The Growth Summit recently convened in Geneva, Switzerland, bringing together more than 400 leaders from different sectors to discuss strategies for promoting resilient, sustainable, and inclusive growth in the face of heightened economic uncertainty.
Experts at the summit addressed the likelihood of a recession in 2023, with 45% expecting a recession, while the remaining 45% predicted that a recession could be avoided.
Key trends with significant potential to shape growth in the coming year include geo-economics, changing supply chain geographies, rapid technological advances such as generative AI, and more robust industrial policies that enable greener growth and energy transitions.
Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, emphasized the need for resilient, equitable, and sustainable development.
The event highlighted the importance of localizing and diversifying supply chains, which could create new growth opportunities, jobs, and support for small and medium-sized enterprises.
But experts also stressed the need for continued global trade in goods, services, technology, and ideas to drive growth, tackle inequality and climate change, and raise living standards.
The Future of Jobs Report, released ahead of the Summit, shows that 23% of jobs are expected to be disrupted over the next four years.
Green investment and sustainability are predicted to be net job creators, while slow economic growth, supply constraints, and high inflation are identified as significant risks to job growth.
Opinions were divided on the impact of AI, with some expressing concern about its potential to displace lower-skilled white-collar jobs. In contrast, others argued that AI could increase worker productivity.
Summit participants agreed on the need for a renewed push for growth to raise global living standards but cautioned against focusing solely on GDP growth.
Instead, they called for integrating other pressing priorities, such as tackling climate change, reducing inequality, building societal resilience, and managing the disruptive power of new technologies.
The Summit advanced several high-impact initiatives focused on educating, retraining, and upskilling workers for the jobs of the future.
These initiatives include a new trade and labor program, the creation of job accelerators, the promotion of wage and technology fairness, a workforce health initiative, and the Refugee Employment Alliance's goal of employing 14,000 refugees by the end of 2023.
The Summit highlighted the importance of diversity and inclusion in advancing equality and accelerating growth and innovation.
As a result, several initiatives were announced to promote gender parity, health equity, and racial and ethnic equity to create a more equitable and inclusive future for all.