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Wikipedia

World Economic Forum

"WEF" redirects here. For other uses, see WEF (disambiguation).

The World Economic Forum (WEF), based in Cologny, Geneva Canton, Switzerland, is an international NGO, founded on 24 January 1971 by Klaus Schwab. It views its own mission as "improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas".

World Economic Forum
Headquarters in Cologny, Switzerland
FormationJanuary 1971; 50 years ago (1971-01) (as European Management Forum)
FounderKlaus Schwab
TypeInternational NGO
Legal statusFoundation
PurposeInternational Organization for Public-Private Cooperation
HeadquartersCologny, Switzerland
Region served
Worldwide
Official language
English
Klaus Schwab
Websitewww.weforum.org
Formerly called
European Management Forum

The WEF is mostly known for its an annual meeting at the end of January in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland. The meeting brings together some 3,000 business leaders, international political leaders, economists, celebrities and journalists for up to five days to discuss global issues, across 500 sessions.

The organization also convenes some six to eight regional meetings each year in locations across Africa, East Asia, Latin America, and India and holds two further annual meetings in China and the United Arab Emirates. Beside meetings, the organization provides a platform for leaders from all stakeholder groups from around the world – business, government and civil society – to collaborate on multiple projects and initiatives. It also produces a series of reports and engages its members in sector-specific initiatives.

The World Economic Forum and its annual meeting in Davos are criticised regarding the public cost of security while having amassed several hundred million Swiss francs in reserves and not paying federal taxes, the formation of a wealthy global elite without attachment to the broader societies, undemocratic decision processes, gender issues, a lack of financial transparency, unclear selection criteria and the environmental footprint of its annual meetings. As a reaction of criticism within the Swiss civic society, the Swiss federal government decided in February 2021 to reduce its annual contributions to the WEF.

Contents

Professor Klaus Schwab opens the inaugural European Management Forum in Davos in 1971.
F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela shake hands at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum held in Davos in January 1992.
José María Figueres stepped down from his role as CEO of the World Economic Forum in 2004.
Prince Andrew in his role as the UK's Special Representative for International Trade and Investment at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East, 2008.
Bill Gates speaks during the 'Gates Foundation' press conference at the Annual Meeting in Davos 2009.
Naoto Kan, then Japanese prime minister, gives a special message at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011.
Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman, World Economic Forum
The economics expert, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, as a World Economic Forum panelist in 2012

The WEF was founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab, a business professor at the University of Geneva. First named the European Management Forum, it changed its name to the World Economic Forum in 1987 and sought to broaden its vision to include providing a platform for resolving international conflicts.

In February 1971, Schwab invited 450 executives from Western European firms to the first European Management Symposium held in the Davos Congress Centre under the patronage of the European Commission and European industrial associations, where Schwab sought to introduce European firms to American management practices. He then founded the WEF as a nonprofit organization based in Geneva and drew European business leaders to Davos for the annual meetings each January.

The second European Management Forum, in 1972, was the first meeting at which one of the speakers at the forum was a head of government, President Pierre Werner of Luxembourg.

Events in 1973, including the collapse of the Bretton Woods fixed-exchange rate mechanism and the Yom Kippur War, saw the annual meeting expand its focus from management to economic and social issues, and, for the first time, political leaders were invited to the annual meeting in January 1974.

Political leaders soon began to use the annual meeting as venue for promoting their interests. The Davos Declaration was signed in 1988 by Greece and Turkey, helping them turn back from the brink of war. In 1992, South African President F. W. de Klerk met with Nelson Mandela and Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi at the annual meeting, their first joint appearance outside South Africa. At the 1994 annual meeting, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat reached a draft agreement on Gaza and Jericho.

In October 2004, the World Economic Forum gained attention through the resignation of its CEO and executive director José María Figueres over the undeclared receipt of more than US$900,000 in consultancy fees from the French telecommunications firm Alcatel. Transparency International had highlighted this incident in their Global Corruption Report in 2006.

In January 2006, the WEF published an article in its Global Agenda magazine titled "Boycott Israel", which was distributed to all 2,340 participants of the Annual Meeting. Following the publication, Klaus Schwab described the publication as "an unacceptable failure in the editorial process".

In late 2015, the invitation was extended to include a North Korean delegation for the 2016 WEF, "in view of positive signs coming out of the country", the WEF organizers noted. North Korea has not been attending the WEF since 1998. The invitation was accepted. However, WEF revoked the invitation on 13 January 2016, after the 6 January 2016 North Korean nuclear test, and the country's delegation was made to subject to "existing and possible forthcoming sanctions". Despite protests by North Korea calling the decision by the WEF managing board a "sudden and irresponsible" move, the WEF committee maintained the exclusion because "under these circumstances there would be no opportunity for international dialogue".

In 2017, the WEF in Davos attracted considerable attention when, for the first time, a head of state from the People's Republic of China was present at the alpine resort. With the backdrop of Brexit, an incoming protectionist US administration and significant pressures on free trade zones and trade agreements, Paramount leader Xi Jinping defended the global economic scheme, and portrayed China as a responsible nation and a leader for environmental causes. He sharply rebuked the current populist movements that would introduce tariffs and hinder global commerce, warning that such protectionism could foster isolation and reduced economic opportunity.

In 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the plenary speech, becoming the first head of government from India to deliver the inaugural keynote for the annual meet at Davos. Modi highlighted global warming (climate change), terrorism and protectionism as the three major global challenges, and expressed confidence that they can be tackled with collective effort.

In 2019, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gave the keynote address at the plenary session of the conference. On his first international trip to Davos, he emphasized liberal economic policies despite his populist agenda, and attempted to reassure the world that Brazil is a protector of the rain forest while utilizing its resources for food production and export. He stated that "his government will seek to better integrate Brazil into the world by mainstreaming international best practices, such as those adopted and promoted by the OECD". Environmental concerns like extreme weather events, and the failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation were among the top-ranking global risks expressed by WEF attendees.

In 2020, the Swiss police made the public aware that two "Russian spies", one of whom was disguised as a plumber, had travelled to Davos with diplomatic passports prior to the Annual Meeting. The Russian Embassy in Bern denied having carried out "preparatory work" for spying on the World Economic Forum.

The 2021 World Economic Forum was due to be held from 17 to 20 August in Singapore. However on 17 May the Forum was cancelled; a new meeting will take place in the first half of 2022 instead with a final location and date to be determined later in 2021.

Headquartered in Cologny, the WEF also has offices in New York, Beijing and Tokyo. In January 2015, it was designated an NGO with "other international body" status by the Swiss Federal Government under the Swiss Host-State Act.

On October 10, 2016, the WEF announced the opening of its new Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco. According to the WEF, the center will "serve as a platform for interaction, insight and impact on the scientific and technological changes that are changing the way we live, work and relate to one another".

The World Economic Forum claims to be impartial and that it is not tied to any political, partisan, or national interests. Until 2012, it had observer status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, when it was revoked; it is under the supervision of the Swiss Federal Council. The foundation's highest governance body is the foundation board.

The managing board is chaired by the WEF's president, Børge Brende, and acts as the executive body of the World Economic Forum. Managing board members are Børge Brende, Julien Gattoni, Jeremy Jurgens, Adrian Monck, Sarita Nayyar, Olivier M. Schwab, Saadia Zahidi, and Alois Zwinggi.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the World Economic Forum in 2009

Board of trustees

The WEF is chaired by founder and executive chairman Professor Klaus Schwab and is guided by a board of trustees that is made up of leaders from business, politics, academia and civil society. Members of the board of trustees include: Mukesh Ambani, Marc Benioff, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Mark Carney, Laurence D. Fink, Chrystia Freeland, Orit Gadiesh, Fabiola Gianotti, Al Gore, Herman Gref, José Ángel Gurría, André Hoffmann, Christine Lagarde, Jack Ma, Yo-Yo Ma, Peter Maurer, Luis Alberto Moreno, Muriel Pénicaud, H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, L. Rafael Reif, David M. Rubenstein, Mark Schneider, Klaus Schwab, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Jim Hagemann Snabe, Feike Sijbesma, Heizo Takenaka, Zhu Min.

Membership

The foundation is funded by its 1,000 member companies, typically global enterprises with more than five billion dollars in turnover (varying by industry and region). These enterprises rank among the top companies within their industry and/or country and play a leading role in shaping the future of their industry and/or region. Membership is stratified by the level of engagement with forum activities, with the level of membership fees increasing as participation in meetings, projects, and initiatives rises. In 2011 an annual membership cost $52,000 for an individual member, $263,000 for "Industry Partner" and $527,000 for "Strategic Partner". An admission fee cost $19,000 per person. In 2014, WEF raised annual fees by 20 percent, bringing the cost for "Strategic Partner" from CHF 500,000 ($523,000) to CHF 600,000 ($628,000).

