The World Economic Forum is a gathering of world leaders to talk about the needs and successes of society today and this year the topic of technological growth is playing a huge role.
Technology is a major player in today’s world economy, not just because of the prevalence of social media or the fact that just about every industry could benefit from having an online presence, but because of the jobs it creates. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook‘s chief operating officer, explained at CNBC’s debate during the World Economic Forum that technology is sometimes seen as a force that actually takes away jobs by simplifying processes, but can create jobs as well.
The social network, which is slated to go public this year, should represent “the kind of growth that creates jobs,” according to Sandberg. Indeed, she said that if being a public company is viewed as an opportunity for global jobs growth and change, then “that’s what we want to be a part of.”
Facebook wasn’t the only technology company represented in Davos, Switzerland this year. Eric Schmidt, Google‘s executive chairman and former chief executive, also came to the event and has been attending for 15, according to the New York Times. He explained that there are roughly 3.5 jobs created for every one lost to technological innovations, according to a McKinsey report he sited on stage during the “Can the digital revolution help deliver jobs in the 21st century?” talk.
“This is no different than the loom when it was invented and the impact that it had,” Schmidt said. “And I don’t think any of us would want to go back and delete the loom.”
Technology has an opportunity to create jobs by creating new industries, such as the semi-conductor industry or clean technology. The air in Silicon Valley is filled with talks of new startups, venture capital and “new hires.” It is a friendly sort of pollution as entrepreneurs are inspired to join the technology ranks and set up shop along the 101. And as long as these and other entrepreneurs continue to create startups, new industries, jobs, and interest in technology will further capture the world’s attention.