In May 2019, the Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs declared that the Fourth Industrial Revolution had already begun. This declaration was made while promoting a speech by one of their “experts” Klaus Schwab. A man whose anti-human ideologies need no introduction. Schwab told his audience:
“Let me just say some words about the Fourth Industrial Revolution and globalisation 4.0. I wrote a book and conceptualise the idea. I was probably the first who use this name or this definition ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ as being a transforming concept. Not only for businesses but also for the economy, for politics and for society … At the end what the Fourth Industrial Revolution will lead to is a fusion of our physical, our digital and our biological identities.”
The Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs relies on 50 “experts” to research, analyse, and provide commentary on US foreign policy and public opinion, global food security, and global cities. There are more people on its governing board than it has “experts” – it has 73 officers. Its president is Ivo. H. Daalder, former US ambassador to NATO, who, as noted by Wikispooks, is a suspected deep-state operative.
The Council “came to life” in 1922. In the 1930s, the Council’s programs drew thousands of people to hear from interventionists, isolationists, and even outright Nazis. Post-World War II the Council leaders, especially its former president Adlai Stevenson, helped create the United Nations, the website states. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the United States declared war on terrorism and became mired in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Council’s traditional focus on Europe shifted overnight to the Mideast, Islam, terrorism, and global inequities. In time, the Council’s focus migrated to China, to the rise of Third World countries, globalisation, and, later, to populism. The Council probed a globalised world, with work on issues—trade, immigration, climate change, energy and global cities.
As it approached its centenary [in 2022], the Council was the biggest world affairs council west of the Beltway. If it sought new audiences, it remained mostly an elite organisation.
Council on Global Affairs: Chicago and the World, retrieved 24 November 2022
On 10 March 2022, the Council celebrated its centennial anniversary at a gala dinner honouring President Barack Obama and cellist Yo-Yo Ma for their extraordinary contributions toward creating a more open and promising world for all.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has funded the Council with millions between 2008 and 2019 (incl.), and current corporate partners include the two largest UL Solutions and United Airlines. These two corporations inject more that $250,000 of funds into the Council.
Different levels of membership fees buy a member different privileges. The “Directors’ Circle,” for example, costs $10,000+ and “donors who support the Council at this level enjoy highly curated in-person and digital experiences beyond what is offered to members of the President’s Club Gold.” Members of this “circle” are invited to more private, off-the-record conversations, briefings, receptions, and dinners with higher level policy analysts, bestselling authors, and current and former government officials
London Mayor Sadiq Khan is cosy with the Council. The picture below is taken from the Council’s “General Member” page implying he is either a low-level guest, for decoration purposes, or a member who has paid less than $1,000, hopefully out of his own pocket. A general membership, among other “benefits,” would allow him to join the Council’s “Young Professionals Network.”
Although Schwab is not currently listed as one of the Council’s “experts” a footnote at the end of a video post in June 2019 indicates they feel he is worthy of the title:
A few weeks earlier, however, Schwab was not considered an “expert” instead he was a “speaker” at a Council “special leadership event.” Schwab, of course, was pontificating about one of his favourite topics: The Fourth Industrial Revolution. He had released his book of the same title in 2017 after the idea had been promoted at the 2016 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.
This is the same speech at the start of our article and embedded to begin at the statement which blatantly defines the anti-human aims of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Below is the transcript of his full speech for those who find Schwab so creepy that their skin crawls every time they hear him speak and so would rather not.
Schwab’s speech is worth the read if you want an insight into the World Economic Forum. As well as describing some of the World Economic Forum’s activities, and plugging his dystopian Fourth Industrial Revolution and globalisation 4.0, he mentioned:
- “that famous Swedish girl,” aka climate change puppet Greta Thunberg;
- that France’s Yellow Vests had tremendous political influence, which seemed to make him uncomfortable; and,
- project “30 by 2030,” a project whereby 30 per cent of oceans and 30 per cent of terrestrial landscapes will be “again free from human intervention” by 2030.
Please note: we have not transcribed the question and answer session at the end which begins at timestamp 33:02. Numbers shown in square brackets are timestamps where that particular section begins.
[0.09] Ladies and gentlemen, if you could find your seats, please. Good morning and welcome to today’s program. My name is Matt Abbott. I’m the director of government and diplomatic programs here
At the Chicago council on global affairs. The council is an independent and nonpartisan platform and we remind you that the views expressed by speakers and panellists are their own and do not represent institutional positions or views of the council. This event is on the record and is being live-streamed. Before we begin, please make sure to silence your phones. Following this morning’s presentation, we will welcome questions from our audience. Our
Livestream viewers may submit their questions by typing chi.cnf.ao
Into their browser. It is now my pleasure to welcome Zack Egan a principal in Anthropocene Capital Management LLC to the stage for a few words of introduction about our speaker this morning. Thank you
[1:14] Morning and welcome. Good turnout for a Monday morning. As indicated as matt indicated my name is Zach Egan. And as manager of an international equity strategy invested in companies whose products and services address key social and environmental problems, I follow many of the same themes that interest our speaker this morning and therefore I’m very excited to be here.
