By Michal Číž, Project Manager, Head of Strategic Forums, GLOBSEC
Warm welcome to the GLOBSEC 2017 Bratislava Forum! GLOBSEC has once again the utmost privilege to host over 1000 distinguished guests from more countries than ever before, among them key personalities of European, transatlantic and global politics, business leaders, opinion builders and global media. We are thrilled to welcome world leaders such as Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Estonia or Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey among others. GLOBSEC has become a key regional platform which greatly contributes to seeking solutions to the most urgent foreign policy and security problems of today. This year, the agenda will particularly focus on political and economic challenges of the European Union, critical situation in the Middle East, NATO adaptation after its special summit and ongoing instability in Europe’s closest neighbourhood – Eastern Europe and Western Balkans.
GLOBSEC has been widely recognised for its ambition to contribute to European and transatlantic agenda and for seeking solutions to major policy crises. Drawing on its tradition, this year GLOBSEC introduces a new set of debates covering forward-looking and trendsetting business and technology topics with a goal to strengthen the bond of policy-making and business. New wave of technological changes has fundamentally altered businesses, societies as well as politics. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has triggered transformation incomparable with anything humankind has ever experienced.
However, technological innovations have not always changed the way we live positively. For instance, social media has brought us closer together and has built a global community. Simultaneously, it also serves as a great tool for spreading conspiracies, fake information, thus supporting populist and radical political movements. Furthermore, there has been impressive progress in pioneering artificial intelligence. Although robotization of industries will drop production costs and will raise its efficiency, it may also disrupt labour market and lead to increase in social tensions. Internet of things is becoming an integral part of our lives. So far, we have mostly gained from digitalisation that has enriched us with new products and services mainly for our personal comfort. Nevertheless, in order for the Fourth Industrial Revolution to increase overall global welfare, our institutions and politicians must acknowledge and adapt to technological changes so that they can find a way to positively regulate them.
GLOBSEC is a forward-looking conference which wants to predict how our societies will evolve in the near future. Therefore, this forum serves as a platform for strengthening public-private partnership and sharing ideas between businesses and politics. Thus, this year’s agenda consists of both political and technological topics. We are convinced that such connection allows for necessary focus on political and technological development alike so that we can really prepare for the future.
I sincerely hope you will enjoy GLOBSEC’s discussions and will continue supporting GLOBSEC’s activities. We are grateful that all of you are an integral part of our community and we hope to welcome you back at GLOBSEC in the upcoming years. By the way, for the first time ever, we will announce the dates of next Forum already during this year’s GLOBSEC. Enjoy your time here and save the date of next year’s GLOBSEC – 17-19 May 2018!