With the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting over for another year, executives, politicians and thought leaders are taking home a host of insights that will help them harness the power of cooperation and partnership.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) was privileged to participate in myriad enlightening debates, compelling conversations and interesting panel discussions as a Strategic Partner of the Forum. We rounded off one of our most successful years yet, hosting four flagship events and showcasing how digital technology can play a key role in creating a better world.

Tata Consultancy Services CEO, Rajesh Gopinathan, opened the TCS proceedings in Davos

Shared responsibility and utilizing ecosystems emerged as key themes at the Forum’s 50th Annual Meeting, in Davos, Switzerland. The TCS Dome provided a fitting backdrop for the debates on how companies can best leverage digital technologies to further their growth and transformation, something we call Business 4.0™.

The MIT and Forbes session explored AI, Internet of Things and more.

On Tuesday, TCS brought together its clients and partners for a joint event with MIT and Forbes to debate the hottest issues of the day: from how artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and data analytics can unlock human potential to solve some of the biggest healthcare, education and workplace challenges. 

“It always has to be in the context of humans and AI, not AI alone,” said Natarajan Chandrasekaran, the chairman of Tata Sons. “We’ve got to remember, AI has all the capabilities, but it is the humans who liberate that AI to build the business models and implement the solutions.”

Chandrasekaran tackles these topics and more in Bridgital Nation: Solving Technology’s People Problem. Officially launched at the Forum’s Annual Meeting, his book presents a vision for the future in which technology and human beings coexist in a mutually beneficial ecosystem. 

Speaking on a high-level panel at the Davos launch, alongside Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, Dr Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, and Hayat Sindi, Senior Advisor to the President of the Islamic Development Bank for Science Technology and Innovation, he outlined how technology can empower people, particularly in developing nations. 

“We all grew up learning reading, writing and counting,” Chandrasekaran said. “For the 21st century, it’s much more important to teach digital skills, much more important to teach critical thinking skills, collaboration skills. And, actually, teaching those skills is much easier.” 

How technology can be a force for good was one of the central themes at Davos. On Wednesday, we hosted a panel with Brand Finance that discussed the interplay between purpose and profit and the importance of being genuine in business.

The Brand Finance session saw the launch of its Global 500 report for 2020.

Stella Medlicott, CMO, Ericsson, told the summit that any statement of purpose must be authentic and carry the employees along with it.

“If you are trying to put a message around that is not embedded in your organization, you won’t get the commitment,” she said. “If it is not true to who you are as a company, and you are just trying to follow the flow, then I think you are always going to struggle. But when it is core to your business, I think it flows naturally.”

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance.

These sentiments were echoed by Krishnan Ramanujam, President, TCS Business and Technology Services, who said the principles of good business, like creating and leveraging ecosystems of partners with a shared goal, are a powerful tool to solving societies’ problems.

Our Global Reception, on Wednesday evening, united these themes, bringing more than 400 of our clients, partners and connections to the Dome to create new conversations and networking opportunities. 

It also focused on ecology, one of the key themes of this year’s Annual Meeting, with digital gardens immersing guests in Japanese, European and Tropical ecosystems, and we pledged to donate to the Australian Koala Foundation, to help restore natural habitats after the intense bushfires. 

Coming together to grasp opportunities and find solutions was the common thread of the week. 

“It’s critical for companies today to create an innovation ecosystem,” said Vanessa Colella, Citi’s Chief Innovation Officer and Head of Citi Ventures. “Not all that’s new is going to come from inside the company. We’re constantly looking for ways to combine what’s the best that’s happening internally with what’s the best that’s happening externally, for our clients.”

And that sums up the main takeaway from this year’s conference: we are strongest when we work together, harnessing technology and innovation, towards a shared goal that encompasses purpose as well as profitability.