At the Doosan Global Business Forum 2014 held in Manchester, England, leading politicians, scholars and CEOs from around the world gathered to discuss the major challenges facing the international economy.
Prominent speakers included the Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH, former prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Lawrence H. Summers, former U.S. secretary of the Treasury and current Charles W. Eliot University Professor at Harvard University, and Robert Shiller, a recipient of the 2013 Nobel Prize in economics and professor of economics at Yale University.
This was the third year for the Doosan Global Business Forum. The first Global Business Forum in 2012 was attended by former Prime Minister of Britain Tony Blair, Professor Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard University, and OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. For the second forum in 2013, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Professor Paul Krugman of Princeton University were invited. A wide range of intriguing topics — the global economy, geopolitical issues and changing technology landscape — were dealt during the forums.
For this year’s forum, presentations were also made by Daniela Rus, a robotics technology and artificial intelligence specialist and a professor at MIT, and JB Straubel, co-founder and chief technical officer (CTO) of Tesla Motors, a leading electric vehicle manufacturer.
Attendance at the forum was limited to 50 guests, composed of representatives of preeminent infrastructure companies, CEOs of world-class financial groups, and leaders in various fields of energy, IT and finance from the Americas, Europe and Asia.
Former Prime Minister John Major delivered special remarks on global geopolitical risks that business leaders need to look out for. Most notably, he assessed the international dynamics among the United States, Europe and China, and their impact on the global economy.
In the Global Business Environment session, Professor Lawrence H. Summers and Professor Robert Shiller made remarks on the current status of the global economy and shared their insights with the audience. Professor Summers addressed the opportunities created by technological advancements, but also noted that “the 1920s were a period of remarkable technological progress, which did not prevent economic catastrophe in the 1930s.” Based on the theory of secular stagnation he has developed, he discussed what can be done to drive economic growth.
Professor Shiller stressed how worldwide economic recessions have multiple causes, including wars and other political disruptions, as well as speculative bubbles. He talked about history and the behavioral economics of past recessions and the outlook for the world’s economy.
In the second session, an in-depth discussion was held on how technological advancements are driving the global economic outlook. Professor Daniela Rus, director of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, shared her perspective on artificial intelligence and robotics technology, and how they will affect business. JB Straubel, CTO of Tesla Motors, delivered his insights on the impact electric vehicles will have on infrastructure businesses, including energy and manufacturing.