Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Davos Forum & Rebuilding Trust, Op-ed

Mon 05 Feb 2024 | 01:05 AM
Dr. Abdelhak Azouzi
Dr. Abdelhak Azouzi
Abdel-Haq Azouzi

The World Economic Forum, which is organized in the snow-covered city of Davos, and which extends for more than half a century, is a forum for dialogue and exchange of views on common global challenges. More than 300 public figures participated in it this year, including more than 60 heads of state and government. It also brought together representatives from various sectors.

More than 1,600 business leaders participated in the conference, including 800 senior CEOs, and were joined by 150 global innovators and technology pioneers who are at the forefront of manufacturing industries. They discussed several topics, including the topic of artificial intelligence, which promises a real revolution and multiple uses.

 However, experts warn that it also poses risks such as violating private life, defects in algorithms, and others that require regulating this sector, but this is difficult to do in light of the rapid development of these technologies. 

Dozens of leading countries in the field of artificial intelligence are trying to establish regulations for the development of artificial intelligence and its use in several fields, including the military field, warning of “unwanted consequences,” such as concerns related to “the issue of human involvement,” in addition to the “lack of clarity at the level of responsibility.” 

This year's meetings were organized in a world characterized by the four characteristics of volatility, apprehension, complexity, and ambiguity. There is a serious and unprecedented defect in the international system, and volcanic clouds fill its atmosphere, and its darkness is today a set of proverbs in the east and west of the earth, and its negatives have begun to eat away at its roots, and there is a state of worrying anticipation, and anticipation in the field of international relations often creates political confusion and confusion in priorities, and turmoil in multilateral relations, and the restriction of a realistic view and movement ... and anticipation creates chaos and insecurity, and generates situations of confusion and ambiguity, not to mention that it sometimes generates improvisation in analysis and taking appropriate decisions.

That is why the organizers of the Davos Forum tried to hold the meetings under the slogan “rebuilding Trust.” This trust is the main rule not only in building the global system, but also in building societies and nations economically and politically. Do not think that I am talking here about our Arab societies, but rather about Western societies whose citizens no longer trust the parties or the representative democracy they used to know; If you take the example of the French, and many other Westerners, they no longer have trust, not only in the traditional parties of the right and left, but in all parties, and this has more than a hundred implications in the sociology of political science with regard to the general political sphere, party ideology, and political action. The issue of trust between the ruler and the ruled, public policies, and so on.

The message that reached everyone is that the impatience of the middle and poor classes in democratic industrial societies may cause an earthquake that will make it difficult to find solutions. Neither the European nor the global economic situation can satisfy the desires of large segments of societies. 

Moreover, with the loss of the legitimacy of the parties and their representatives, every solution or solutions that will be presented will be rejected. France, for example, is a country of institutions, and this explains that many of the protests that the town has witnessed for years did not cause a complete earthquake, but for how long? All the strategic and economic experts I speak to tell me that the country is suffering from a crisis of trust between the citizen and the state and that this stage of social and political unrest will have a severe impact on France, and even on many European countries, and French society will undergo a process of transformation with the cancellation of many of the democratic and economic gains it has accumulated through the centuries.

There are now two equations: the equation of social actors and the equation of political actors, but the problem is that all societal and political actors are neither in the correct societal nor political movement, and they are all drowned either in impossible demands or in the quagmire of circumstantial self-defense, and here is the great shrewdness.

The issue of restoring trust also brings us to a question posed by economists: What should we do in the face of a school that continues to defend liberalism and another that defends protectionism? What impact will there have on investments in light of fears of instability? As we ask these two questions, we remember how countries like the United States transformed overnight from endless liberalism to interventionist and protectionism in order to preserve state institutions from collapse, which led to a change in international economic and financial mechanisms. 

For example, the financial crisis that the world experienced in 2008, which became an economic crisis, is not the first in history, but rather it is the first that can be considered global, and one of its causes was a lack of trust.

In the early winter of 2006, many of the poorest American families who were offered subprime mortgages found themselves unable to repay their debts. Banks began to confiscate properties, and owners burdened with debt in an atmosphere of lack of trust began to sell their properties before the banks confiscated them, which led to an imbalance between supply and demand in the real estate market and a decline in prices. Thus, banks and their “suicidal” speculators found themselves with confiscated and unsaleable housing, worthless investments and liquidity problems. At the beginning of September 2008, the mortgage crisis turned into a banking crisis.

The US financial system was on the verge of collapse in October 2008 due to lack of liquidity and lack of trust. American banks and insurance companies were saved by naturalization and the promise of non-existent public money, and private debt became public. The crisis crossed from the United States to reach European banks, which made all countries, without exception, ignore their liberal policies and impose protectionist rules to create the trust necessary to save their economies.