The top priority for many senior business and financial leaders at the World Economic Forum was, surprisingly, climate change, followed by global banking security standards.
My first visit to the World Economic Forum is now over and, after an exhausting week, I used the downtime on my flight home to contemplate some of the bigger issues that were raised during the past week.I have to say that I felt very honored to be given the opportunity to mix with so many influential people who have excelled in all walks of life. I was also pleasantly surprised at being given the chance to become involved in so many interesting discussions, I had anticipated spending much more time listening to the various speakers, rather than being given so much opportunity to contribute. I was also extremely impressed by the location and organization of the event, both of which were outstanding.
As expected, climate change was top of everyone's agenda and from a personal point of view I can say that having seen all of the evidence firsthand there really can be no argument that action needs to be taken. I don't think I had truly considered the extent of the problem until seeing the facts for myself, and I know that I will be taking steps to see how I can change my lifestyle to become more carbon neutral.
From a business point of view it is clear that the expansion of the global village is driving companies to demand global standards, specifically in relation to rules governing climate change, but also with regard to security issues surrounding banking. Without a central governing body many businesses feel that while they are taking steps to reduce their carbon emissions, or cut back on the number of hazardous substances they use, it may all be in vain if other companies, or even countries, are forging ahead using "carbon-unfriendly" processes.
I do fear that we may be waiting a long time for any standards to be implemented, and even longer for a body which is able to govern them. Until then every business and individual needs to take responsibility for making positive changes to their energy consumption. An encouraging note is that despite the majority of attendees being of a very senior level, it was climate and environmental issues that seemed to be at the top of their list of concerns.
On this note it will be very interesting to see what progress is made during the next 12 months, and I very much look forward to returning to Davos next year to see the results of many of the conversations which were started last week.
Ashok Vemuri is SVP and head of banking and capital markets for Infosys Technologies. This was the first World Economic Forum Vemuri has attended. He has blogged about his experiences and the role of technology in the financial markets throughout his stay in Davos. This is his final blog entry for Davos 2007. Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology. View Full Bio