Annual meeting in Davos

A sports shop has turned into a temporary informal reception location "Caspian week", WEF 2018.

The flagship event of the World Economic Forum is the invitation-only annual meeting held at the end of January in Davos, Switzerland, bringing together chief executive officers from its 1,000 member companies, as well as selected politicians, representatives from academia, NGOs, religious leaders, and the media in an alpine environment. The winter discussions ostensibly focus around key issues of global concern (such as the globalization, capital markets, wealth management, international conflicts, environmental problems and their possible solutions). The participants also take part in role playing events, such as the Investment Heat Map. Informal winter meetings may have led to as many ideas and solutions as the official sessions.

At the 2018 annual meeting, more than 3,000 participants from nearly 110 countries participated in over 400 sessions. Participation included more than 340 public figures, including more than 70 heads of state and government and 45 heads of international organizations; 230 media representatives and almost 40 cultural leaders were represented.

As many as 500 journalists from online, print, radio, and television take part, with access to all sessions in the official program, some of which are also webcast. Not all the journalists are given access to all areas, however. This is reserved for white badge holders. "Davos runs an almost caste-like system of badges", according to BBC journalist Anthony Reuben. "A white badge means you're one of the delegates – you might be the chief executive of a company or the leader of a country (although that would also get you a little holographic sticker to add to your badge), or a senior journalist. An orange badge means you're just a run-of-the-mill working journalist." All plenary debates from the annual meeting also are available on YouTube while photographs are available on Flickr.

Overview of past annual meetings
Year Dates Theme
1988 The new state of the world economy
1989 Key developments in the 90s: implications for global business
1990 Competitive cooperation in a decade of turbulence
1991 The new direction for global leadership
1992 Global cooperation and megacompetition
1993 Rallying all the forces for global recovery
1994 Redefining the basic assumptions of the world economy
1995 Leadership for challenges beyond growth
1996 Sustaining globalization
1997 Building the network society
1998 Managing volatility and priorities for the 21st century
1999 Responsible globality: managing the impact of globalization
2000 New beginnings: making a difference
2001 25–30 January Sustaining growth and bridging the divides: a framework for our global future
2002 31 January – 4 February Leadership in fragile times (Held in New York instead)
2003 21–25 January Building trust
2004 21–25 January Partnering for security and prosperity
2005 26–30 January Taking responsibility for tough choices
2006 25–29 January The creative imperative
2007 24–28 January Shaping the global agenda, the shifting power equation
2008 23–27 January The power of collaborative innovation
2009 28 January – 1 February Shaping the post-crisis world
2010 27–30 January Improve the state of the world: rethink, redesign, rebuild
2011 26–30 January Shared norms for the new reality
2012 25–29 January The great transformation: shaping new models
2013 23–27 January Resilient dynamism
2014 22–25 January The reshaping of the world: consequences for society, politics and business
2015 21–24 January New global context
2016 20–23 January Mastering the fourth industrial revolution
2017 17–20 January Responsive and responsible leadership
2018 23–26 January Creating a shared future in a fractured world
2019 22–25 January Globalization 4.0: shaping a global architecture in the age of the fourth industrial revolution
2020 20–24 January Stakeholders for a cohesive and sustainable world
2021 17–20 August TBD (to be held in Singapore instead of Davos as a result of COVID-19 pandemic)

Individual participants

Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia, at the 2010 World Economic Forum

Some 3,000 individual participants joined the 2020 annual meeting in Davos. Countries with the most attendees include the United States (674 participants), the United Kingdom (270), Switzerland (159), Germany (137) and India (133). Among the attendees were heads of state or government, cabinet ministers, ambassadors, heads or senior officials of international organizations) attended the annual meeting, including: Sanna Marin (prime minister of Finland), Ursula von der Leyen (president of the European Commission), Christine Lagarde (ECB president), Greta Thunberg (climate activist), Ren Zhengfei (Huawei Technologies founder), Kristalina Georgieva (managing director of the IMF), Deepika Padukone (Bollywood actress), George Soros (investor) and Donald Trump (president of the United States).

An analysis by The Economist from 2014 found that the vast majority of participants are male and more than 50 years old. Business accounts for most of the participants' background (1,595 conference attendees) with the remaining seats shared between government (364), NGOs (246) and press (234). Academia, which had been the basis of the first annual conference in 1971, had been marginalised to the smallest participant group (183 attendees).

Corporate participants

Next to individual participants, the World Economic Forum maintains a dense network of corporate partners that can apply for different partnership ranks within the forum. For 2019, Bloomberg has identified a total of 436 listed corporates that participated in the Annual Meeting while measuring a stock underperformance by the Davos participants of around -10% versus the S&P 500 during the same year. Drivers are among others an overrepresentation of financial companies and an underrepresentation of fast-growing health care and information technology businesses at the conference. The Economist had found similar results in an earlier study, showing an underperformance of Davos participants against both the MSCI World Index and the S&P 500 between 2009 and 2014.

Summer annual meeting

Wang Jianlin, Chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian

In 2007, the foundation established the Annual Meeting of the New Champions (also called Summer Davos), held annually in China, alternating between Dalian and Tianjin, bringing together 1,500 participants from what the foundation calls Global Growth Companies, primarily from rapidly growing emerging countries such as China, India, Russia, Mexico, and Brazil, but also including quickly growing companies from developed countries. The meeting also engages with the next generation of global leaders from fast-growing regions and competitive cities, as well as technology pioneers from around the globe. The Premier of China has delivered a plenary address at each annual meeting.

Regional meetings

Prithviraj Chavan, chief minister of Maharashtra, India; Sudha Pilay, member-secretary, Planning Commission, India; and Ben Verwaayen, chief executive officer, Alcatel-Lucent, France, were the co-chairs of the India Economic Summit 2011 in Mumbai.
Felipe Calderón, President of Mexico, speaking during Latin America Broadens Its Horizons, a session at the 2007 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum

Every year regional meetings take place, enabling close contact among corporate business leaders, local government leaders, and NGOs. Meetings are held in Africa, East Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The mix of hosting countries varies from year to year, but consistently China and India have hosted throughout the decade since 2000.

Young Global Leaders

The group of Young Global Leaders consists of 800 people chosen by the WEF organizers as being representative of contemporary leadership, "coming from all regions of the world and representing all stakeholders in society", according to the organization. After five years of participation they are considered alumni.

Social entrepreneurs

Since 2000, the WEF has been promoting models developed by those in close collaboration with the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, highlighting social entrepreneurship as a key element to advance societies and address social problems. Selected social entrepreneurs are invited to participate in the foundation's regional meetings and the annual meetings where they may meet chief executives and senior government officials. At the Annual Meeting 2003, for example, Jeroo Billimoria met with Roberto Blois, deputy secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union, an encounter that produced a key partnership for her organization Child helpline international.

Research reports

Two-time Academy Award winner, Pakistani journalist Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy at WEF in 2013

The foundation also acts as a think tank, publishing a wide range of reports. In particular, "Strategic Insight Teams" focus on producing reports of relevance in the fields of competitiveness, global risks, and scenario thinking.

Filipino businessman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala at WEF in 2009

The "Competitiveness Team" produces a range of annual economic reports (first published in brackets): the Global Competitiveness Report (1979) measured competitiveness of countries and economies; The Global Information Technology Report (2001) assessed their competitiveness based on their IT readiness; the Global Gender Gap Report examined critical areas of inequality between men and women; the Global Risks Report (2006) assessed key global risks; the Global Travel and Tourism Report (2007) measured travel and tourism competitiveness; the Financial Development Report (2008) aimed to provide a comprehensive means for countries to establish benchmarks for various aspects of their financial systems and establish priorities for improvement; and the Global Enabling Trade Report (2008) presented a cross-country analysis of the large number of measures facilitating trade among nations.

The "Risk Response Network" produces a yearly report assessing risks which are deemed to be within the scope of these teams, have cross-industry relevance, are uncertain, have the potential to cause upwards of US$10 billion in economic damage, have the potential to cause major human suffering, and which require a multi-stakeholder approach for mitigation.

In 2020, the forum published a report named: "Nature Risk Rising". In this report the forum estimated that approximately half of the global GDP is dependent highly or moderately on nature and 1 dollar spent on nature restoration yields 9 dollars in profit.

Initiatives

Health

The Global Health Initiative was launched by Kofi Annan at the annual meeting in 2002. The GHI's mission was to engage businesses in public-private partnerships to tackle HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and health systems.

Mohammad Khatami at Economic Forum in 2004

The Global Education Initiative (GEI), launched during the annual meeting in 2003, brought together international IT companies and governments in Jordan, Egypt, and India that has resulted in new personal computer hardware being available in their classrooms and more local teachers trained in e-learning. The GEI model, which is scalable and sustainable, now is being used as an educational blueprint in other countries including Rwanda.

