that this is not the best way to reproduce nature. ”

Andrei Kurpatov, psychotherapist, TV presenter, president of the Higher School of Methodology: “We are witnessing an escalation of primitive content and undergoing a fundamental transformation – we are moving from the Gutenberg galaxy to the Zuckerberg galaxy. From the civilization of systemic thinking, we pass to the civilization of visual images, where there is no place for analytical thinking. ”

“The human brain needs at least 23 minutes to comprehend the new, digest the information and then it will be useful. Then it can become new knowledge, a new professional skill. But, according to the study, the average person during the day is interrupted by understanding information for no more than 15 minutes.

As a result, humanity is now, in fact, experiencing an “epidemic of digital autism. You increase the amount of RAM and mobility of intelligence when the smartphone is in another room, and not next to the table. Conversely, you get stupid when a smartphone is near you. Experiments have proven this. ”

About the situation in the Middle East

Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan: “The conflict with Iran will be a disaster for developing countries. Oil prices will jump. In countries like ours, which have only managed to balance the budget, prices will rise again and poverty will only rise. By resorting to force to solve one problem, you can create five more in the form of unforeseen consequences. People who are trying to solve the problems of war and bloodshed will always bring chaos to this world. ”

Barham Saleh, President of Iraq: “I can declare with all my passion: this part of the world does not need a new conflict. Look at the past decades of wars and conflicts, what have they led to? Only to aimless waste of resources, people who have lost their homes, and support for extremism.

We had a great conversation with President [Trump], we had a very sincere conversation about the need for a policy of restraint in order to stabilize the situation. Now is not the time for a new conflict. When I discussed the problem with other participants in the events, almost everyone said: “The conflict is getting out of control. Please keep calm. Hold on. ”

“We have many common interests: combating extremism, stabilizing the situation in the region … strengthening Iran’s independence, friendly relations with neighboring states and the United States.”

Abbas Kadhim, Director of the Iranian Initiative in the Atlantic Council: “Both sides (USA and Iran) are playing with zero result.

Opponents of the American presence want the United States to withdraw troops … Those who take a neutral position are ready to agree that the US forces partially engage in the fight against ISIS (a terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation) , and the rest in training the Iraqi army. Iraq has entered into many contracts (for the protection of troops and the supply of weapons) with the United States … They must provide specialists to show how to handle weapons … and also leave some military men to guard the embassy.

For its part, the US will even consider a partial withdrawal of troops as a defeat in favor of Iran. And America does not want to create the appearance of a withdrawal of troops and recognition of Iran’s victory. ”

“The Iraqi government is against the US withdrawing troops. It understands that the American presence has its advantages, not only for ensuring security, but also for organizing Iraqi forces … they need an example in the form of the infrastructure of the American army.

The effectiveness of US troops in Iraq has declined due to US concerns about the security of its troops. Now it seems that from a practical point of view a significant part of the troops will not be used for a long time. All the US is currently busy with is protecting its army. Their travel area is limited, and every resident of Iraq is under suspicion. ”

Donald Trump, President of the United States: “We have reduced the number of troops to a historic minimum, and American troops have been present in Iraq for a long time. We will make a decision soon. ”

On sanctions against Iran: “We will see how the conflict will develop, because we are ready to act only on our terms.”

Sources: reuters.com, bbc.com, forbes.ru, inosmi.ru, kp.ua, rbc.ru, edition.cnn.com, weforum.org, finance.yahoo.com, washingtontimes.com, cnbc.com, senat.me, al-monitor.com, swissinfo.ch, svpressa.ru, ria.ru, krymr.com, interfax.ru, gazeta.ru, tass.ru.

By Maria Novoderezhkina