This year’s theme for the World Economic Forum annual meeting, “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World,” resonates differently for participants navigating the snow in Davos this week, but there are some common goals. The goal for government officials, representatives of academia and NGOs, and many corporate leaders from across the globe is to attempt to create shared views and find ways to work together to accelerate individual and collective success. There are a wide range of consistent topics like diversity, immigration, health and well-being, as well as technology and the acceleration of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. These issues have broad impact on JLL clients and our communities, and we are deeply embracing them as catalysts to solutions in our fast changing world.
A record 70 public figures are attending this year. The heads of state have detailed positioning speeches with common themes like “we are open for business,” which we heard from Brazilian President Temur, and changes to tax policies to improve competitive positioning globally, as noted by the French President Macron. Surely we will hear more on that in President Trump’s speech Friday. The topic of tax reform has been a strong discussion in various meetings and working groups, with many CEOs noting likely increases in investment as a result of the corporate tax repositioning of U.S. and others. The result will remain to be seen, but it is on the minds of CEOs here, which will be something to consider as we work with our clients on their changing needs, and look to add the most value for them in the year to come.
Another topic being addressed at Davos is diversity, which we embrace at JLL as one of the ways we create shared futures with our employees and clients. We value the rich, varied perspectives that a diverse workforce brings and know that companies that embrace diversity of all types outperform those that don’t. By sharing our clients’ diverse perspectives, we better understand their needs and can create more targeted and effective solutions. As I listen to the dialogue at Davos and the position of other firms, I am proud of our progress on diversity, and can clearly see the advantages it creates for our people and our company. We must continue to lead and improve in this area, and we will.
Last, there are many working groups at the World Economic Forum. Today, I get a chance to present some of the strong work done by the Future of Urban Development & Services group, which includes JLL’s own Rosemary Feenan. The discussions about the cities of the future draw strongly from the efforts around data, technology and digitization we are doing for our clients. From IoT and smart buildings, to accelerating decisions and increasing data transparency, the buildings and cities of the future will be vastly different. Work like this, and participation in these discussions at Davos, provides insights that keep us on the accelerated learning track we need to compete and achieve collective success.