This year the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting went beyond Davos – 40 cities around the world organized local Shaping Davos sessions and connected to the panel discussions in Davos. The local session in Lviv was organized on January 21 by the Global Shapers Community Lviv Hub in partnership with UCU Lviv Business School (LvBS).
Together with Hubs from Pittsburgh (USA), Quito (Ecuador) and Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Lviv had the opportunity to connect to the live panel discussion “From Ideas to Action: Creating a Culture of Innovation” in Davos.
During the panel discussion, Sophia Opatska, Dean of Lviv Business School, pointed out that it is crucial for the Ukrainian society to build trust and sharing if we want to create a culture of innovation.
In response to the moderator’s request to share some examples of innovation in Lviv, the Dean of LvBS told about the city’s IT industry. “A couple of years ago employees of different companies would never sit in class together: managers were afraid of competition and talent raiding. New opportunities for cooperation arose after the formation of Lviv IT-BPO Cluster and the launch of an educational program for IT specialists at LvBS. IT companies realized that together they can do much more. Now they create partnerships and invest in the city brand and talent development, which gives further impetus to the entire technology industry in Ukraine,” Sophia Opatska said during the live connection with Davos.
All the panelists stressed the importance of cooperation for creating a culture of innovation. Jim Hagemann Snabe, World Economic Forum Board Member, strongly believes that no single company can solve their problems individually. “It is only when we share and connect that the big ideas can be done and the urgent problems of humanity can be solved. The World Economic Forum in Davos is one important player in that because we bring together large companies and policy-makers. In the future we need to add on smaller companies, fast growing companies, the technology pioneers.”
Jim Hagemann Snabe also pointed to some challenges that he believed this year’s Forum participants should discuss in Davos. First and foremost, it is technology since it will be driving our future a lot. “How do we create not just the trusted infrastructure, but how do we bring it to everyone – that one we must get done, not just talk about. Besides, we’ve got to get young people in jobs. This is another pressing problem that we must address together,” he concluded.
“It’s very important for our country to put innovation on the agenda,” Sophia Opatska emphasized while summarizing the discussion. “Not only should young people look for jobs, but they should also create new jobs. We as citizens should also continuously supervise politicians and public officials and push them to act and implement change in Ukraine.”
The panelists in Davos were Andrea Illy (CEO, illycaffe), Jim Hagemann Snabe (Member of the Managing Board of the World Economic Forum), Holger Spielberg (Managing Director, Digital Private Banking at Credit Suisse) and representatives of Hubs in Lviv, Pittsburgh, Quito and Riyadh.
It is noteworthy that according to Dmytro Shymkiv, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration, this year’s Forum will host several sessions dedicated to Ukraine: “The Future of Ukraine” in the form of a discussion with Petro Poroshenko; “Scenarios for Ukraine: Breaking the Vicious Circle”, a special session to discuss how Ukraine can achieve accountability and transparency of public institutions in order to lay the ground for committing to a new social contract and implementing reform; “Geneva Ukraine Initiative”, an additional special session for a select group of top business leaders and politicians from Ukraine, the Russian Federation and other world powers to work out common ground to find solutions to the problems and economic consequences arising from the military conflict in Ukraine; and “Ukrainian Breakfast in Davos”.
“Ukraine’s key task at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in 2015 is to clearly communicate to its participants that Ukraine has changed and that reforms in Ukraine are irreversible,” Dmytro Shymkiv emphasized.
Video of the panel discussion “From Ideas to Action: Creating a Culture of Innovation”
The Global Shapers Community is a network of young leaders between the ages of 20-30 who self-organize to make a positive impact in their local communities. It is an initiative of the World Economic Forum in Davos aimed at enabling and empowering young leaders to contribute to global decisions made by Forum participants. Ukraine boasts four Global Shapers Community Hubs – in Lviv, Kyiv, Odessa and Kharkiv.