Thomson Reuters, U.S. Chamber of Commerce mobilize global leaders to discuss impact on 4IR

09/23/2017 09:45 am ET Updated Sep 27, 2017
Amazing insights were gained on investment and the 4th Industrial Revolution this week during a dynamic discussion hosted by
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Amazing insights were gained on investment and the 4th Industrial Revolution this week during a dynamic discussion hosted by Thomson Reuters and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce - U.S. Africa Business Center in New York City this week.

Thomson Reuters recently took time to pause, reflect, and meaningfully engage by hosting a conversation to empower guests and create awareness of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its impact on our global society. 

The gathering of innovative American and African leaders — many of whom were in New York City participating in the 72nd Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly and related activities — presented an opportunity for panelists and guests to explore and indulge in identifying realistic, actionable strategies that raise global income levels and improve the quality of life for populations around the world. 

Through innovation, based on combinations of technologies shifting from what Klaus Schwab (World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman) terms "simple digitization," the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is about empowering people, not the rise of the machines.

"As the physical, digital, and biological worlds continue to converge, new technologies and platforms will increasingly enable citizens to engage," Schwab wrote last year. 

“Business leaders and senior executives need to understand their changing environment, challenge the assumptions of their operating teams, and relentlessly and continuously innovate,” Schwab stated.

Presented in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-Africa Business Center, Thomson Reuters Head of Financial Institutions - Africa, Euvin Naidoo, led a thought provoking discussion [and fellowship] on Africa's investment landscape, available opportunities and best business practices.

Alongside other influential American investors and African decision makers representing a cross-section of industries, Naidoo answered Schwab’s calls for leaders and citizens to “shape a future [together] that works for all by putting people first, empowering them and constantly reminding ourselves that all of these new technologies are first and foremost tools made by people for people.”

New business and educational models, including design workshops such as Stanford’s cross-disciplinary design workshops on how to improve the healthcare system and the Institute for Design and Public Policy created by the Rhode Island School of Design and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, continue to grow and flourish. In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, higher education and companies face numerous shifts, from emerging technologies to broader social changes. The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report highlights how these trends are transforming the workforce.

“The pace of political and economic change has been accelerating across the continent in the past few years,” said Sneha Shah, managing director of Africa, Thomson Reuters.

“Africa is a rapidly growing destination for foreign direct investment, and with the diversity of markets and political and economic environments, investors are asking us for more ways to get unbiased, real-time access to the most comprehensive portfolio of news and data relevant to help them make critical decisions,” said Shah.     

Capitalizing on the evolving shifts, 4IR.org, a digital platform that brings together the world’s leading contemporary thinkers and practitioners in the 10 skills identified by the Institute for the Future’s (IFTF) 2011 report: Future Workskills 2020, is set to launch next month.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution [video] presents opportunities for the public and private sectors in Africa to come together with other African stakeholders and partners, as well as players in global markets including Americans, to work to address the challenges faced and opportunities that are being created. 

“We can't have a conversation about investment in Africa without including the role of SME's particularly those run by women,” said Rahama Wright, a social entrepreneur working to innovate the shea butter supply chain in West Africa. “Investing in women led businesses is a proven way to positively change communities in Africa,” said Wright, CEO of Shea Yeleen Health and Beauty.

Motivated and inspired by the Naidoo-led Thomson Reuters engagement — as well as the principles of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the United Nations General Assembly, the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015–2024), the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and the Congressional Black Caucus 47th Annual Legislative Conference — this article announces the launch of a profile series.

Entitled Global Leadership & Investment: African and American Investment Leaders of The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the series will highlight Naidoo, panelists and guests of A Discussion on the Investment Landscape in Africa for being exemplary models that practice world-class judgement and offer ingenious solutions in the spirit of advancing, and owning, the concept of The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Stay tuned!

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