Stella Papadopoulou

Public-private cooperation needs to be employed to implement and address the key priorities set out in the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. This can be achieved only through dialogue and engagement between multistakeholders that include government, business and civil society.

Low natural gas and electricity prices have created a tough competitive environment for renewable energy, but this has remarkably had little impact on the momentum of alternative energy growth, finds a new Deloitte report entitled, “Alternative Thinking 2016: Five game-changers that are powering the future of renewable energy.”

With some 6.5 million people dying annually from air pollution and 92 per cent of the world’s population living in places where levels exceed recommended limits, the United Nations today rolled out its most detailed profile of the scourge ever in a bid to slash the deadly toll.

“Now, by formally joining the Paris Agreement, you have added powerful momentum to the drive for the Agreement to enter into force this year,” United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a ceremony, in which he received the legal instruments for joining the Paris Agreement from the world's two largest greenhouse gas emitters.

Higher GDP per capita alone does not determine real quality of life. This is according to the Social Progress Index (SPI) 2016 published by US-based nonprofit, the Social Progress Imperative. The Index ranks Finland the world’s most socially progressive country, Canada in second place tops the G7 nations.

Experts at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions tackled the issue of artificial intelligence and what it means for humans, concluding that they can and should coexist. The pertinent issue is how humans can leverage artificial intelligence to enhance the outcome of new technologies and improve quality of life, and not focus on the narrative of human vs machine. However, rapid technological advances underline the urgency for policy-makers to redesign educational systems so that younger generations are adequately prepared for a workplace that will see more automated processes.

Rich and poor countries alike are missing huge opportunities when it comes to making the most of their populations’ economic potential, with only 65% on average of the world’s talent being optimized during all stages of the working life time, according to the World Economic Forum’s Human Capital Report 2016.

Blockchain, an online data ledger, is set to make a big impact in financial services, and has applications in a range of other industries from e-commerce to insurance and voting. Unlocking blockchain will be a game-changer for the future of financial transactions.

A technology revolution is disrupting the financial services industry and could make digital currency and blockchain transactions commonplace in just a few years, financial technology and fintech experts argued in a session on the topic at the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2016. Technologies from big data analytics to mobile apps are reshaping the sector, resulting in new ways for companies to interact with customers and for consumers to manage their money and conduct transactions.

The commodities boom has deflated, and Latin American economies must now develop ways to stimulate growth in a tepid environment. The challenges are many and tough, and a number of promising approaches are clearly in view, senior government officials and experts agreed on the final day of the World Economic Forum on Latin America.

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