2017 Agenda Overview
The Future of Globalization
Openness and Innovation: Shaping the Global Economy
THE FORTUNE GLOBAL FORUM will focus on the key issues facing multinational companies at a crucial time of change in China and the global economy. With unprecedented speed, a new innovation revolution is building in the digital era. Industries are being transformed by breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, biotechnology, drones, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, and other fields. Lives on every continent will be improved…and disrupted. Entire industries will become smarter…and potentially less secure. At the same time, globalization—long taken for granted—is being challenged by a backlash against trade and immigration in many parts of the world.
These forces are colliding to produce complex challenges for today’s global business leaders. This year’s Fortune Global Forum will explore these trends, both in China and throughout the world, providing clarity for decision-makers as they seek more opportunity, with less risk, in the emerging innovation revolution. Nowhere in the world will this revolution be more profoundly felt than in China–with its new and burgeoning middle class, accelerating urbanization, and expanding digital technologies.
From manufacturing and health care to mobility and finance, we’ll explore global competitive advantage in the age of technology as well as the critical role corporate leadership plays in building more inclusive economies. Throughout our discussions, we’ll highlight how openness and innovation—in China and beyond—are primary forces in guiding economic development, leading to prosperity and progress.
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
8:30 AM–11:30 AM GUANGZHOU BUSINESS TOURS
Visit leading-edge business operations that are leveraging the power of Guangzhou’s advanced infrastructure and innovation hubs.
10:25 AM–11:55 AM SPECIAL ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSIONS
THE FUTURE OF GLOBAL FINANCE
Hosted by Yuexiu
As a new world economic order takes shape, global financial services must adjust to meet the demands of a rapidly changing marketplace, one influenced by the tides of economic nationalism in the West and rapid middle-class growth in the East. Once dominated by the U.S. and Europe, our global financial system is now heavily influenced by emerging market economies like China. Accompanying these geopolitical, economic, and social changes is a surge in digitization and technological innovation that is giving way to new platforms and more agile and accessible consumer services. Blockchain technology is emerging as a building block for business and financial tracking. Peer-to-peer lending is on the rise. Artificial intelligence and machine-learning techniques are driving increased efficiencies and enabling new capabilities for financial institutions. However, unlocking the potential of these technologies may not be without risks or challenges: regulatory frameworks are being challenged and many emerging markets have introduced controls against capital inflows and outflows. And, despite being more connected than ever before, 2 billion people worldwide remain financially excluded. How can the global financial system evolve to meet the needs of the underserved while addressing other critical needs? How will the acceleration of technology, shifting customer preferences, and an evolving regulatory landscape impact the design and delivery of financial services?
THE FUTURE OF MOBILITY
Hosted by Guangzhou Automobile
Digitization, automation, and new business models have revolutionized the way people move about in the world. Car sharing, ride sharing, and emerging driverless vehicle technology are also transforming the way people move around congested cities, leaving a new transportation ecosystem in their wake. Subways, buses, and even bicycles are becoming “smart” and automated, especially as tens of millions of Chinese commuters join the workforce each year. Airlines and trains are developing more environmentally friendly innovations and making on-board experiences more appealing for hyper-connected travelers. Infomobility and intelligent transport solutions are being implemented across systems to enable greater efficiency and faster commute times. And now drones have the potential to change how things and even people might be transported. How are these disruptive trends influencing advanced manufacturing and what new opportunities and advances lie ahead in smart, clean, and connected mobility? How will choices of transportation merge and converge as the industry continues to innovate?
THE FUTURE OF HEALTH CARE
Hosted by Guangzhou Pharma
The convergence of innovations across sectors—from digital connectivity to big data to artificial intelligence and biotech—is revolutionizing medicine. Will China, with the world’s fastest-growing health care market, emerge as the epicenter of this transformation? President Xi Jinping has declared health care a national priority for his fast-aging population, and a number of Western companies are already developing cutting-edge health technologies in locations such as Guangzhou. Rapidly emerging technologies combined with deep learning are allowing doctors to prevent, detect, and treat chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes. As providers focus on improving patient engagement and delivering precision health, how can global companies help shift the focus from managing disease to achieving wellness? We’ll look at the innovations most likely to transform global health care and wellness, with a special eye toward technologies propelling China into new frontiers.
12:05 PM–1:20 PM LUNCH
1:30 PM WELCOME AND GENERAL SESSIONS
1:40 PM AGENDA-SETTER—OPENNESS AND INNOVATION: SHAPING THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
An innovation revolution is taking hold across the globe, even as open markets come under strain and economic nationalism is on the rise. Who will be the winners in this new economic order? How will warped-speed transformations in technology—across sectors—alter the terms of strategic planning, whether you’re headquartered in China, the U.S., Europe, or beyond? How should global business leaders position their companies to prosper in a dynamic, but uncertain, future? This conversation will set the stage for our discussions ahead, laying the foundation for understanding today’s most critical global forces.
