This article was written by Irene Liu, General Counsel at Checkr.
A few weeks ago, I got the opportunity to attend the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions — the foremost global summit on innovation, science, and technology. The meeting, which was held in Tianjin, China, brought together a mix of innovative startups and global leaders to discuss a wide range of topics, including the future of work, trade, and AI.
Below, I’ve outlined a few key themes that resonated with me throughout the forum.
1. The startup scene is more vibrant than ever.
Not only are more startups popping up across the world, but there are also more resources and opportunities for them to connect and grow. Recently, the World Economic Forum launched UpLink, an innovation accelerator to help startups interact and partner with global startup peers, governments, universities, and investors to deliver global impact. It was incredible to meet these global startups and take part in important conversations about accelerating innovation and working together with the WEF community to build a strong Uplink program. Checkr looks forward to being part of Uplink and engaging with the global community of startups.
2. Humans still matter in an AI-driven world.
Artificial Intelligence proved to one of the hottest topics, with a number of sessions dedicated to the technology. Specifically, there was a large discussion around AI and its potential to magnify human biases.
At Checkr, we deal with this issue on a daily basis and work hard to reduce human bias throughout our product. While our background check technology is driven by AI and machine learning, we still incorporate humans throughout the process, and ultimately, leave the hiring decisions up to employers themselves to remove potential for human bias in the hiring process.
3. In the new economy, upskilling and reskilling are key.
At this year’s meeting, the World Economic Forum released the latest edition of its Future of Jobs Report, which predicted that by 2022, machines and algorithms will create 133 million new roles, while displacing 75 million jobs. As a result, it’s become more important than ever to upskill and reskill workers and give them the tools they need to take on these new roles. Furthermore, given the fact that unemployment is low, it’s crucial that we tap into a new pool of qualified candidates, including the 70 million Americans who have a criminal history, and build programs to provide them with the skills they need to thrive in the new economy.