The 2017 Global Business Forum, a joint conference hosted by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and the Richman Center, took place on April 5, 2017, in New York City. The forum brought together executives and legal counsel to share insights on a selected theme. This year, the conference was organized around one question: how is technology changing the way we do business?
For the last two decades, technology has been transforming industries, the workplace and trade. As many have predicted, the world has gotten flatter and smaller. Many industries have changed permanently, increasing productivity but also experiencing changes on the demands of the workforce and sectoral unemployment. Many businesses also have seen changes across the supply chain, the value chain and other parts of their business. This impacts what they sell, who their customers are and who they compete with. Competition is coming from companies that did not exist just a few years ago or were in industries that did not appear to be related. What does technology mean for how businesses need to operate and compete? How can businesses see around corners for what to expect tomorrow? Could misgivings about globalization put the brakes on growth, or will technology triumph over all?