Japan Takes Leadership Role in Fourth Industrial Revolution Global Summit


Heads of state and government, chief executives and leaders from civil society gathered at the first Global Technology Governance Summit to shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The virtual meeting, hosted by Japan, builds on the work from the Forum’s global network of Centres for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Since its foundation in 2017, the Network has brought together innovators, policy makers and business leaders to develop governance policies and frameworks for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, autonomous mobility and precision medicine.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is moving faster than expected and impacting lives around the world” said Jeremy Jurgens, Managing Director and Head of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network. “It is crucial that we ensure all parts of society are working together to shape a future that is inclusive, where everyone can benefit from these technologies. This summit is helping us accelerate and scale the work already in progress. It brings together the international Centre Network and the wider World Economic Forum community to better prepare leaders for the transformations brought by technology’s rapid development.”

From the beginning, Japan has taken a leadership role in shaping the trajectory of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The government, in partnership with the Forum and the Asia Pacific Initiative launched the first centre outside of the US in Tokyo in 2018.

Over the past three years, the Centre Network has collaborated with leaders from around the world on solutions that can serve society in equal access to mobility, improved access to health data and agile governance. Projects to develop smart city initiatives, sustainable mobility systems and agile governance models are just some those in progress.

“This summit shows Japan’s commitment to leading on technology governance,” said Chizuru Suga, Head of World Economic Forum Centre for the Forth Industrial Revolution Japan. “When it comes to writing the guidelines that govern emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and Big Data, Japan should speak up for the interests of smaller countries that feel squeezed between the big powers. The summit will address a wide range of themes relevant to diverse geographies, and we look forward to constructive discussions for a new concept of digital public good in the post-pandemic world.”

 “The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of modern society. I believe that the solution to overcome these vulnerabilities are Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies,” said Akira Amari, Chairman of Parliamentary Association for the World Economic Forum, Member of the House of Representatives. “A new framework of technology governance based on the shared values of human rights and the rules of law is pressing issue for our society.”

“Technology governance and its social implementation means implementing the future,” said Yoichi Funabashi, Co-founder and Chairman, Asia Pacific Initiative. “Hosting GTGS showcases our contribution to the global agenda setting even more for the future.”

“The Global Technology Governance Summit will bring us to the next stage of the Green and Digital discussion,” said Hiroaki Nakanishi, Executive Chairman and Executive Officer, Hitachi, Ltd., during the GTGS Organizing Committee. “We expect the summit will drive new movements and new orders for our society.”


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