Global Communications Leaders Forecast New Media Impact on Future

Jerusalem, Israel – June 20, 2012: Cisco Chairman John Chambers, Publicis Chairman Maurice Levy, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, and Stephane Richard, Chairman and CEO of France Telecom Group, discussed how new media technology is shaping society, education, politics, economics and entertainment in a panel entitled, ‘What’s New in New Media,” during the Israeli Presidential Conference, Facing Tomorrow 2012.

The panelists discussed the power of new media, and how global citizens, not companies, are responsible for taking technology to new heights.

“We are entering into an era of change,” said Levy, who has spoken at each of the four Facing Tomorrow conferences. “What inventors are inventing is going beyond even their own imagination. The people, not the inventors, are owning technologies, and, through them, changing the world.”

The conversation then led to a discussion about the potential digital economy “bubble,” with several high-profile companies enjoying price-earnings multiples in the hundreds.

“We should – all of us – really wonder if we do not see a new bubble in the digital economy,” warned Richard, whose company – which has more than 200 million customers – is seen by many as undervalued. “The way the financial world is looking at digital is clearly a question – even some of the most famous names and brands.”

Other panelists responded by saying that the undervaluing of new innovative companies would compensate for the overvaluation of a few major industry leaders. Yet, all agreed that the key for the future will be to constantly seek new ways of advancing and to never remain content with the status quo.

“If you want to know where new media is going, think like your children,” said Chambers, focusing on the imagination necessary for success. “The companies that do not change, regardless of how strong their brand is today, will get left behind. We need to be ready to change.”

At the conclusion of the panel, Chambers and Israeli President Shimon Peres announced an expansion of their joint Ma’antech initiative, adding 12,000 jobs to the Israeli hi-tech sector.