Cooperation in a fragmented world: Three goals for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023
JANUARY 17, 2023 • BLOG POST • JENNIFER TEMPLE, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER
IN THIS ARTICLE
- Cooperation, innovation, and transformation are leading themes at this year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting
- Technology has the opportunity to solve societal problems and advance human progress in a lasting and agile way, but cannot alone support the largescale transformation required
- The seemingly never-ending cascade of crises, divisions, and vulnerabilities cannot be solved by a single individual or organization – private and public cooperation is the only way forward
This year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting convenes at a critical inflection point in our fragmented world
This week, Pam Carter, Antonio Neri, John Schultz, Justin Hotard, and I are honored to attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting as delegates representing Hewlett Packard Enterprise. In Davos, Switzerland, we are joining over 2,000 business, political, academic, and societal leaders committed to cooperation, innovation, and transformation for the benefit of the planet and her 7.8 billion residents.
This year’s Annual Meeting focuses on cooperation in a fragmented world. We are, by definition, a fragmented society simply by virtue of our backgrounds, lived experiences, cultures, and values. And yet, the most significant achievements in human history, like the triumph over fascism in World War II or putting humans into space – have been possible because despite that fragmentation, we found a way to bridge our differences to advance a common purpose. Today, the seemingly never-ending cascade of crises, heightened geo-economic division and fragmentation, financial sector vulnerabilities, and a spiraling climate crisis, cannot be solved by a single individual or organization – private and public cooperation is the only way forward. The future belongs to the fast, but depends on the cooperative.
Technology has the opportunity to solve societal problems and advance human progress in a lasting, agile way – but cannot alone support the largescale transformation required. At this intersection of technology and cooperation that are needed for business and cultural transformation, corporate purpose and a commitment to continual engagement with disparate stakeholders are critical. How we show the world who we are, what we stand for, and what we very personally and accountably will do as brands and leaders determines who we attract as partners, customers, and innovators. This time in Davos presents significant opportunity for me to contribute to and learn from conversations that will support our company, the technology industry, and a global community of brand and reputation professionals. With this context, I arrived yesterday in Davos focused on three personal goals.
Explore new collaborations and partnerships that will help Hewlett Packard Enterprise drive meaningful progress to solving the digital divide
By design, Davos convenes entities across public and private sectors to hold constructive and forward-looking dialogues that uncover solutions to unprecedented challenges. This week, I will attend sessions exploring technology platforms, demographic shifts, resource and energy systems, and capitalization. I will participate in conversations about stewarding responsible capitalism, ushering in a new era for value creation in the digital economy, propelling climate action forward, the dangers of disinformation, and the importance of strong cultures that advance business strategies forward.
Through sessions, meetings, and networking opportunities, I hope to find trusted collaborators who, like HPE, are using technology, digital culture, and skills development to help accelerate data-driven innovation. Together, we can uncover opportunities to work together to drive meaningful progress on challenges ranging from the climate crisis to public health to education in 2023 and beyond.
Inspire and emerge inspired about making the future of work, work for early career talent
Participating in discussions around talent – particularly, early career talent and opportunities for women in technology – will be on my agenda for this year’s Forum. At HPE, we are focused on cultivating early career talent because the candidate pool is digitally native, learns quickly, and is receptive to change. Early career candidates have the foundational skills we need now and will be the leaders of our future. We have to make the future of work, work for them, just like our mentors and former leaders did for those of us now in leadership.
Many young recruits want to build an intentional career dedicated to work that is aligned to their values and vision for how they should contribute to society. While individual definitions of ‘meaningful work’ vary, as global leaders we share a common commitment to creating a diverse, inclusive environment with avenues for ideation and innovation that can lead to lasting societal benefit.
I honestly cannot recall a time in my career when a strong commitment to attracting, motivating, inspiring, and supporting our top talent has been more essential. Our collective ability to emerge from such a chaotic recent past and fuel a promising future depends on it.
Continue to foster a robust community of business leaders with the shared charter of converting reputation and brand loyalty to business performance
It takes a long time to build a reputation, and only an instant to ruin it with a single bad decision. I find it very encouraging and appropriate that Chief Communications Officers attend Davos today, facilitating much-needed dialogue around trust, purpose, and action. The Chief Communications Officer role is often referred to as the conscience of the company. And, our company conscience – our corporate character – increasingly serves as a key differentiator when navigating competitive markets. Brand and reputation are significant considerations when business strategy is formed and evaluated. In Davos, I look forward to interacting with other leading communications, marketing, brand, and corporate affairs leaders to discuss how our profession can continue to be a powerful multiplier of both business performance and societal action.
The last time I was in Davos was 2019, about six months into my tenure at HPE. Four years later, the chance to return is a thrilling one. It’s one of those invigorating business trips where my mind works in overdrive. It’s intellectual stimulation on a whole different level. After everything we have collectively been through over the last several years, this kind of forum is such a welcome opportunity to share, learn, and commit to action.