2:25 PM VIEWPOINTS: CHINA’S ECONOMIC OUTLOOK
In nearly four decades, China has shifted from a centrally planned to a market-based economy, the second largest in the world. Over the next five years, this nation alone will import US $8 trillion worth of goods, attract $600 billion of foreign investment, make $750 billion in outbound investment, and send Chinese tourists on 700 million overseas visits. With long-term growth and sustainability in mind, China is now making a critical shift from an investment-driven model to an economic structure boosted by consumer spending. From creating trade initiatives and economic zones to lifting millions from poverty and driving innovation, China’s actions have the potential to shape the course of global business for years to come. Leading global and Chinese experts share important outcomes from the recent convening of the 19th National Congress and what they mean for business leaders looking to grow and capitalize on China’s new demographics.
2:55 PM SESSION TO BE ANNOUNCED
3:15 PM GLOBALIZATION AT A CROSSROADS: COMPETING IN A NEW AGE
Protectionism is on the rise. Around the world, popular tastes—in everything from food to pop culture—turn inward toward community. Do global enterprises need to “act like a local,” building products where they are sold, being more attuned to indigenous tastes and talent? As China moves from being an adapter to a driver of globalization, how are its global companies faring in markets as divergent as Europe and Africa? How are Western firms shifting their global footprints, including those inside the world’s second-largest economy? How can companies respond to local traits of key demographics, like millennials or retirees? What formulas are working in this new global age?
3:45 PM SESSION TO BE ANNOUNCED
4:15 PM TRANSPORTATION TO OPENING CEREMONIES AND SPECIAL ADDRESS
5:40 PM–6:25 PM OPENING CEREMONIES AND SPECIAL ADDRESS
6:25 PM TRANSPORTATION TO OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION AND DINNER
7:00 PM–10:00 PM GALA RECEPTION, DINNER AND ENTERTAINMENT
Location: Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall
10:00 PM RETURN TO HOTEL
Thursday, December 7, 2017
8:30 AM SESSION TO BE ANNOUNCED
8:45 AM GLOBAL TRADE: SEIZING NEW OPPORTUNITIES
After three decades of rapid world economic integration, the signs point to a period of retreat, as a far-flung political backlash against trade and immigration combines with slowing flows of goods and finance across borders. While China—the world’s largest trading nation—faces its own challenges on open trade and investment, Europe’s global trade zone is fracturing and the U.S. is weighing whether to punish importers. Is this a temporary setback or should business prepare for a long-term reversal? What will trade and capital flows look like in the coming years? How will the U.S. decision to scrap the Trans-Pacific Partnership affect trade across Asia? As China looks to remake global trade, how will its “One Belt One Road” plan boost economies across Europe and Asia? We will explore emerging geopolitical forces and potential opportunities, as well as risks, for global businesses.
9:15 AM VIEWPOINTS: WINNING IN CHINA
Slow growth, barriers to market entry, regulatory hurdles, and rising labor costs. These are concerns facing global businesses looking to invest and grow in China. It is clear that for companies to succeed here, innovation and differentiation is key—along with making operations more efficient and tapping the right talent and strategies to win. This new reality is no different for companies with a long history in China or those just entering the marketplace. How are global companies navigating this playing field and what is the right formula for success?
10:00 AM REFRESHMENT BREAK
10:25 AM SESSION TO BE ANNOUNCED
10:50 AM JOBS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
Today’s backlash against globalization could be just the beginning, as emerging technologies radically reshape the workforce. Tech giants are in a race for the perfect AI; China is betting big on robotics in manufacturing. On the near horizon we will see not only driverless trucks and deliveries by drones, but also the loss of such knowledge-based jobs as basic accounting and writing. In our hyper-connected world, waves of automation will be deployed faster than ever. Champions of the innovation revolution say it will create more jobs than it destroys; but nearly everyone agrees that along the way, there will be unsettling mass disruption to work, incomes, and lives. How can global business leaders continue to create new jobs and build a “life script” for workers—one that enables them to reskill and evolve in fast-paced and always changing workplaces?
11:15 AM CONNECTED ECONOMY: PLATFORMS FOR GROWTH
From the gig economy to the sharing economy, digital platforms have brought mobile devices and “Internet of Things” technology together as never before, creating a brand new economy in the process. For Chinese consumers, Internet platforms govern all aspects of daily life—from social interactions to services and purchases. How are these new businesses upending established business models, blurring the lines between industries and companies, and cultivating a new generation of consumers? What can we expect from them in the future? What new platforms are on the horizon and where should savvy investors place their bets?
