World Economic Forum Launches Center in San Francisco to Address Emerging Tech Challenges

World Economic Forum Launches Center in San Francisco to Address Emerging Tech Challenges

Last week the World Economic Forum launched an innovation center in San Francisco with the goal of accelerating technology and science efforts that can both positively impact society and minimize the downside risks of the changing global economy.

Named the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the grand opening was presided over by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Washington Governor Jay R. Inslee who were on hand to show their support for an initiative that will strive to address: the jobs of the future, ethics surrounding artificial intelligence, industrial applications of the Internet of Things (IoT), cross-border data flows, civil drones, autonomous vehicles, and the environmental commons.

“San Francisco has a long history of celebrating innovation, and this center will be another tool to foster that pioneering spirit,” said Lee. “The presence of the World Economic Forum in our city will help accelerate innovative science and technology policies, and ensure that they leave a positive lasting impact on our society.”

The Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which was announced last October and resides in the historic Presidio area of San Francisco, will bring together stakeholders from all walks of life, including startups, business, government, academia, and NGOs.

More than 120 people gathered at the launch event, with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, University of California at Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, and World Economic Forum managing board member Murat Sönmez all in attendance.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is reshaping industries, challenging existing regulatory frameworks and redefining what it means to be a human,” said Sönmez. “We need to urgently develop policy norms and frameworks and apply these innovations to ensure their benefits affect us all. This is the purpose of the center — and its work starts today.”

Photo credit: World Economic Forum

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