In 2016, World Economic Forum (WEF) founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab proclaimed the fourth industrial revolution as a distinct evolution from its predecessor because of the rapid onset of ubiquitous change.

This revolution — the current environment in which disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing and the "internet of things," among others — is profoundly changing the way we live and work.

The complexity and scale of such change have seen the need for new means and approaches to linking intelligence, understanding and specialists at the global level.