TIME

THE OPTIMIST’S PLAYBOOK

Davos summit founder Klaus Schwab on a game plan for confronting nationalism, inequality and the fourth industrial revolution

WHEN KLAUS SCHWAB, THE founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, hosted the first summit in Davos in 1971, the global community was on the precipice of profound change. Mass poverty was endemic, computers were the size of Xerox machines, and globalization was still a theory taught to economics students.

Forty-eight years on, the world is utterly transformed. Extreme poverty has halved over five decades, roughly 2.5 billion of us now carry supercomputers in our pockets, and globalization has become the bedrock of the modern economy. But once again, we are facing a period of tumultuous change. In the coming years, the 80-year-old Schwab predicts, our planet will undergo what he calls the fourth industrial revolution: an era of rapid innovation catalyzed by automation, artificial intelligence

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