davosToday, the World Economic Forum will kick off its 50th annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. U.S. President Donald Trump delivered a keynote speech in which he praised his administration’s strategy to improve the lives of workers through tariffs and tax cuts.

“The policy, which has led to fierce trade battles with longtime economic partners like China, the EU and Mexico, has accompanied better-than-expected GDP growth in the U.S. as well as an unemployment rate under 4% and consistent records in the stock market,” writes Thomas Franck of CNBC. “Though bilateral trade deliberations have roiled financial markets for the better part of two years, the White House reached two key trade deals last week that officials say will boost the economy and sent the S&P 500 above 3,300 for the first time ever.”

The theme of this year’s Davos meeting is “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World,” with a focus on dealing with global challenges such as climate change, economic inequality, long-term debt and geopolitical risk.

“Some of the world’s top politicians and business leaders are among 3,000 high powered delegates gathering at the week-long event that attracts presidents, royalty and senior business executives. This year U.S. President Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Goldman Sachs boss David Solomon and teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg are all due to attend,” writes Rupert Steiner in Barron’s. “The meeting of minds is aimed at finding solutions to some of the world’s most pressing socio-economic tests and provides a temperature check on business confidence and the state of the economy.”

The conference will also highlight the transformational role of technology in creating new markets, and seek “to create a global consensus on deployment of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies” while avoiding a potential “technology war.”

In fact, my friend Harry Moseley, CIO at Zoom, will be moderating a luncheon panel at Davos on Wednesday, Jan. 22 featuring Larry Quinlan, Global CIO, Deloitte; Michael Wright, Global CIO, McKinsey; Laura Deaner, Global CISO, S&P Global and Andrew Brandman, SVP, Financial Services, Salesforce. The panel will discuss technology’s potential impact on organizations and how it can empower the workforce of the future, create a culture of work-life balance, and reduce the carbon footprint, all while driving top-line growth and employee success.

To register for Harry’s panel discussion and to stream the event live, click here.

Some of my friends and colleagues have asked me if I still consider Davos to be relevant, and my answer is yes. Davos plays an important role by shining a high-intensity spotlight on truly formidable challenges. It draws our attention and makes us think about solving some of the world’s most intractable problems.

This year, it seems likely that a controversial issue – the role of the modern corporation – will be front and center.

“Stakeholder capitalism — a movement that redefines a company’s purpose from serving only its shareholders to all stakeholders, including customers and communities — will be the dominant theme,” writes Lauren Hirsch of CNBC. “It will be the first Davos meeting since the Business Roundtable, a group representing the CEOs of nearly 200 companies, embraced stakeholder capitalism as its new purpose in August.”

Undoubtedly, the discussions about corporate responsibility in an interconnected global economy will be fascinating. I also predict that some of the themes discussed and debated at Davos will impact the technology industry directly in more ways than we can imagine. Last year, for example, political leaders at Davos called for greater regulation of the tech industry, especially in the realm of data privacy.

“At a practical level, the sheer concentration of movers and shakers makes Davos an irresistible draw for other movers and shakers. Business and political leaders dice up their schedules into 30-minute increments, cramming in more than a dozen meetings a day with customers, partners, regulators and journalists,” writes David Gelles of The New York Times.

As a technology leader, I agree with this assessment. Even after 50 years, Davos retains its power to attract many of the world’s most powerful and influential people. For that reason alone, it deserves our attention.