Davos Q&A: Ozwald Boateng - tailor to the stars - on his outlook

  1. 'I'm very excited about blockchain'
  2. 'I'm not going to state the obvious'
  3. 'Big threat to the world is restriction of new technology'

Ozwald Boateng is a British fashion designer perhaps best known for the fine-cut suits which have made men such as Richard Branson and Graham Norton look sharp. Of Ghanaian descent, Boateng changed traditional British tailoring by modernising the Savile Row look.

He’s been to the World Economic Forum before and works on projects to provide role models to black youth, and on development in African nations. He never looks underdressed.

WikiTribune: Are you more, less, or equivalently optimistic as you were at Davos this time last year?

Boateng: “I’m more optimistic actually, I just feel that there’s going to be a lot of changes this year, positive change. I am very passionate about development, particularly in Africa, so I am feeling that there’s particular technologies that are going to show themselves over the next year or so that are going to have a positive effect…[for example] I am very excited about the opportunity that blockchain brings, I think that is quite transformational in allowing a different form of record and access to capital.”

WikiTribune: What or who might be the biggest threat to the kinds of global ideas that underlie Davos?

Boateng: “I am not going to state the obvious. I am going to stay well clear of that. I don’t think there is one single major threat. I go back to technology and I think a big threat to the world is restriction of new technology and the impact that can have. If you think about the internet and what it did with information then trying to create laws to restrict it [would have thwarted it.]

WikiTribune: What news media do you consume the most?

Boateng: “I am still a bit old fashioned so it’s newspapers and the 24-hour news channels. I do a good spread, BBC, a bit of CNN, RT News, Al Jazeera. And newspapers, it’s become a bit harder…I still do a bit of The Times and The (Daily) Telegraph, mainly online.”

 

 

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    This Q&A has been edited for clarity and to remove elements which were off the record but is very close to the full four minutes, 12 second discussion we recorded in a noisy room.

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