Shaping the next generation of leaders

``I would like to see leaders getting inspired by out of the box thinking.``

Dr. Sita Mazumder about the next generation

Introducing Prof. Dr. Sita Mazumder, Professor of Economics and Information Technology at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, as our new board member who brings perspectives of youth, academia and future technologies to WORLDWEBFORUM. As a lecturer she is exposed daily to the mindset of the new and next generation of leaders.

How do you think the next generation will differ from today’s leaders?

As a generalization, current leaders are from a generation that have had to learn how to behave with digital change, in other words: digital immigrants. The younger generations are digital natives. Among others, their risk behavior differs also because they have always been exposed to the digital world. They adapt quickly to digital initiatives, but they worry less about the risks and downside.

What are your tips for attracting key talent for the next generation of leaders?

One of the key drivers is engagement. They want to be engaged and empowered; they want to know what they contribute as well as how and why.  

For this generation “just because” won’t get you to engage them and they won’t accept hierarchy solely based on an organizational chart. You have to earn their respect or they won’t accept you as a leader.

 

Where should business leaders tackle the diversity puzzle to make positive change?

Digitization triggers and demands diversity even more, as we are connected in real time to the rest of the world. Connectivity and digitization challenges business cases and demands innovation in order for organizations to stay or become successful.

We know that diverse teams are more innovative. Homogeneity will work efficiently for most standardized processes, but these are increasingly being robotized anyway. The human value comes with the ability to create and innovate, and well-managed diversity is a key driver.

In terms of where to start, I think it is most important to always start at the top. This is applicable to change management in general: If you don’t live up to your values from the top, then forget about it.

What discussions or outcomes do you hope to see at WORLDWEBFORUM 2019?

I would like to see leaders getting inspired by out of the box thinking. Hopefully they will leave with take-aways as well as new perspectives about how to stay or become successful in an increasingly digitized world.

 

What do you hope to be your impact as a board member of WORLDWEBFORUM?

I hope that I can contribute my creativity and my network. I want to support the mindset of breaking barriers, embracing diversity and meeting people who also think 1+1 can equal 3.

I think the out of the box approach is what differentiates WORLDWEBFORUM from other conferences out there. I like that the format and topic are presented non-traditional. I mean, ‘Master and Servant’ isn’t exactly “Blockchain reloaded”.

The topic for 2019 is Master and Servant. Who do you see as the Masters and Servants of tomorrow?

I work in AI, so from my point of view, I hope that humans will be the masters and technology the servants. In my field, there are many “we don’t knows” and I think it’s heading even more that way. We ought to get comfortable with uncertainty and accept that it’s ok not to have all the answers, but rather to decide along the way.