Why do you go to the World Economic Forum?
At PricewaterhouseCoopers we have always been aware of the significant role firms like ours play in society. We are embarking on a journey with our clients, our people and other stakeholders, to learn more about the emerging expectations society has of business and how to integrate those expectations into our core business practices. The Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum is an important stop on that journey. We all know Davos is a great place to network with business, community and government leaders -- but just as importantly, it provides a unique opportunity for us to listen and learn.
What did you strike most at this year's Davos?
This year the theme of Davos was Building Trust. This is tremendously important for our business, our clients, regulators and for our communities. I was impressed by the open and frank discussion among leaders about how trust has eroded for many global and local institutions. Instead of assigning blame, participants looked for solutions. The spirit was positive and in the end I think we struggled our way toward some new insights. But the value of Davos will be judged by whether those insights will lead to change.
Lessons learnt. Davos is also about new insights and ideas. What did you learn at this year's Davos?
What was clear from the gathering is that we are a global community facing a similar set of issues, wherever we happen to live. Most noteably, the erosion of trust in business is not just a U.S. problem - it's a global problem affecting business around the world in different ways. At PricewaterhouseCoopers we have made major changes in order to rebuild trust. These have included shedding 40 percent of our business, making many changes internally and adopting new policies and approaches. These were strenuous changes. But what I saw at this year's annual meeting is that many businesses are doing the same. They are changing their governance procedures, reformulating their policies and altering the way they do business to become more transparent. This last year has been troubling, but the business community has been acting responsibily and quickly to meet the challenges. Leaders are embracing sustainability initiatives and working together to make our world a better place.