On 19 January 2017 the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a global initiative to fight epidemics, was launched at WEF in Davos. The internationally funded initiative aims at securing vaccine supplies for global emergencies and pandemics, and to research new vaccines for tropical diseases, that are now more menacing. The project is funded by private and governmental donors, with an initial investment of US$460m from the governments of Germany, Japan and Norway, plus the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.

2020 meeting

Between January 21 and 24, 2020, at the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak, CEPI met with leaders from Moderna to establish plans for a COVID-19 vaccine at the Davos gathering, with a total global case number of 274 and total loss of life the virus at 16.

The WHO declared a global health emergency 6 days later.

Society

The Water Initiative brings together diverse stakeholders such as Alcan Inc., the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, USAID India, UNDP India, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Government of Rajasthan, and the NEPAD Business Foundation to develop public-private partnerships on water management in South Africa and India.

In an effort to combat corruption, the Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) was launched by CEOs from the engineering and construction, energy and metals, and mining industries at the annual meeting in Davos during January 2004. PACI is a platform for peer exchange on practical experience and dilemma situations. Approximately 140 companies have joined the initiative.

Environment

In the beginning of the 21st century, the forum began to increasingly deal with environmental issues. In the Davos Manifesto 2020 it is said that a company among other:

  • "acts as a steward of the environmental and material universe for future generations. It consciously protects our biosphere and champions a circular, shared and regenerative economy."
  • "responsibly manages near-term, medium-term and long-term value creation in pursuit of sustainable shareholder returns that do not sacrifice the future for the present."
  • "is more than an economic unit generating wealth. It fulfils human and societal aspirations as part of the broader social system. Performance must be measured not only on the return to shareholders, but also on how it achieves its environmental, social and good governance objectives."

The Environmental Initiative covers climate change and water issues. Under the Gleneagles Dialogue on Climate Change, the U.K. government asked the World Economic Forum at the G8 Summit in Gleneagles in 2005 to facilitate a dialogue with the business community to develop recommendations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This set of recommendations, endorsed by a global group of CEOs, was presented to leaders ahead of the G8 Summit in Toyako, Hokkaido, Japan held in July 2008.

In 2016 WEF published an article in which it is said, that in some cases reducing consumption can increase well-being. In the article is mentioned that in Costa Rica the GDP is 4 times smaller than in many countries in Western Europe and North America, but people live longer and better. An American study shows that those whose income is higher than $75,000, do not necessarily have an increase in well-being. To better measure well-being, the New Economics Foundation's launched the Happy Planet Index.

In January 2017, WEF launched the 'Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy' (PACE), which is a global public private partnership seeking to scale circular economy innovations. PACE is co-chaired by Frans van Houten (CEO of Philips), Naoko Ishii (CEO of the Global Environment Facility, and the head of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the International Resource Panel, Circle Economy and Accenture serve as knowledge partners.

The Forum emphasized its 'Environment and Natural Resource Security Initiative' for the 2017 meeting to achieve inclusive economic growth and sustainable practices for global industries. With increasing limitations on world trade through national interests and trade barriers, the WEF has moved towards a more sensitive and socially-minded approach for global businesses with a focus on the reduction of carbon emissions in China and other large industrial nations.

Also in 2017, WEF launched the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) for the Earth Initiative, a collaboration among WEF, Stanford University and PwC, and funded through the Mava Foundation. In 2018, WEF announced that one project within this initiative was to be the Earth BioGenome Project, the aim of which is to sequence the genomes of every organism on Earth.

The World Economic Forum is working to eliminate plastic pollution, stating that by the year 2050 it will consume 15% of the global carbon budget and will pass by its weight fishes in the world's oceans. One of the methods is to achieve circular economy.

The theme of the 2020 World Economic Forum annual meeting was 'Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World'. Climate change and sustainability were central themes of discussion. Many argued that GDP is failed to represent correctly the wellbeing and that fossil fuel subsidies should be stopped. Many of the participants said that a better capitalism is needed. Al Gore summarized the ideas in the conference as: "The version of capitalism we have today in our world must be reformed".

In this meeting the World Economic Forum:

  • Launched the Trillion Tree Campaign an initiative aiming to "grow, restore and conserve 1 trillion trees over the next 10 years around the world - in a bid to restore biodiversity and help fight climate change". Donald Trump joined the initiative. The forum stated that: "Nature-based solutions – locking-up carbon in the world’s forests, grasslands and wetlands – can provide up to one-third of the emissions reductions required by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement targets," adding that the rest should come from the heavy industry, finance and transportation sectors. One of the targets is to unify existing reforestation projects
  • Discussed the issue of climate change and called to expanding renewable energy, energy efficiency change the patterns of consumption and remove carbon from the atmosphere. The forum claimed that the climate crisis will become a climate apocalypse if the temperature will rise by 2 degrees. The forum called to fulfill the commitments in Paris Agreement. Jennifer Morgan, the executive director of Greenpeace, said that as to the beginning of the forum, fossil fuels still get three times more money than climate solutions.

At the 2021 annual meeting UNFCCC launched the 'UN Race-to-Zero Emissions Breakthroughs'. The aim of the campaign is to transform 20 sectors of the economy in order to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions. At least 20% of each sector should take specific measures, and 10 sectors should be transformed before COP 26 in Glasgow. According to the organizers, 20% is a tipping point, after which the whole sector begins to irreversibly change.

Coronavirus and green recovery

In April 2020, the forum published an article that postulates that the COVID-19 pandemic is linked to the destruction of nature. The number of emerging diseases is rising and this rise is linked to deforestation and species loss. In the article, there are multiple examples of the degradation of ecological systems caused by humans. It is also says that half of the global GDP is moderately or largely dependent on nature. The article concludes that the recovery from the pandemic should be linked to nature recovery.

The forum proposed a plan for a green recovery. The plan includes advancing circular economy. Among the mentioned methods, there is green building, sustainable transport, organic farming, urban open space, renewable energy and electric vehicles.

Global Future Councils

The Network of Global Future Councils meets annually in the United Arab Emirates and virtually several times a year. The second WEF annual meeting was held in Dubai in November 2017, when there were 35 distinct councils focused on a specific issue, industry or technology. In 2017 members met with representatives and partners of WEF's new Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Ideas and proposals are taken forward for further discussion at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters in January.

Global Shapers Community

The Global Shapers Community, an initiative of World Economic Forum, selects young leaders below 30 years old based on their achievement and potential to be change agents in the world. Global Shapers develop and lead their city-based hubs to implement social justice projects that advance the mission of World Economic Forum.

Future of Work

In regards to the Future of Work, the 2020 WEF set the goal of providing better jobs, access to higher quality education and skills to 1 billion people by 2030.

The Great Reset

Main article: The Great Reset

In May 2020, the WEF and the Prince of Wales's Sustainable Markets Initiative launched "The Great Reset" project, a five-point plan concerned with enhancing sustainable economic growth following the global recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. "The Great Reset" will be the theme of WEF's Annual Meeting in August 2021.

According to the Founder and Executive Chairman, of the forum, Klaus Schwab, the meaning of the project is to reconsider the meaning of capitalism and capital. While not abandoning capitalism, he proposes to change and possibly move on from some aspects of it including Neoliberalism, and Free-market fundamentalism. The role of corporations, taxation and more should be reconsidered. International cooperation and trade should be defended and the Fourth Industrial Revolution also.

This section may lend undue weight to certain ideas, incidents, or controversies. Please help improve it by rewriting it in a balanced fashion that contextualizes different points of view.(November 2020) ()

Physical protests

Protest march against the WEF in Basel, 2006

During the late 1990s, the WEF, along with the G7, World Bank, World Trade Organization, and International Monetary Fund, came under heavy criticism by anti-globalization activists who claimed that capitalism and globalization were increasing poverty and destroying the environment. About ten thousand demonstrators disrupted a regional meeting of the World Economic Forum in Melbourne, obstructing the path of two hundred delegates to the meeting. Small demonstrations are held in Davos on most but not all years, organised by the local Green Party (see Anti-WEF protests in Switzerland, January 2003) to protest against what have been called the meetings of "fat cats in the snow", a tongue-in-cheek term used by rock singer Bono.

After 2014, the physical protest movement against the World Economic Forum largely died down, and Swiss police noted a significant decline in attending protesters, 20 at most during the meeting in 2016. While protesters are still more numerous in large Swiss cities, the protest movement itself has undergone significant change. Around 150 Tibetans and Uighurs protested in Geneva and 400 Tibetans in Bern against the visit of China's paramount leader Xi Jinping for the 2017 meeting, with subsequent confrontations and arrests.