11:45 AM–11:55 AM BREAK
11:55 AM–12:55 PM CONCURRENT SESSIONS
Choice of Concurrent Sessions
1:05 PM–2:15 PM NETWORKING LUNCH
2:05 PM–3:20 PM FREE TRADE ZONES: OPPORTUNITIES AND IMPACT
Hosted by the City of Guangzhou
In an effort to promote a more open economy and accelerate reforms, China established pilot Free Trade Zones (FTZs) that provide lower thresholds for setting up new companies, require fewer restrictions on capital flows, and offer more market access to foreign investors. Today, there are a total of 11 FTZs in China, 7 of which were announced earlier this year. As the world’s second-largest economy looks to increase its share in the global trading market, how will these FTZ’s improve cross-border trade and foster new innovation? What are the challenges and opportunities for CEOs looking to do business in these zones and what reforms are needed to increase the flow of investment?
2:15 PM BREAK
2:25 PM–3:25 PM CONCURRENT SESSIONS
Choice of concurrent sessions
3:45 PM INNOVATING THE FUTURE
With historically unprecedented speed, a new innovation revolution is building upon the digital era with exponential advances in science and technology. Industries are being transformed by breakthroughs in biotechnology, artificial intelligence, drones, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, and on and on. In the innovation revolution, technologies are merging and converging across sectors—dramatically accelerating the speed and impact of change. China has formed its own path in this new revolution, as a purveyor of innovative technology that eclipses its “me-too” past and looks to the future. In advance of the Fortune Innovation Awards presentation, leading CEOs will offer their own views on what they see as the most transformative technologies on the horizon—and where they are placing their own big bets.
4:25 PM FORTUNE INNOVATION AWARDS PRESENTATION
5:00 PM SESSION TO BE ANNOUNCED
5:30 PM–6:00 PM FREE TIME
6:00 PM–6:30 PM TRANSPORTATION TO RECEPTION AND DINNER
6:30 PM–9:30 PM RECEPTION, DINNER AND ENTERTAINMENT
Hosted by City of Guangzhou
Location: Canton Tower
9:30 PM–10:15 PM NIGHTCAP CRUISE
10:15 PM TRANSPORTATION TO HOTEL
Friday, December 8, 2017
8:00 AM–9:20 AM SMART MANUFACTURING AND THE INTERNET OF THINGS
Hosted by the City of Guangzhou
Around the world, factory floors and assembly lines are becoming highly automated, combining human ingenuity with data and technology to revolutionize product and productivity outcomes. As the notion of a “factory of the future” continues to evolve, how are companies incorporating “smart” and connected products into their manufacturing process? From sensors and robots to 3-D printing and green technology, global companies are experimenting with a variety of methods to streamline, scale, and sustain their business. Here in China, manufacturers have been asked to deliver on the nation’s “Made in China 2025” strategy and are aggressively pursuing their own strategies to become smarter, greener, and more efficient. As these changes take hold, what are the implications for those doing business in China and for supply chains worldwide? And how are companies redeploying and reeducating their workforces, as traditional factory jobs become automated and the need for technically proficient talent increases?
8:30 AM–9:30 AM CONCURRENT SESSIONS
9:30 AM–9:45 AM SWITCH BREAK
9:45 AM ENTERTAINING CHINA: ENGAGING NEW CONSUMERS
From film enthusiasts to gamers and theme park attendees, Chinese consumers represent a huge fan base and an even bigger disposable income. By 2020, movie ticket sales in China are expected to exceed those in the U.S., making this country the world’s largest film audience. China is already the world’s largest-grossing video game market, and China’s social media stars have created an economy of their own, attracting millions of followers and brands who wish to capitalize on their popularity. What can companies learn about the Chinese consumer via emerging trends in entertainment? How are companies reaching Chinese fans through integrated content—and what investments and joint ventures could we see in the future?
10:15 AM SESSION TO BE ANNOUNCED
11:00 AM GREEN INNOVATION: BUSINESS SOLUTIONS FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
As the world population grows, and economies grow in emerging markets, the global economy is faced with challenges to its existing model of production and consumption. At our current rate of growth, we will need to find and secure three planets’ worth of resources by 2050. How are companies shifting from take-make-discard models to green technology and innovations that more fully deliver economic, social, and environmental benefits?
11:30 AM SESSION TO BE ANNOUNCED
12:00 PM PROGRAM CLOSE