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Globalization 4.0 for Whom?

For the last 40 years, policies governing trade, capital flows, and taxation have adhered to a neoliberal model of race-to-the-bottom competition, resulting in rising inequality and political discontent. And the elites gathering in Davos next month have yet to acknowledge the need for a new approach to governing the global economy.

DAVOS – Imagine a world in which women and girls have their rights respected, climate change receives the attention it so urgently requires, and poverty has been eliminated. Never before have we had the means that we have now to make this vision a reality. In Africa, for example, I am excited to see how off-grid solar energy is expanding rapidly. In Kenya, mobile banking has significantly improved financial inclusion, particularly for poor women.

These and other technologies associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) have the potential to boost productivity, incomes, and leisure time for workers, while also decarbonizing our economies and freeing women from the hold of unremunerated care work. But, to realize this potential, we will have to adopt an entirely new approach to globalization.

The World Economic Forum’s theme for its annual meeting in Davos next month is Globalization 4.0, which comprises many of the competing narratives now shaping our world. In the dominant narrative of the last 40 years, GDP was king, and countries pursued deregulation, loosened capital controls, cut corporate taxes, and liberalized their labor markets.

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