Growing gaps in wealth

A number of NGOs have used the World Economic Forum to highlight growing inequalities and wealth gaps, which they consider not to be addressed extensively enough or even to be fortified through institutions like the WEF. Winnie Byanyima, the executive director of the anti-poverty confederation Oxfam International co-chaired the 2015 meeting, where she presented a critical report of global wealth distribution based on statistical research by the Credit Suisse Research Institute. In this study, the richest one percent of people in the world own forty-eight percent of the world's wealth. At the 2019 meeting, she presented another report claiming that the gap between rich and poor has only increased. The report "Public Good or Private Wealth" stated that 2,200 billionaires worldwide saw their wealth grow by 12 percent while the poorest half saw its wealth fall by 11 percent. Oxfam calls for a global tax overhaul to increase and harmonise global tax rates for corporations and wealthy individuals.

Formation of a detached elite

The formation of a detached elite, which is often co-labelled through the neologism "Davos Man", refers to a global group whose members view themselves as completely "international". The term refers to people who "have little need for national loyalty, view national boundaries as obstacles that thankfully are vanishing, and see national governments as residues from the past whose only useful function is to facilitate the élite's global operations" according to political scientist Samuel P. Huntington, who is credited with inventing the neologism. In his 2004 article "Dead Souls: The Denationalization of the American Elite", Huntington argues that this international perspective is a minority elitist position not shared by the nationalist majority of the people.

In 2019, the Manager Magazin journalist Henrik Müller argued that the "Davos Man" had already decayed into different groups and camps. He sees three central drivers for this development:

  • Ideologically: the liberal western model is no longer considered a universal role model that other countries strive for (with China's digital totalitarianism or the traditional absolutism in the Persian Gulf as counter-proposals, all of which are represented by government members in Davos).
  • Socially: societies increasingly disintegrate into different groups, each of which evokes its own identity (e.g. embodied through the Brexit vote or congressional blockades in the USA).
  • Economically: the measured economic reality largely contradicts the established ideas of how the economy should actually work (despite economic upswings, wages and prices e.g. barely rise).

Public cost of security

The Swiss Civil Defense Police during the 2013 Annual Meeting in Davos

Critics argue that the WEF, despite having reserves of several hundred million Swiss francs and paying its executives salaries of around 1 million Swiss francs per year, would not pay any federal tax and moreover allocate a part of its costs to the public. Following massive criticism from politicians and the Swiss civil society, the Swiss federal government decided in February 2021 to reduce its annual contributions to the WEF.

As of 2018, the police and military expenditures carried by the Federal Government stood at 39 million Swiss francs. The Aargauer Zeitung argued in January 2020 that the additional cost borne by the Kanton Graubünden stand at CHF 9 million per year.

The Swiss Green Party summarised their criticism within the Swiss National Council that the holding of the World Economic Forum has cost Swiss taxpayers hundreds of millions of Swiss francs over the past decades. In their view, it was however questionable to what extent the Swiss population or global community benefit from these expenditures.

Gender debate

Further information: Gender bias

Females have been broadly underrepresented at the WEF, according to some critics. The female participation rate at the WEF increased from 9% to 15% between 2001 and 2005. In 2016, 18% of the WEF attendees were female; this number increased to 21% in 2017, and 24% in 2020.

Several women have since shared their personal impressions of the Davos meetings in media articles, highlighting that issues were more profound than "a quota at Davos for female leaders or a session on diversity and inclusion". The World Economic Forum has in this context filed legal complaints against at least three investigative articles by reporters Katie Gibbons and Billy Kenber that were published by the British newspaper The Times in March 2020.

Undemocratic decision making

According to the European Parliament's Think Tank, critics see the WEF as an instrument for political and business leaders to "take decisions without having to account to their electorate or shareholders".

Lack of financial transparency

Further information: Financial transparency

In 2017, the former Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung journalist Jürgen Dunsch criticized that financial reports of the WEF were not very transparent since neither income nor expenditures were broken down. In addition, he outlined that the foundation capital was not quantified while the apparently not insignificant profits would be reinvested.

Recent annual reports published by the WEF include a more detailed breakdown of its financials and indicate revenues of CHF 349 million for the year 2019 with reserves of CHF 310 million and a foundation capital of CHF 34 million. There are no further details provided to what asset classes or individual names the WEF allocates its financial assets of CHF 261 million.

The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung criticised in this context that the WEF had turned into a "money printing machine", which is run like a family business and forms a comfortable way to make a living for its key personnel. The foundation's founder Klaus Schwab draws a salary of around one million Swiss francs per year.

Unclear selection criteria

In a request to the Swiss National Council, the Swiss Green Party criticised that invitations to the annual meeting and programmes of the World Economic Forum are issued according to unclear criteria. They highlight that "despots" such as the son of the former Libyan dictator Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi had been invited to the WEF and even awarded membership in the club of "Young Global Leaders". Even after the beginning of the Arab spring in December 2010 and related violent uprisings against despot regimes, the WEF continued to invite Gaddafi to its annual meeting.

Environmental footprint of annual meetings

Critics emphasise that the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum is counterproductive when combating pressing problems of humanity such as the climate crisis. Even in 2020, participants travelled to the WEF annual meeting in Davos on around 1,300 private jets while the total emissions burden from transport and accommodation were enormous in their view.

Controversy with Davos municipality

In June 2021, WEF founder Klaus Schwab sharply criticised the "profiteering", "complacency" and "lack of commitment" by the municipality of Davos in relation to the annual meeting. He mentioned that the preparation of the Covid-related meeting in Singapore in 2021/2022 had created an alternative to its Swiss host and sees the chance that the annual meeting will stay in Davos between 40 and 70 per cent.

Since the annual meeting in January 2003 in Davos, an Open Forum Davos, which was co-organized by the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches, is held concurrently with the Davos forum, opening up the debate about globalization to the general public. The Open Forum has been held in the local high school every year, featuring top politicians and business leaders. It is open to all members of the public free of charge.

