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Shanghai Forum 2024 Theme Interpretation

Author:  |  Publication Date:2024-01-10

Shanghai Forum 2024

Age of Change: Technology, Development and Governance

Our era has never come to an end, and certainly our history will not come to an end neither. Technology has always been the force that changes the era, and it is still so today. Most of the progress in human history has been driven by technology. This is particularly true in the age of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence and related industries, sectors, and enterprises are gradually shaping a new life for humanity, at a time when mankind is either active or passive, with joy or awe. Human thinking is shifting from uncontrollable excitement to rational and stern thinking, regulation, and restraint—perhaps this is the difference between humans and artificial intelligence at the moment, and it is also where the confidence of humanity lies in the face of artificial intelligence.

Technological advancement does not necessarily lead to the development of human society. As the course of history progresses, humanity's understanding of development continues to deepen. Words such as improving people's well-being, inclusive growth, and sustainable practices appear more frequently in the descriptions of development. It is precisely these new definitions of development that have led to increased concerns among intellectuals about development—not so much about what it means and how it is conceived, but about how it can be shared by all. The rising inequality, security risks, climate change, and so on, all of which have become obstacles to human development. Development has unprecedentedly become a challenge in itself.

The counterpart to development is governance. The traditional governance system formed by the tension between the state, society, and individuals is loosening with the emergence of artificial intelligence. New governance ideologies are still brewing, new governance structures are still forming, and new governance models are still being explored. The inevitable challenges of humanity have arrived, testing not only capabilities and wisdom but also courage and perseverance. Whether it is globalization or de-globalization, unilateralism or multilateralism, is not only a test of the commitment of each country but also a test of human nature and humanity.

This is an era of rapid change that humanity has never experienced before, as if the journey from steam engine to generator has been completed in an instant. The unprecedented speed and change have brought uncertainty, in addition to joy, to all of humans. In the midst of this speed and change, the determination, resilience, and collaboration of human beings are constantly called for.

For nineteen years, with an academic soul and an inclusive mind, Shanghai Forum has always gathered global elites and condensed diverse thoughts. Under the theme of Age of Change: Technology, Development, and Governance, Shanghai Forum 2024 aims to deepen the common understanding of the forces of change from the perspectives of technological progress, sustainable development, and global governance through cross-field, interdisciplinary, and cross-industry dialogues, contributing wisdom to create a more inclusive and equitable future. We believe that in such a rapidly changing era, nothing is more important than the exchange of ideas, and nothing is more precious than the exchange of hearts, because we are confident that we can make good use of all the truths we have discovered, explore the path of common development, and form a community of shared future for individuals, families, and countries.