It becomes colder and colder in Davos.
Many of the media events are about one issue: How bad do you think it will be? So it was a real pleasure to spend the evening with the business leaders of the telecom industry.
The Egyptian telecom minister Tarek Kamel was the guest He and his team have done remarkable things in Egypt. The use of communication is booming and the focus of industry and government is aligned. The talk is about content and applications, how to get digitized Arabic content and create a whole new industry.
It’s great to hear passion about how to create new opportunities. It also shows that what is really required is a focus on next steps.
Ben Verwaayen talks about the mood in Davos, and the need to focus on new opportunity
People are people—they want to communicate, collaborate, and know and learn. It is the essence of the digital economy, dictated by the next generation.
Also Read Ben Verwaayen’s earlier columns on Davos
Young people live integrated lives, demand the opportunity to be always connected and create their own space. It will drive a different set of requirements and opens up vast new economic activities.
For me the most uplifting thing is that message.
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Even as the seniors here in Davos are busy analysing the depression—who is to blame, why did we get here, who said what to whom—the younger ones are talking about different issues. They are discussing how to use new technologies to reach out to those who are not yet connected, use the need for energy conservation to find new business models and technologies, and work across boundaries and cultures.
I know we have to fix the basic elements of the financial crisis—the need to get banking back on its feet.
But besides the cold hard facts, there is the spirit. And we need to bring that back. No better way than listening to people such as Tarek.
Ben Verwaayen is chief executive of Alcatel-Lucent.
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