18 January 2024
A growing number of business leaders say their fear their companies will not survive the next 10 years because of pressure from climate change and new technology. That information comes from a new opinion by the consulting company PwC.
PwC questioned over 4,700 chief executive officers, or CEOs, from 105 countries and territories. It released the survey results on January 15.
The survey's release came as business leaders, political leaders and activists gathered for the World Economic Forum's yearly meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
Thirty-eight percent of the CEOs said they were optimistic about the strength of the worldwide economy. That is up from 18 percent last year, when the world was dealing with high inflation, rising interest rates and more.
Even with more positive opinions on the economy, the CEOs say they are increasingly worried about their companies' ability to deal with major future changes. The survey found 45 percent of the CEOs had concerns that their businesses would not survive the next 10 years. The business leaders say they are trying to make changes, but they must deal with difficult government rules, a lack of skills among workers and more.
Artificial intelligence, the survey found, is seen as a way to make business operations faster. But AI is also seen as a weakness. Nearly 75 percent of the CEOs said AI "will significantly change the way their company creates, delivers and captures value in the next three years," PwC said.
More than half the CEOs said AI will make their products or services better. But 69 percent noted that their workers needed training to gain skills to use the developing technology. The CEOs also said they were concerned about how AI would increase online security risks and misinformation.
Organizers of the Davos meeting warned last week that the threat created by AI-powered misinformation is the world's greatest short-term threat.
The PwC survey shows that climate change is both an opportunity and a risk. Nearly 33 percent of the CEOs said climate change is expected to change how they do things over the next three years.
More than 75 percent of the executives said they have begun or completed changes to increase energy efficiency. But only 45 percent noted that they have made progress on taking climate risks into consideration in financial planning.
I'm Gregory Stachel.
Courtney Bonnell reported this story for The Associated Press. Gregory Stachel adapted it for VOA Learning English.
Words in This Story
consult – v. to give professional advice to a person, organization, or company for a fee
survey – n. an activity in which many people are asked a question or a series of questions in order to gather information about what most people do or think about something
optimistic – adj. having or showing hope for the future: expecting good things to happen
positive – adj. hopeful or optimistic
significant – adj. large enough to be noticed or have an effect
opportunity – n. a time when a particular situation makes it possible to do or achieve something
efficient – adj. doing something in a good, careful and complete way with no waste of time, money or energy