Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will attend the World Economic Forum in Switzerland this week, which economist Cameron Bagrie said can be viewed as a "talkfest" that doesn't have any mechanism to force change.
Mr Bagrie said the forum has the opportunity to be an important meeting for key world leaders hoping to talk about big picture issues, such as globalisation, disruption caused by climate change, and the need for international cooperation.
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However, he said the forum is often viewed as just a talkfest, without any proper mechanism to drive change.
"I suspect we're going to be talking about the same issues in 2020... in 2021.That's the unfortunate reality, if you look around the globe at the moment, we are seeing populism and self-interest dominating group interest," he said.
"If you want to address a lot of these big picture issues, like climate change, we need group interest to dominate self-interest."
He said disruption refers to issues like global warming, technological advances, and demographic changes, and could severely impact the future job market - something the education sector should consider.
"We've got to make some massive changes [in the education sector], not just in regard to addressing income and inequality, but getting those kids better trained for the fourth industrial revolution.
"Disruption, innovation is going to be a big threat to those jobs. It's not just about the kids, it's about retraining the adults. If you look at the education sector today, it's primarily set up to train the kids as opposed to look to retrain the adults".
The World Economic Forum was established in 1971 as an independent, impartial foundation striving to "demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest" and consider the effects of technological change on the economy.