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World Economic Forum
world, economic, forum, language, watch, edit, redirects, here, other, uses, disambiguation, based, cologny, geneva, canton, switzerland, international, founded, january, 1971, klaus, schwab, views, mission, improving, state, world, engaging, business, politic. World Economic Forum Language Watch Edit WEF redirects here For other uses see WEF disambiguation The World Economic Forum WEF based in Cologny Geneva Canton Switzerland is an international NGO founded on 24 January 1971 by Klaus Schwab It views its own mission as improving the state of the world by engaging business political academic and other leaders of society to shape global regional and industry agendas 1 World Economic ForumHeadquarters in Cologny SwitzerlandFormationJanuary 1971 50 years ago 1971 01 as European Management Forum FounderKlaus SchwabTypeInternational NGOLegal statusFoundationPurposeInternational Organization for Public Private CooperationHeadquartersCologny SwitzerlandRegion servedWorldwideOfficial languageEnglishExecutive ChairmanKlaus SchwabWebsitewww wbr weforum wbr orgFormerly calledEuropean Management Forum The WEF is mostly known for its an annual meeting at the end of January in Davos a mountain resort in Graubunden in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland The meeting brings together some 3 000 business leaders international political leaders economists celebrities and journalists for up to five days to discuss global issues across 500 sessions The organization also convenes some six to eight regional meetings each year in locations across Africa East Asia Latin America and India and holds two further annual meetings in China and the United Arab Emirates Beside meetings the organization provides a platform for leaders from all stakeholder groups from around the world business government and civil society to collaborate on multiple projects and initiatives 2 It also produces a series of reports and engages its members in sector specific initiatives 3 The World Economic Forum and its annual meeting in Davos are criticised regarding the public cost of security while having amassed several hundred million Swiss francs in reserves and not paying federal taxes the formation of a wealthy global elite without attachment to the broader societies undemocratic decision processes gender issues a lack of financial transparency unclear selection criteria and the environmental footprint of its annual meetings As a reaction of criticism within the Swiss civic society the Swiss federal government decided in February 2021 to reduce its annual contributions to the WEF Contents 1 History 2 Organization 2 1 Board of trustees 2 2 Membership 3 Activities 3 1 Annual meeting in Davos 3 1 1 Individual participants 3 1 2 Corporate participants 3 2 Summer annual meeting 3 3 Regional meetings 3 4 Young Global Leaders 3 5 Social entrepreneurs 3 6 Research reports 3 7 Initiatives 3 7 1 Health 3 7 1 1 2020 meeting 3 7 2 Society 3 7 3 Environment 3 7 3 1 Coronavirus and green recovery 3 8 Global Future Councils 3 9 Global Shapers Community 3 10 Future of Work 3 11 The Great Reset 4 Criticism 4 1 Physical protests 4 2 Growing gaps in wealth 4 3 Formation of a detached elite 4 4 Public cost of security 4 5 Gender debate 4 6 Undemocratic decision making 4 7 Lack of financial transparency 4 8 Unclear selection criteria 4 9 Environmental footprint of annual meetings 4 10 Controversy with Davos municipality 5 Alternatives 6 See also 7 References 8 Sources 9 External linksHistory Edit Professor Klaus Schwab opens the inaugural European Management Forum in Davos in 1971 F W de Klerk and Nelson Mandela shake hands at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum held in Davos in January 1992 Jose Maria Figueres stepped down from his role as CEO of the World Economic Forum in 2004 Prince Andrew in his role as the UK s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East 2008 Bill Gates speaks during the Gates Foundation press conference at the Annual Meeting in Davos 2009 Naoto Kan then Japanese prime minister gives a special message at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011 Klaus Schwab founder and executive chairman World Economic Forum The economics expert Prime Minister Meles Zenawi as a World Economic Forum panelist in 2012 The WEF was founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab a business professor at the University of Geneva 4 First named the European Management Forum it changed its name to the World Economic Forum in 1987 and sought to broaden its vision to include providing a platform for resolving international conflicts In February 1971 Schwab invited 450 executives from Western European firms to the first European Management Symposium held in the Davos Congress Centre under the patronage of the European Commission and European industrial associations where Schwab sought to introduce European firms to American management practices 5 He then founded the WEF as a nonprofit organization based in Geneva and drew European business leaders to Davos for the annual meetings each January 6 The second European Management Forum in 1972 was the first meeting at which one of the speakers at the forum was a head of government President Pierre Werner of Luxembourg 7 Events in 1973 including the collapse of the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate mechanism and the Yom Kippur War saw the annual meeting expand its focus from management to economic and social issues and for the first time political leaders were invited to the annual meeting in January 1974 8 Political leaders soon began to use the annual meeting as venue for promoting their interests The Davos Declaration was signed in 1988 by Greece and Turkey helping them turn back from the brink of war In 1992 South African President F W de Klerk met with Nelson Mandela and Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi at the annual meeting their first joint appearance outside South Africa At the 1994 annual meeting Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat reached a draft agreement on Gaza and Jericho 9 In October 2004 the World Economic Forum gained attention through the resignation of its CEO 10 and executive director Jose Maria Figueres over the undeclared receipt of more than US 900 000 in consultancy fees from the French telecommunications firm Alcatel 11 Transparency International had highlighted this incident in their Global Corruption Report in 2006 12 In January 2006 the WEF published an article in its Global Agenda magazine titled Boycott Israel which was distributed to all 2 340 participants of the Annual Meeting 13 Following the publication Klaus Schwab described the publication as an unacceptable failure in the editorial process 14 In late 2015 the invitation was extended to include a North Korean delegation for the 2016 WEF in view of positive signs coming out of the country the WEF organizers noted North Korea has not been attending the WEF since 1998 The invitation was accepted 15 However WEF revoked the invitation on 13 January 2016 after the 6 January 2016 North Korean nuclear test and the country s delegation was made to subject to existing and possible forthcoming sanctions 16 17 Despite protests by North Korea calling the decision by the WEF managing board a sudden and irresponsible move the WEF committee maintained the exclusion because under these circumstances there would be no opportunity for international dialogue 18 In 2017 the WEF in Davos attracted considerable attention when for the first time a head of state from the People s Republic of China was present at the alpine resort With the backdrop of Brexit an incoming protectionist US administration and significant pressures on free trade zones and trade agreements Paramount leader Xi Jinping defended the global economic scheme and portrayed China as a responsible nation and a leader for environmental causes He sharply rebuked the current populist movements that would introduce tariffs and hinder global commerce warning that such protectionism could foster isolation and reduced economic opportunity 19 In 2018 Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the plenary speech becoming the first head of government from India to deliver the inaugural keynote for the annual meet at Davos Modi highlighted global warming climate change terrorism and protectionism as the three major global challenges and expressed confidence that they can be tackled with collective effort 20 In 2019 Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gave the keynote address at the plenary session of the conference On his first international trip to Davos he emphasized liberal economic policies despite his populist agenda and attempted to reassure the world that Brazil is a protector of the rain forest while utilizing its resources for food production and export He stated that his government will seek to better integrate Brazil into the world by mainstreaming international best practices such as those adopted and promoted by the OECD 21 Environmental concerns like extreme weather events and the failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation were among the top ranking global risks expressed by WEF attendees 22 In 2020 the Swiss police made the public aware that two Russian spies one of whom was disguised as a plumber had travelled to Davos with diplomatic passports prior to the Annual Meeting The Russian Embassy in Bern denied having carried out preparatory work for spying on the World Economic Forum 23 24 The 2021 World Economic Forum was due to be held from 17 to 20 August in Singapore 25 26 27 However on 17 May the Forum was cancelled a new meeting will take place in the first half of 2022 instead with a final location and date to be determined later in 2021 28 Organization EditHeadquartered in Cologny the WEF also has offices in New York Beijing and Tokyo In January 2015 it was designated an NGO with other international body status by the Swiss Federal Government under the Swiss Host State Act 29 On October 10 2016 the WEF announced the opening of its new Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco According to the WEF the center will serve as a platform for interaction insight and impact on the scientific and technological changes that are changing the way we live work and relate to one another 30 The World Economic Forum claims to be impartial and that it is not tied to any political partisan or national interests Until 2012 it had observer status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council when it was revoked it is under the supervision of the Swiss Federal Council The foundation s highest governance body is the foundation board 31 The managing board is chaired by the WEF s president Borge Brende and acts as the executive body of the World Economic Forum Managing board members are Borge Brende Julien Gattoni Jeremy Jurgens Adrian Monck Sarita Nayyar Olivier M Schwab Saadia Zahidi and Alois Zwinggi 32 Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the World Economic Forum in 2009 Board of trustees Edit The WEF is chaired by founder and executive chairman Professor Klaus Schwab and is guided by a board of trustees that is made up of leaders from business politics academia and civil society Members of the board of trustees include Mukesh Ambani Marc Benioff Peter Brabeck Letmathe Mark Carney Laurence D Fink Chrystia Freeland Orit Gadiesh Fabiola Gianotti Al Gore Herman Gref Jose Angel Gurria Andre Hoffmann Christine Lagarde Jack Ma Yo Yo Ma Peter Maurer Luis Alberto Moreno Muriel Penicaud H M Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan L Rafael Reif David M Rubenstein Mark Schneider Klaus Schwab Tharman Shanmugaratnam Jim Hagemann Snabe Feike Sijbesma Heizo Takenaka Zhu Min 33 Membership Edit The foundation is funded by its 1 000 member companies typically global enterprises with more than five billion dollars in turnover varying by industry and region These enterprises rank among the top