Klaus Schwab has argued in recent books that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us. This is an era in which new technologies enabled by digitalisation are driving profound social political and economic transformations. And today we’re lucky to hear him elaborate on the characteristics of this revolution as he sees it and on how individuals and policymakers might best respond.
Many of us are likely familiar with Klaus Schwab as founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum which was launched in Davos in 1971. Our speaker also established in 2004 the Forum of Young Global Leaders and later created the Global Shapers Community. Our speaker also established … ah sorry … previously he organised the Schwab Foundation for social entrepreneurship which seeks to identify, recognise, and disseminate, globally, initiatives in social entrepreneurship that have the potential to improve people’s lives. He holds PhDs from the University of Freiburg and the Swiss Federal Institute of technology as well as an MA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Please join me in welcoming Klaus Schwab.
[3:12] Good morning. I’m very impressed to see such a strong audience on Monday morning. So, one reason certainly more to come over more often to Chicago, such a beautiful city. Let me first congratulate the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, because we share many ambassadors, we share many commonalities and I think we are kind of new mechanism which we need in the 21st century to address global issues. The World Economic Forum, and if you allow me, I will spend some time to introduce the World Economic Forum particularly since in some way we are sister organisations and then as announced I will talk more about the Fourth Industrial Revolution and I will also say some words about what we call how globalisation 4.0.
[4:30] Now the World Economic Forum is based on the deep belief that the big issues and challenges in the world of today cannot be solved by Governments, alone by business alone, by civil society alone. We need common Efforts, we need collaboration. But when we talk about a stakeholder approach to address those issues, we speak not only about the three stakeholders: governments, international organisations as the first category; business as a second category; And, civil society. I think we have also to engage as a young generation because the medium age is 27 in our world. And the world is so fast changing. So, we have to integrate the knowledge, the expectations, the beliefs of the young generation into today’s global decision-making processes. And this is the reason why the World Economic Forum has created – in addition to all its other communities – the community of young global leaders, leaders between 30 and 40
years old, and we have created what we call the global shapers community, this is a community of potentially those, some are already leaders, between 20 and 30 years old and we have such a community today in over 400 cities in the world. And I’m very proud that we have one here in Chicago, which by the way, is very active. And I would like to welcome, particularly, the Global Shapers here. Please raise your hands so you are recognised. Excellent.
In addition, we feel when we talk about the World of Tomorrow and reshape, as we say in the forums the World of Tomorrow, through multi-stakeholder dialogue we have to integrate in a world which is so much dominated by fake news. We have to integrate the voice of the truth which means academia, science and I’m also proud that the World Economic Forum has a relationship with University of Chicago. Actually, we have a community of 30 universities around the world working very closely with us and being engaged into our different activities.
[7:24] So, the question is: what is actually the World Economic Forum doing? And of course, you all know or have heard about our annual meeting in Davos. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. What we are really doing is to manage, to conceptualise, sometimes to catalyse, platforms to address specific global challenges. We believe, and you all have, you all are aware about the discussions going on the credibility effectiveness of traditional international organisations – such as the world trade organisation such as let’s say, IFC, the World Bank and so on. I could go on and on.
And we discussed whether those organisations are still fit for the issues of today. We feel those organisations are absolutely necessary and we have strong cooperation with each of those organisations. But what we also have to do is to complement what is done on a macro level on a micro level. Which means to address the many-fold challenges in very structured and very purposeful ways. For example, the future of health, the future of energy. If you look our energy landscape is changing completely. If we look at health there are so many issues not just let’s say medical issues but issues social issues. How do you deal in a situation where you can cure people but it costs up to a million of dollars? How much can a society afford?
So, the World Economic Forum has created platforms to address those issues much more on a micro level. And I give you some examples, no I give you one example just which was announced last week. We have some new technologies like blockchain which offer tremendous opportunities. So last week we announced the creation of a platform which was joined by over hundred companies and governments to have a kind of sandbox system and open-source system to use blockchain in the shipping business. So, working together, learning from each other, because we are in a learning process as far as blockchain is concerned, but to exchange the learning and to take the best examples and to all roll out and scale up the best-proven experiences.
