Overcome Fears and Embrace Inclusion for Innovation

By staff reporter XING WEN

To cope with the unpredictable impact of rapid technological advances, economies and societies have to overcome fear of the future and embrace inclusion, collaboration and the willingness to fail and forgive.

"The Fourth Industrial Revolution will be heralded by amazing new technologies," said Marc R. Benioff, chairman and chief executive officer of Salesforce, in the closing session of the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2016 on June 28, 2016.

"The greatest danger we face in this world is the deep fear that people feel about the future," added R. May Lee, dean of the School of Entrepreneurship and Management at Shanghai Tech University. "Forgiveness should be fundamentally part of the human condition if we want people to overcome their fears," Lee told participants. In other words, we need to be forgiving of people who make mistakes if we encourage innovation.

Against the backdrop of a great uncertainty and volatility in economy, leaders must be much clearer, stronger and more articulate in explaining how they look at the future, Benioff reckoned. He also observed that leaders have to project an inspiring long-term vision, as China's leadership has done, as the country faces the challenge of transforming its economy amid significant downward pressures.

Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2016 Co-Chair Navdeep Bains, minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development of Canada believed that a government can wield its considerable convening power to harness inclusion and diversity to produce innovative approaches to problems. "Innovation boils down to one key element – people." Bains explained. At the same time, diversity and inclusion will ensure that different perspectives are heard and taken seriously. Lee pointed out that having the right culture that fosters collaboration is important.

Feike Sijbesma, chief executive officer and chairman of the Managing Board of Royal DSM, who was also a meeting co-chair, called on young people facing the challenges posed by the Fourth Industrial Revolution to "dare to lift anchor, dare to focus on the long term, and dare to share with other people."