companies within their industry and or country and play a leading role in shaping the future of their industry and or region Membership is stratified by the level of engagement with forum activities with the level of membership fees increasing as participation in meetings projects and initiatives rises 34 In 2011 an annual membership cost 52 000 for an individual member 263 000 for Industry Partner and 527 000 for Strategic Partner An admission fee cost 19 000 per person 35 In 2014 WEF raised annual fees by 20 percent bringing the cost for Strategic Partner from CHF 500 000 523 000 to CHF 600 000 628 000 36 Activities EditAnnual meeting in Davos Edit A sports shop has turned into a temporary informal reception location Caspian week WEF 2018 The flagship event of the World Economic Forum is the invitation only annual meeting held at the end of January in Davos Switzerland bringing together chief executive officers from its 1 000 member companies as well as selected politicians representatives from academia NGOs religious leaders and the media in an alpine environment The winter discussions ostensibly focus around key issues of global concern such as the globalization capital markets wealth management international conflicts environmental problems and their possible solutions 3 37 The participants also take part in role playing events such as the Investment Heat Map 38 Informal winter meetings may have led to as many ideas and solutions as the official sessions 39 At the 2018 annual meeting more than 3 000 participants from nearly 110 countries participated in over 400 sessions Participation included more than 340 public figures including more than 70 heads of state and government and 45 heads of international organizations 230 media representatives and almost 40 cultural leaders were represented 40 As many as 500 journalists from online print radio and television take part with access to all sessions in the official program some of which are also webcast 41 Not all the journalists are given access to all areas however This is reserved for white badge holders Davos runs an almost caste like system of badges according to BBC journalist Anthony Reuben A white badge means you re one of the delegates you might be the chief executive of a company or the leader of a country although that would also get you a little holographic sticker to add to your badge or a senior journalist An orange badge means you re just a run of the mill working journalist 42 All plenary debates from the annual meeting also are available on YouTube 43 while photographs are available on Flickr 44 45 Overview of past annual meetings Year Dates Theme1988 The new state of the world economy1989 Key developments in the 90s implications for global business1990 Competitive cooperation in a decade of turbulence1991 The new direction for global leadership1992 Global cooperation and megacompetition1993 Rallying all the forces for global recovery1994 Redefining the basic assumptions of the world economy1995 Leadership for challenges beyond growth1996 Sustaining globalization1997 Building the network society1998 Managing volatility and priorities for the 21st century1999 Responsible globality managing the impact of globalization2000 New beginnings making a difference2001 25 30 January Sustaining growth and bridging the divides a framework for our global future2002 31 January 4 February Leadership in fragile times Held in New York instead 2003 21 25 January Building trust2004 21 25 January Partnering for security and prosperity2005 26 30 January Taking responsibility for tough choices2006 25 29 January The creative imperative 46 2007 24 28 January Shaping the global agenda the shifting power equation2008 23 27 January The power of collaborative innovation2009 28 January 1 February Shaping the post crisis world2010 27 30 January Improve the state of the world rethink redesign rebuild2011 26 30 January Shared norms for the new reality2012 25 29 January The great transformation shaping new models2013 23 27 January Resilient dynamism 47 2014 22 25 January The reshaping of the world consequences for society politics and business2015 21 24 January New global context2016 20 23 January Mastering the fourth industrial revolution2017 17 20 January Responsive and responsible leadership2018 23 26 January Creating a shared future in a fractured world2019 22 25 January Globalization 4 0 shaping a global architecture in the age of the fourth industrial revolution2020 20 24 January Stakeholders for a cohesive and sustainable world 48 2021 17 20 August TBD to be held in Singapore instead of Davos as a result of COVID 19 pandemic Individual participants Edit Juan Manuel Santos President of Colombia at the 2010 World Economic Forum Some 3 000 individual participants joined the 2020 annual meeting in Davos Countries with the most attendees include the United States 674 participants the United Kingdom 270 Switzerland 159 Germany 137 and India 133 49 Among the attendees were heads of state or government cabinet ministers ambassadors heads or senior officials of international organizations attended the annual meeting including Sanna Marin prime minister of Finland Ursula von der Leyen president of the European Commission Christine Lagarde ECB president Greta Thunberg climate activist Ren Zhengfei Huawei Technologies founder Kristalina Georgieva managing director of the IMF Deepika Padukone Bollywood actress George Soros investor and Donald Trump president of the United States 50 An analysis by The Economist from 2014 found that the vast majority of participants are male and more than 50 years old Business accounts for most of the participants background 1 595 conference attendees with the remaining seats shared between government 364 NGOs 246 and press 234 Academia which had been the basis of the first annual conference in 1971 had been marginalised to the smallest participant group 183 attendees 51 Corporate participants Edit Next to individual participants the World Economic Forum maintains a dense network of corporate partners that can apply for different partnership ranks within the forum 52 For 2019 Bloomberg has identified a total of 436 listed corporates that participated in the Annual Meeting while measuring a stock underperformance by the Davos participants of around 10 versus the S amp P 500 during the same year Drivers are among others an overrepresentation of financial companies and an underrepresentation of fast growing health care and information technology businesses at the conference 53 The Economist had found similar results in an earlier study showing an underperformance of Davos participants against both the MSCI World Index and the S amp P 500 between 2009 and 2014 51 Summer annual meeting Edit Wang Jianlin Chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian In 2007 the foundation established the Annual Meeting of the New Champions also called Summer Davos held annually in China alternating between Dalian and Tianjin bringing together 1 500 participants from what the foundation calls Global Growth Companies primarily from rapidly growing emerging countries such as China India Russia Mexico and Brazil but also including quickly growing companies from developed countries The meeting also engages with the next generation of global leaders from fast growing regions and competitive cities as well as technology pioneers from around the globe 54 55 The Premier of China has delivered a plenary address at each annual meeting Regional meetings Edit Prithviraj Chavan chief minister of Maharashtra India Sudha Pilay member secretary Planning Commission India and Ben Verwaayen chief executive officer Alcatel Lucent France were the co chairs of the India Economic Summit 2011 in Mumbai Felipe Calderon President of Mexico speaking during Latin America Broadens Its Horizons a session at the 2007 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum Every year regional meetings take place enabling close contact among corporate business leaders local government leaders and NGOs Meetings are held in Africa East Asia Latin America and the Middle East The mix of hosting countries varies from year to year but consistently China and India have hosted throughout the decade since 2000 56 Young Global Leaders Edit The group of Young Global Leaders 57 consists of 800 people chosen by the WEF organizers as being representative of contemporary leadership coming from all regions of the world and representing all stakeholders in society according to the organization After five years of participation they are considered alumni Social entrepreneurs Edit Since 2000 the WEF has been promoting models developed by those in close collaboration with the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship 58 highlighting social entrepreneurship as a key element to advance societies and address social problems 59 60 Selected social entrepreneurs are invited to participate in the foundation s regional meetings and the annual meetings where they may meet chief executives and senior government officials At the Annual Meeting 2003 for example Jeroo Billimoria met with Roberto Blois deputy secretary general of the International Telecommunication Union an encounter that produced a key partnership for her organization Child helpline international 61 Research reports Edit Two time Academy Award winner Pakistani journalist Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy at WEF in 2013 The foundation also acts as a think tank publishing a wide range of reports In particular Strategic Insight Teams focus on producing reports of relevance in the fields of competitiveness global risks and scenario thinking Filipino businessman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala at WEF in 2009 The Competitiveness Team 62 produces a range of annual economic reports first published in brackets the Global Competitiveness Report 1979 measured competitiveness of countries and economies The Global Information Technology Report 2001 assessed their competitiveness based on their IT readiness the Global Gender Gap Report examined critical areas of inequality between men and women the Global Risks Report 2006 assessed key global risks the Global Travel and Tourism Report 2007 measured travel and tourism competitiveness the Financial Development Report 2008 63 aimed to provide a comprehensive means for countries to establish benchmarks for various aspects of their financial systems and establish priorities for improvement and the Global Enabling Trade Report 2008 presented a cross country analysis of the large number of measures facilitating trade among nations 64 The Risk Response Network 65 produces a yearly report assessing risks which are deemed to be within the scope of these teams have cross industry relevance are uncertain have the potential to cause upwards of US 10 billion in economic damage have the potential to cause major human suffering and which require a multi stakeholder approach for mitigation 66 In 2020 the forum published a report named Nature Risk Rising In this report the forum estimated that approximately half of the global GDP is dependent highly or moderately on nature and 1 dollar spent on nature restoration yields 9 dollars in profit 67 68 Initiatives Edit Health Edit The Global Health Initiative was launched by Kofi Annan at the annual meeting in 2002 The GHI s mission was to engage businesses in public private partnerships to tackle HIV AIDS tuberculosis malaria and health systems Mohammad Khatami at Economic Forum in 2004 The Global Education Initiative GEI launched during the annual meeting in 2003 brought together international IT companies and governments in Jordan Egypt and India 69 that has resulted in new personal computer hardware being available in their classrooms and more local teachers trained in e learning The GEI model which is scalable and sustainable now is being used as an educational blueprint in other countries including Rwanda On 19 January 2017 the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations CEPI a global