So that’s the World Economic Forum’s role. To create such platforms. And we hope that in the future – particularly as we discussed in the area of cities and in the area of food security – we can work much closer together.
[11:04] Just I mentioned, the food works together with most of the big global companies but also these Governments. And just to give you an example of how we are today solicited to really confront key issues of global society, I give you an example. I got this morning a letter from the prime minister of New Zealand. And I just want to quote one part of the letter. And I do it because I know that Mark Zuckerberg will be one, as far as I have understood, one of your next speakers, is that correct?
Well … has been … has to be … you would like me to. So, I’m wrong but …
So Prime Minister writes:
“The violence and damage done by the Christ Church attacks was compounded by the attackers filming and disseminating some life on social media, messaging services and internet platforms. A collective goal for the international community must serve to prevent the use of internet to propagate terrorist and violent extremism online without compromising fundamental freedoms. With your global standing, leading role in public-private cooperation and expertise in digital and security issues there is clearly a role for the World Economic Forum in helping to [push] the agenda forward.”
So, this is exactly how we would react to take up such crucial issues which we are confronting in the world of today.
Maybe we come back to the World Economic Forum in our dialogue.
[13:38] Let me just say some words about the Fourth Industrial Revolution and globalisation 4.0. I wrote a book and conceptualised the idea. I was probably the first to use this name or this definition ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ as being a transforming concept. Not only for businesses but also for the economy, for politics and for society.
And of course, many people ask me: why do you speak about the Fourth Industrial Revolution? And it’s very easy to explain.
Of course, the First Industrial Revolution we are all familiar with. It was the invention of the steam engine which actually helped to enlarge our physical power. And then we had the Second Industrial Revolution – which mainly happened here, in this country, very much also here in this region – which allowed mass production. And then we had the Third Industrial Revolution with the starting of the computer age and the digital era.
And now the Fourth Industrial Revolution is not just a prolongation of [inaudible] it’s much more. It’s a combination of technologies. It’s not just a digital technology, just think of genetics, think of brain research and so on. And the power of the Fourth Industrial Revolution comes from the combination of all those technologies. Actually, I was saying this at the end, what the Fourth Industrial Revolution will lead to, is a fusion of our physical, our digital and our biological identities. So that’s the first difference.
The second differentiation is the speed. When I wrote the book, I started to write it four years ago it was published three years ago, it was sold – very interesting, over a million times in the World and what is interesting is that 800,000 copies, more than 800,000 copies of those 2 million were sold in three countries alone: China Japan and South Korea. You may be interested who was the biggest buyer with 16,000 copies at the same time, it was a Korean military. Because the Fourth Industrial Revolution will have a major impact also on warfare.
So, when I wrote this book, I looked at all the different technologies and then some of the reaction was “oh such science-fiction, that’s tomorrow.” Now if I look back in 3 years how much the world has changed. And blockchain, I remember in Davos at our annual meeting two years ago, two and a half years ago, I organised a breakfast for financial ministers, ministers of finance and the head of central banks. And practically some experts had to explain what blockchain is. Today you do not have a central bank which has not, let’s say, a big research unit in this area. And bitcoins and so on have become a reality of our lives. Also, three years ago people
Would tell me “ah, self-driving cars that’s something for the beginning of the 20s.” Today, even in a small Swiss Mountain place, we have now a bus which on, an experimental way, is self-driving. So, such technologies come with a tremendous speed. And one of the problems we have in the world is that we are not sufficiently prepared to cope with the speed of change. And I think this is at the origin of certain political manifestations.
If, for example, people say “let’s take control back again.” They want to protect themselves against this tremendous speed of change which we are seeing now. I could go on and speak about the impact on jobs, on education and so on. The World Economic Forum has published a report where we say we should not talk only about the people who actually lose jobs or could loss of jobs – and we are optimistic in the long term.
The problem will be to manage the short term. Because with the speed of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, contrary to the past to the previous three revolutions, probably jobs will be faster destroyed compared to new ones being created. And [inaudible] if we look, let’s say, at other implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, I just would like to mention the impact this revolution has on us. It’s changing not only, like the first three, what we are doing. It’s changing us. We are changing [algorithm] but [algorithm] may change us and our behaviour. And we haven’t really thought through what it means. That this again, this again amplifies the fear of people who feel losing control and then of course try to find protection in believing in more, let’s say, populist approaches.
Now let me say some words and we can elaborate later in the discussion of the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
[21:12] Let me say some words about globalisation 4.0.
The World Economic Forum is very often accused, if I may use this word, as being, let’s say, the mecca of Globalists and Davos has played a big role in creating this globalist philosophy which is resented by quite a number of people.
