Huawei, a global provider of information and communications technology infrastructure and smart devices, has called for closer public–private sector cooperation to restore trust in technology.
The company made the call at the 50th celebration of St. Gallen Symposium, an annual gathering of current and future leaders from across the globe, which kicked off on May 5.
According to a statement to Financial Street, the symposium, themed ‘Trust Matters’, was attended by 1,000 participants, who took part in a three-day cross-generational dialogue, joining from the University of St. Gallen campus, an international hub in Singapore, 10 Swiss embassies around the world, and elsewhere online.
Top speakers from the private sector, including the Chairman, Board of Director at Roche, Christophe Franz; Chairman, Board of Management at Daimler, Ola Källenius; Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft, Satya Nadella; and Chief Executive Officer of HCL Corporation, Roshni Malhotra, were also in attendance.
This year’s St. Gallen Symposium also had, among the participants, political leaders, such as Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz; and representatives of transnational organisations, like Chairwoman of the Swiss Digital Initiative, Doris Leuthard.
In their view, the participants agreed that trust was inherently built on openness and transparency, and that it was time to take concrete, actionable steps at addressing the common challenges and risks that emerged in the wake of the Coronavirus Disease.
Addressing the student-led initiative, the Corporate Senior Vice President and BOD Member at Huawei, Catherine Chen, said restoring trust in technology would require the joint efforts of policy-makers, regulators and the private sector.
“As more devices feature connectivity, more services go online, and more critical infrastructure rely on real-time data exchanges, so must governments worldwide ensure that everyone is protected by the highest security standards. Only a common set of rules can guarantee a level of security that creates trust in technology,” she said.
According to Chen, the next generation of leaders will build trust and shape a world of pervasive connectivity.
“I urge them to continue developing the positive relationships between communities, individuals and their environments. We must build strong trust in technology, enabled by a common set of rules, innovation and progress. Only then can we commit to the sustainable and trustworthy use of technology,” she added.
Public trust in political and economic institutions, emerging technologies and the media has recently been eroded, especially among the younger generation, and this has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the statement also read.
“We, as members of the younger generation, are connected to a greater number of people through social media, but this does not correspond to a circle of people we can trust,” said Simon Zulliger, a member of the team of 35 students from the University of St. Gallen that organised this year’s symposium.
The team added that finding ways to preserve and strengthen trust was critical for a sustainable recovery.
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