initiative to fight epidemics was launched at WEF in Davos The internationally funded initiative aims at securing vaccine supplies for global emergencies and pandemics and to research new vaccines for tropical diseases that are now more menacing The project is funded by private and governmental donors with an initial investment of US 460m from the governments of Germany Japan and Norway plus the Bill amp Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust 70 2020 meeting Edit Between January 21 and 24 2020 at the early stages of the COVID 19 outbreak CEPI met with leaders from Moderna to establish plans for a COVID 19 vaccine at the Davos gathering 71 with a total global case number of 274 and total loss of life the virus at 16 72 The WHO declared a global health emergency 6 days later 73 Society Edit The Water Initiative brings together diverse stakeholders such as Alcan Inc the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation USAID India UNDP India Confederation of Indian Industry CII Government of Rajasthan and the NEPAD Business Foundation to develop public private partnerships on water management in South Africa and India In an effort to combat corruption the Partnering Against Corruption Initiative PACI was launched by CEOs from the engineering and construction energy and metals and mining industries at the annual meeting in Davos during January 2004 PACI is a platform for peer exchange on practical experience and dilemma situations Approximately 140 companies have joined the initiative 74 Environment Edit Further information Business action on climate change In the beginning of the 21st century the forum began to increasingly deal with environmental issues 75 In the Davos Manifesto 2020 it is said that a company among other acts as a steward of the environmental and material universe for future generations It consciously protects our biosphere and champions a circular shared and regenerative economy responsibly manages near term medium term and long term value creation in pursuit of sustainable shareholder returns that do not sacrifice the future for the present is more than an economic unit generating wealth It fulfils human and societal aspirations as part of the broader social system Performance must be measured not only on the return to shareholders but also on how it achieves its environmental social and good governance objectives 76 The Environmental Initiative covers climate change and water issues Under the Gleneagles Dialogue on Climate Change the U K government asked the World Economic Forum at the G8 Summit in Gleneagles in 2005 to facilitate a dialogue with the business community to develop recommendations for reducing greenhouse gas emissions This set of recommendations endorsed by a global group of CEOs was presented to leaders ahead of the G8 Summit in Toyako Hokkaido Japan held in July 2008 77 78 In 2016 WEF published an article in which it is said that in some cases reducing consumption can increase well being In the article is mentioned that in Costa Rica the GDP is 4 times smaller than in many countries in Western Europe and North America but people live longer and better An American study shows that those whose income is higher than 75 000 do not necessarily have an increase in well being To better measure well being the New Economics Foundation s launched the Happy Planet Index 79 In January 2017 WEF launched the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy PACE which is a global public private partnership seeking to scale circular economy innovations 80 81 PACE is co chaired by Frans van Houten CEO of Philips Naoko Ishii CEO of the Global Environment Facility and the head of United Nations Environment Programme UNEP 82 The Ellen MacArthur Foundation the International Resource Panel Circle Economy and Accenture serve as knowledge partners The Forum emphasized its Environment and Natural Resource Security Initiative for the 2017 meeting to achieve inclusive economic growth and sustainable practices for global industries With increasing limitations on world trade through national interests and trade barriers the WEF has moved towards a more sensitive and socially minded approach for global businesses with a focus on the reduction of carbon emissions in China and other large industrial nations 83 Also in 2017 WEF launched the Fourth Industrial Revolution 4IR for the Earth Initiative a collaboration among WEF Stanford University and PwC and funded through the Mava Foundation 84 In 2018 WEF announced that one project within this initiative was to be the Earth BioGenome Project the aim of which is to sequence the genomes of every organism on Earth 85 The World Economic Forum is working to eliminate plastic pollution stating that by the year 2050 it will consume 15 of the global carbon budget and will pass by its weight fishes in the world s oceans One of the methods is to achieve circular economy 86 87 The theme of the 2020 World Economic Forum annual meeting was Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World Climate change and sustainability were central themes of discussion Many argued that GDP is failed to represent correctly the wellbeing and that fossil fuel subsidies should be stopped Many of the participants said that a better capitalism is needed Al Gore summarized the ideas in the conference as The version of capitalism we have today in our world must be reformed 88 In this meeting the World Economic Forum Launched the Trillion Tree Campaign an initiative aiming to grow restore and conserve 1 trillion trees over the next 10 years around the world in a bid to restore biodiversity and help fight climate change Donald Trump joined the initiative The forum stated that Nature based solutions locking up carbon in the world s forests grasslands and wetlands can provide up to one third of the emissions reductions required by 2030 to meet the Paris Agreement targets adding that the rest should come from the heavy industry finance and transportation sectors One of the targets is to unify existing reforestation projects 89 Discussed the issue of climate change and called to expanding renewable energy energy efficiency change the patterns of consumption and remove carbon from the atmosphere The forum claimed that the climate crisis will become a climate apocalypse if the temperature will rise by 2 degrees The forum called to fulfill the commitments in Paris Agreement Jennifer Morgan the executive director of Greenpeace said that as to the beginning of the forum fossil fuels still get three times more money than climate solutions 90 At the 2021 annual meeting UNFCCC launched the UN Race to Zero Emissions Breakthroughs The aim of the campaign is to transform 20 sectors of the economy in order to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions At least 20 of each sector should take specific measures and 10 sectors should be transformed before COP 26 in Glasgow According to the organizers 20 is a tipping point after which the whole sector begins to irreversibly change 91 92 Coronavirus and green recovery Edit In April 2020 the forum published an article that postulates that the COVID 19 pandemic is linked to the destruction of nature The number of emerging diseases is rising and this rise is linked to deforestation and species loss In the article there are multiple examples of the degradation of ecological systems caused by humans It is also says that half of the global GDP is moderately or largely dependent on nature The article concludes that the recovery from the pandemic should be linked to nature recovery 67 The forum proposed a plan for a green recovery The plan includes advancing circular economy Among the mentioned methods there is green building sustainable transport organic farming urban open space renewable energy and electric vehicles 93 Global Future Councils Edit The Network of Global Future Councils meets annually in the United Arab Emirates and virtually several times a year 94 The second WEF annual meeting was held in Dubai in November 2017 when there were 35 distinct councils focused on a specific issue industry or technology 95 In 2017 members met with representatives and partners of WEF s new Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution 96 Ideas and proposals are taken forward for further discussion at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos Klosters in January 95 Global Shapers Community Edit The Global Shapers Community an initiative of World Economic Forum selects young leaders below 30 years old based on their achievement and potential to be change agents in the world 97 Global Shapers develop and lead their city based hubs to implement social justice projects that advance the mission of World Economic Forum Future of Work Edit In regards to the Future of Work the 2020 WEF set the goal of providing better jobs access to higher quality education and skills to 1 billion people by 2030 98 The Great Reset Edit Main article The Great Reset In May 2020 the WEF and the Prince of Wales s Sustainable Markets Initiative launched The Great Reset project a five point plan concerned with enhancing sustainable economic growth following the global recession caused by the COVID 19 pandemic lockdowns 99 The Great Reset will be the theme of WEF s Annual Meeting in August 2021 100 According to the Founder and Executive Chairman of the forum Klaus Schwab the meaning of the project is to reconsider the meaning of capitalism and capital While not abandoning capitalism he proposes to change and possibly move on from some aspects of it including Neoliberalism and Free market fundamentalism The role of corporations taxation and more should be reconsidered International cooperation and trade should be defended and the Fourth Industrial Revolution also 101 102 Criticism EditThis section may lend undue weight to certain ideas incidents or controversies Please help improve it by rewriting it in a balanced fashion that contextualizes different points of view November 2020 Learn how and when to remove this template message Physical protests Edit Protest march against the WEF in Basel 2006 During the late 1990s the WEF along with the G7 World Bank World Trade Organization and International Monetary Fund came under heavy criticism by anti globalization activists who claimed that capitalism and globalization were increasing poverty and destroying the environment About ten thousand demonstrators disrupted a regional meeting of the World Economic Forum in Melbourne obstructing the path of two hundred delegates to the meeting 103 Small demonstrations are held in Davos on most but not all years organised by the local Green Party see Anti WEF protests in Switzerland January 2003 to protest against what have been called the meetings of fat cats in the snow a tongue in cheek term used by rock singer Bono 104 After 2014 the physical protest movement against the World Economic Forum largely died down and Swiss police noted a significant decline in attending protesters 20 at most during the meeting in 2016 While protesters are still more numerous in large Swiss cities the protest movement itself has undergone significant change 105 Around 150 Tibetans and Uighurs protested in Geneva and 400 Tibetans in Bern against the visit of China s paramount leader Xi Jinping for the 2017 meeting with subsequent confrontations and arrests 106 Growing gaps in wealth Edit A number of NGOs have used the World Economic Forum to highlight growing inequalities and wealth gaps which they consider not to be addressed extensively enough or even to be fortified through institutions like the WEF Winnie Byanyima the executive director of the anti poverty confederation Oxfam International co chaired the 2015 meeting where she presented a critical report of global wealth distribution based on statistical research by the Credit Suisse Research Institute In this study the richest one percent of people in the world own forty eight percent of the world s wealth 107 At the 2019 meeting she presented another report claiming that the gap between