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Posted at 9:31 AM ET, 01/26/2011

Davos, Day 1: Listening to new voices for a new reality

By Ben Verwaayen

Incredible India. No escape, they are everywhere! Not just with an impressive delegation, with a great ad campaign here at Davos, but also in all discussions, even if if there is no one from India on the panel!

All for a good reason.

How can you discuss the new realities without including India? Or China, or Brazil or other emerging markets such as Turkey and Indonesia? Not just their growth, but also their perspectives need to be embedded in considering solutions for the issues we face.

More easily said than done.

We don't have the processes in place to take swift actions, let alone to make sure we execute on them.

So we need to think about how we get there. How we tackle the threat of protectionism, or whatever modern definition people use for this bad phenomenon.

How do we get Green out of the talking shop and into reality? Remember the Internet in the '80s? When so many went into their garages and invented the world we are now used to?

Well, Green can be the same motor for innovation. Again the sound of excitement out of the garages will inspire a new wave of economic growth.

We need to look around, listen to the next generation and realize that the power has shifted to the consumers. The Indian consumers, the consumers from Argentina, the young savvy African consumer and the picky ones. They will dictate a change, a shift to inclusiveness and differentiation. With a scale of cultures and common underlying use of modern communication tools.

Davos is a great melting pot of people -- they better listen to those new voices. It will drive focus on dealing with the new realities.

Ben Verwaayen is CEO of Alcatel-Lucent and a Member of the World Economic Forum’s Foundation Board.

By Ben Verwaayen  | January 26, 2011; 9:31 AM ET
Categories:  Ben Verwaayen  
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