Event Details

The Economist is known for its thought provoking predictions and challenges to conventional thinking. These are given special focus in our annual The World In... publication, now in its 36th year. Tom Standage, Editor of The World In 2021, will present his compilation of predictions for 2021, and explore some of the world's most pressing issues for the year ahead.

Following the discussion with Tom, we will be joined by three exciting thinkers who will give you their predictions for the year ahead. We will get a perspective on technology and innovation in emerging markets from Joy Ajlouny, one of the leading entrepreneurs in the Middle East; Chief Investment Officer Steen Jakobsen will give his predictions for financial markets and share what he is thinking on asset allocation for 2021; while cultural anthropologist Philip McKenzie will tell us the key uncertainties he is watching in the arena of culture and society, and what we can be doing an individuals to thrive in 2021. A futurist extravaganza you won't want to miss!

Join us to hear Tom's unique global perspective on the upcoming year, across the spheres of business, finance and economics, technology, sport, media, arts, culture and beyond, and share your own views and questions with other C-suite executives from around the world.

Time zones:

Jhb 11am | Dubai 1pm | Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore 5pm | Tokyo, Seoul 6pm


17:00 - 18:30
Presentation followed by questions and discussions


  • Tom Standage (Deputy editor, head of digital strategy and Editor, The World In at The Economist)

    Tom Standage

    Deputy editor, head of digital strategy and Editor, The World In at The Economist

    Tom Standage is deputy editor of The Economist and editor of the yearly “The World in..” series. He is also responsible for the newspaper’s digital strategy and the development of new digital products, including Espresso and Economist Films. He joined The Economist as science correspondent in 1998 and was subsequently appointed technology editor, business editor and digital editor. He is the author of six history books, including “Writing on the Wall” (2013), “The Victorian Internet” (1998) and “A History of the World in 6 Glasses” (2005). He studied engineering and computing at Oxford University and has written for other publications including the New York Times, Daily Telegraph, Guardian and Wired, taking a particular interest in the internet’s cultural and historical significance.

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  • Steen Jakobsen (Chief Investment Officer at Saxo Bank)

    Steen Jakobsen

    Chief Investment Officer at Saxo Bank

    Steen Jakobsen joined Saxo Bank in 2000 and serves as Chief Investment Officer.
    As CIO he focuses on delivering asset allocation strategies and analysis of the overall macroeconomic and political landscape. As head of the SaxoStrats team, Saxo Bank’s in-house team of experts, he is responsible for all research including Quarterly Outlooks and was the founder of Saxo Bank’s renowned Outrageous Predictions. Prior to joining Saxo Bank, he worked with Swiss Bank Corp, Citibank, Chase Manhattan, UBS and served as Global Head of Trading, FX and Options at Christiania (now Nordea). Jakobsen’s approach to trading and investing is thought-provoking and not afraid to counter consensus. This frequently sparks debate among the global market community. On a daily basis Jakobsen and his team conduct research across asset classes, covering major macroeconomic developments, market moves, political events and Central Bank policies. With more than 30 years of experience, Jakobsen regularly appears as a guest host on CNBC and Bloomberg News.

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  • Joy Ajlouny (Co-Founder fetchr & Bonfaire/ Investor)

    Joy Ajlouny

    Co-Founder fetchr & Bonfaire/ Investor

    Joy Ajlouny founded Fetchr in 2015 to tackle the Middle East’s “no address” issue, which had been a significant hindrance to e-commerce growth in the region. Ajlouny facilitated $11m in initial investments and $41m in a series-B round in 2017, including from several Silicon Valley venture capital firms. The company now operates in five countries with 4,500 staff.

    Before founding Fetchr, Ajlouny was the driving force behind the e-commerce luxury fashion platform Bonfaire, which was acquired in 2013, just two years after its launch, by Moda Operandi, a fashion e-commerce giant owned by LVMH and Condé Nast.

    Ajlounby resigned from her position at Fetchr in 2019, to follow her passion for mentoring and funding entrepreneurs with innovative ideas. She is now regularly hired as a consultant for fashion startups, as well as by venture capitalists.

    Ajlouny was born and raised in California to Palestinian refugees.

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  • Philip L McKenzie (Cultural Anthropologist and Strategist)

    Philip L McKenzie

    Cultural Anthropologist and Strategist


    Philip L. McKenzie is an anthropologist who uses his expertise in culture to advise organizations on how best to thrive in an increasingly challenging and uncertain environment. Philip uses his quantitative background and Wall Street experience in combination with a qualitative understanding of social, economic and cultural movements to unmask complex opportunities and identify significant trends that impact and uncover viable futures.

    Philip’s work has placed him at the center of understanding the significance of culture as a reflection of shared values. As a result he is a sought after strategist working with a myriad of global organizations. He is a content creator and writer. He is the current Executive Director of Advancing Diversity and a columnist for MediaVillage. He is the creator and host of The Deep Dive, a leading culture and insights podcast.

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  • Simon Baptist (Global Chief Economist & Editorial Director of The Economist Intelligence Unit)

    Simon Baptist

    Global Chief Economist & Editorial Director of The Economist Intelligence Unit

    Simon Baptist is Editorial Director and Chief Economist at The Economist Intelligence Unit. Prior to his current role, he has held a number of other senior management and editorial positions in the business, including Managing Director for Asia, Regional Director of our Asia editorial team, Director of Global Forecasting, and Consulting Director in both Europe and Asia

    Simon’s focus is on the global economy, national and international political developments, and public policy. He engages with business, government and international organisations, helping them to understand the operational and strategic implications of the EIU’s forecasts.

    He has a doctorate in economics from and was a lecturer at Oxford University, along with degrees in economics and science from the University of Tasmania. His academic research investigated technology and the determinants of productivity in manufacturing firms.

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