rich and poor has only increased The report Public Good or Private Wealth stated that 2 200 billionaires worldwide saw their wealth grow by 12 percent while the poorest half saw its wealth fall by 11 percent Oxfam calls for a global tax overhaul to increase and harmonise global tax rates for corporations and wealthy individuals 108 Formation of a detached elite Edit The formation of a detached elite which is often co labelled through the neologism Davos Man refers to a global group whose members view themselves as completely international The term refers to people who have little need for national loyalty view national boundaries as obstacles that thankfully are vanishing and see national governments as residues from the past whose only useful function is to facilitate the elite s global operations according to political scientist Samuel P Huntington who is credited with inventing the neologism 109 In his 2004 article Dead Souls The Denationalization of the American Elite Huntington argues that this international perspective is a minority elitist position not shared by the nationalist majority of the people 110 In 2019 the Manager Magazin journalist Henrik Muller argued that the Davos Man had already decayed into different groups and camps He sees three central drivers for this development 111 Ideologically the liberal western model is no longer considered a universal role model that other countries strive for with China s digital totalitarianism or the traditional absolutism in the Persian Gulf as counter proposals all of which are represented by government members in Davos Socially societies increasingly disintegrate into different groups each of which evokes its own identity e g embodied through the Brexit vote or congressional blockades in the USA Economically the measured economic reality largely contradicts the established ideas of how the economy should actually work despite economic upswings wages and prices e g barely rise Public cost of security Edit The Swiss Civil Defense Police during the 2013 Annual Meeting in Davos Critics argue that the WEF despite having reserves of several hundred million Swiss francs and paying its executives salaries of around 1 million Swiss francs per year would not pay any federal tax and moreover allocate a part of its costs to the public 112 Following massive criticism from politicians and the Swiss civil society the Swiss federal government decided in February 2021 to reduce its annual contributions to the WEF 113 As of 2018 the police and military expenditures carried by the Federal Government stood at 39 million Swiss francs 114 The Aargauer Zeitung argued in January 2020 that the additional cost borne by the Kanton Graubunden stand at CHF 9 million per year 115 The Swiss Green Party summarised their criticism within the Swiss National Council that the holding of the World Economic Forum has cost Swiss taxpayers hundreds of millions of Swiss francs over the past decades In their view it was however questionable to what extent the Swiss population or global community benefit from these expenditures 116 Gender debate Edit Further information Gender bias Females have been broadly underrepresented at the WEF according to some critics The female participation rate at the WEF increased from 9 to 15 between 2001 and 2005 In 2016 18 of the WEF attendees were female this number increased to 21 in 2017 and 24 in 2020 117 118 Several women have since shared their personal impressions of the Davos meetings in media articles highlighting that issues were more profound than a quota at Davos for female leaders or a session on diversity and inclusion 119 120 121 The World Economic Forum has in this context filed legal complaints against at least three investigative articles by reporters Katie Gibbons and Billy Kenber that were published by the British newspaper The Times in March 2020 122 123 124 125 Undemocratic decision making Edit According to the European Parliament s Think Tank critics see the WEF as an instrument for political and business leaders to take decisions without having to account to their electorate or shareholders 126 Lack of financial transparency Edit Further information Financial transparency In 2017 the former Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung journalist Jurgen Dunsch criticized that financial reports of the WEF were not very transparent since neither income nor expenditures were broken down In addition he outlined that the foundation capital was not quantified while the apparently not insignificant profits would be reinvested 127 Recent annual reports published by the WEF include a more detailed breakdown of its financials and indicate revenues of CHF 349 million for the year 2019 with reserves of CHF 310 million and a foundation capital of CHF 34 million There are no further details provided to what asset classes or individual names the WEF allocates its financial assets of CHF 261 million 128 The German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung criticised in this context that the WEF had turned into a money printing machine which is run like a family business and forms a comfortable way to make a living for its key personnel The foundation s founder Klaus Schwab draws a salary of around one million Swiss francs per year 127 Unclear selection criteria Edit In a request to the Swiss National Council the Swiss Green Party criticised that invitations to the annual meeting and programmes of the World Economic Forum are issued according to unclear criteria They highlight that despots such as the son of the former Libyan dictator Saif al Islam al Gaddafi had been invited to the WEF and even awarded membership in the club of Young Global Leaders 129 Even after the beginning of the Arab spring in December 2010 and related violent uprisings against despot regimes the WEF continued to invite Gaddafi to its annual meeting 130 Environmental footprint of annual meetings Edit Critics emphasise that the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum is counterproductive when combating pressing problems of humanity such as the climate crisis Even in 2020 participants travelled to the WEF annual meeting in Davos on around 1 300 private jets while the total emissions burden from transport and accommodation were enormous in their view 131 132 Controversy with Davos municipality Edit In June 2021 WEF founder Klaus Schwab sharply criticised the profiteering complacency and lack of commitment by the municipality of Davos in relation to the annual meeting He mentioned that the preparation of the Covid related meeting in Singapore in 2021 2022 133 had created an alternative to its Swiss host and sees the chance that the annual meeting will stay in Davos between 40 and 70 per cent 134 135 Alternatives EditSince the annual meeting in January 2003 in Davos an Open Forum Davos 136 which was co organized by the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches is held concurrently with the Davos forum opening up the debate about globalization to the general public The Open Forum has been held in the local high school every year featuring top politicians and business leaders It is open to all members of the public free of charge 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zu WEF Geldern Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen SRF 11 June 2021 Bundesrat streicht dem WEF Geld Federal Council cancels WEF funding Die Sudostschweiz in German sda 24 February 2021 Davos stimmt ab Mehr Geld fur das WEF in German SRF ch Retrieved 23 January 2019 Fluri Lucien Das reiche WEF walzt Kosten fur die Sicherheit auf Bund und Kantone ab das stosst auf Kritik https www parlament ch de ratsbetrieb suche curia vista geschaeft AffairId 20203289 A Gibbs 2017 As world leaders descend upon Davos the gender debate rumbles on CNBC News Retrieved 17 January 2017 A Gibbs 2017 The percentage of women at Davos is greater than ever before Quartz Retrieved 19 November 2019 BuzzFeedNews Retrieved 19 May 2020 What It s Like To Be A Woman At The Old Boys Economic Forum 1 Horizontal trade looks to upswing at Davos meet The Local Retrieved 19 May 2020 2 Davos Impressions of a First Time Attendee The Journal Blog Retrieved 19 May 2020 3 https www thetimes co uk article dark side of davos den of prostitution and predators c77qwzd0j https www thetimes co uk article davos investigation at parties and events men tried to get sex m8w5fck89 https www thetimes co uk article businessman left davos party deciding no good could come of this 083s9hsnv https www thetimes co uk article client offered me prostitutes at davos party says consultant 8n8k269m5 The World Economic Forum Influential and controversial European Parliament Think Tank 19 January 2016 Retrieved 19 May 2020 a b Busse Caspar 17 January 2017 Das Weltwirtschaftsforum ist zu einer Geldmaschine geworden The World Economic Forum has become a money machine Suddeutsche Zeitung in German Annual Report 2018 2019 PDF World Economic Forum 2019 Retrieved 9 July 2021 https www parlament ch de ratsbetrieb suche curia vista geschaeft AffairId 20203289 https www swissinfo ch eng gaddafi s son to get wef invitation 29133964 https www theguardian com commentisfree 2020 jan 24 billionaires davos climate crisis world economic forum https www parlament ch de ratsbetrieb suche curia vista geschaeft AffairId 20203289 https www bloomberg com news articles 2021 05 17 world economic forum to cancel annual meeting in singapore https www 20min ch story wef chef droht davos wegen ueberrissener preise 917744096507 https www blick ch wirtschaft geschaeftemacherei selbstzufriedenheit wef gruender klaus schwab kritisiert davos scharf id16627148 html Open Forum Davos Schweizerischer Evangelischer Kirchenbund Openforumdavos ch Archived from the original on 2 February 2010 Retrieved 7 March 2010 Pigman p 130 Open Forum YouTube Retrieved 7 March 2010 Sources EditBornstein David 2007 How to Change the World Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas Oxford University Press New York City ISBN 978 0 19 533476 0 358 pages Kellerman Barbara 1999 Reinventing Leadership Making the Connection Between Politics and Business State University of New York Press Albany New York ISBN 978 0 7914 4071 1 268 pages Moore Mike 2003 A World Without Walls Freedom Development Free Trade and Global Governance Cambridge University Press Cambridge England New York City ISBN 978 0 521 82701 0 292 pages Pigman Geoffrey Allen 2007 The World Economic Forum A Multi Stakeholder Approach to Global Governance Routledge London England New York City ISBN 978 0 415 70204 1 175 pages Rothkopf David J 2008 Superclass The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making Farrar Straus and Giroux New York City ISBN 978 0 374 27210 4 376 pages Schwab Klaus M Kroos Hein 1971 Moderne Unternehmensfuhrung im Maschinenbau Verein Dt Maschinenbau Anst e V Maschinenbau Verl Frankfurt om Main Germany OCLC 256314575 Wolf Michael 1999 The Entertainment Economy How Mega Media Forces Are Transforming Our Lives Random House New York City ISBN 978 0 8129 3042 9 336 pages Behind the Scenes at Davos broadcast 14 February 2010 on 60 Minutes How to Open the World Economic Forum Matthias Lufkens in Interview with 99FACES tv Everybody s Business Strengthening International Cooperation in a More Interdependent World launched May 2010 Doha QatarExternal links EditListen to this article 20 minutes source source This audio file was created from a revision of this article dated 29 January 2016 2016 01 29 and does not reflect subsequent edits Audio help More spoken articles Media related to World Economic Forum at Wikimedia Commons Official website Klaus Schwab and Prince Charles on why we need a Great Reset at World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab in A Conversation with Henry Kissinger on the World in 2017 at World Economic ForumRetrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title World Economic Forum amp oldid 1036898916, wikipedia, wiki, book, books, library,

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