Actually, globalisation, even if some people speak about the need for deglobalisation or the possibility of deglobalisation. but we feel the world will be more globalised in the future and not globalised. because again, if you take the Fourth Industrial Revolution we will be made, we will become even more interdependent and more interrelated than ever before. because in a digital world you do not have boundaries or you have maybe official boundaries as some countries try to establish. but the trend is much more introduction of more globalisation.
So, the question is not in globalisation, yes or not. the question is what type of globalisation. and we need a different type of globalisation and the World Economic Forum has always fought for creating what we call a responsible globalisation. So, we need a globalisation which is more sustainable. I foresee that we will have to confront the completely new activism which we see now already with the students’ movement. what you see in Geneva we have now on Fridays and Saturdays see a lot of children going on the street. We had invited, by the way, Greta to come, you know this famous Swedish girl, to come to Davos. I think this will determine very much as a discussion between the old and the young generation since there is now a feeling developing where the young people feel our elders solve issues on our back. And we have a very short time to take action. and I think there will be tremendous pressure from the young generation in the future to address those issues.
We at the World Economic Forum are very much involved by giving the young people a voice, by working together with the UN on the preparation. we feel there are three key targets as far as making the world environmentally more responsible. First, of course, action it’s the reduction of co2 emissions. but the second issue, maybe even more important, is maintaining biodiversity. and together with some other organisations, we are involved in a project which is called 30 by 2030 which means to make 30 per cent of oceans and 30 per cent of terrestrial landscapes, again, free from human intervention.
And the third issue, of course, is the issues of plastic. I’m very happy that last Saturday in our home city in Geneva an international conference concluded that at least there should be an interdiction to export non-recyclable plastics in the future. You know we created a famous saying. we did some research by looking at the weight, of course, we had to make some assumptions, of fish swimming in the ocean and then looking at how much plastics is pumped into the oceans. and we predicted that in the year 2030 there will be more plastics in the ocean than fish. The consequences of this situation on our food security will be enormous.
Now globalisation 4.0 has to be different. it has to be more sustainable but it has to be also more inclusive. I, of course, I’m often asked how I see the present trade wars. And again, it has to do, of course, a lot with the Fourth Industrial Revolution because if we look at the trade war between the US and China, it’s not a trade war. if you see the expression “trade war” it’s related to the First Industrial Revolution. it’s Adam Smith’s where we had an exchange of goods and we had tariffs. but today it really what is the issue is the mastership of the First Industrial Revolution and in such a way the mastership over future global economic Development.
The other issue which is related to globalisation here is that we have to find it in globalisation 4.0 a better balance between opening our borders on the one hand and securing social cohesion in a country. if you have to if you have to wait let’s see the excuse that at the end globalisation, which like every competitive measure is creating winners and losers, the excuse that globalisation is creating much more winners and losers is not anymore enough. because today in the age of social media and the possibility to mobilise, even if you are my minority, to mobilise a strong political force means that you cannot leave people behind anymore.
If I look at see what we call gilets jaunes the, what is the English word, the Yellow um … yeah in France, it’s an expression of a revolt of urban areas against … uh rural areas against the urban areas. It’s a minority but the minority at the moment occupies the political discussion and it has tremendous political influence. So, if you look at the globalisation 4.0, the globalisation which we should aim at tomorrow, it should be a globalisation where we really do not leave people behind anymore. so social safety nets, tax systems which make sure that we do not have a too large gap between those who win – and to win particularly from the Fourth Industrial Revolution – and those who lose are not, let’s say, becoming a major political issue.
[30:32] so let me summarise. We need a new approach to global governance which is much more stakeholder-based, [inaudible] stakeholder based. We have to be aware of the tremendous consequences of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. And we have to prepare for this revolution. And here just one additional side remark. We do not have an organisation in the world at the moment which really creates a framework for those new technologies. For example, what will be limitations using artificial intelligence in the future? There are many ethical questions around this issue. So, we are trying with, we have built a network of centres for the Fourth Industrial Revolution where we try to bring governments and business and civil society and the young generation and academia together to address those issues. But we urgently need strong global cooperation related to those new technologies.
I mentioned one last technology in this respect which is genetics. You know there is a young researcher in Chen Chen and nobody really, there’s no process in the world to look at the consequences, of the possible consequences of such a breakthrough. Some people would, I call it maybe an innovation, technologically it’s an innovation, but from a societal point of view, it could be a tremendous setback for society in the future. So, we need this, I come back to, to create new approaches to global governance. We have to master the Fourth Industrial Revolution and we have to change the way of globalisation to make globalisation more inclusive, more sustainable.
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