After a hiatus of nearly two and a half years, the Swiss ski resort town of Davos will once again host the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, at which a host of world leaders, including from India, are expected to discuss the crisis in Ukraine, climate change and many other problems that affect the world.
The high-profile annual powwow of the rich and powerful from around the world kicks off with a welcome reception on Sunday evening and continues through Thursday, May 26.
Those who will speak include Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, among a host of other world leaders.
From India, three Union ministers — Piyush Goyal, Mansukh Mandaviya and Hardeep Singh Puri — as well as several state leaders, including two chief ministers — Basavraj S Bommai and YS Jaganmohan Reddy — as well as KT Rama Rao of Telangana, Aditya Thackeray of Maharashtra and Thangam Thennarasu, along with several other public figures and a host of CEOs, will be discussing key issues here over the next six days.
In total, more than 50 heads of government or heads of state are expected to attend the annual meeting, which usually takes place here in January, when this small town is completely covered in snow, but this time it happens during sunny weather.
The 2021 annual meeting could not physically take place, while the 2022 one had to be postponed due to the Covid pandemic.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) said the 2022 annual meeting will focus on “history at a turning point,” the summit’s theme.
Topics covered include public policy and business strategies against the backdrop of the global pandemic, the war in Ukraine and geo-economic challenges.
The meeting will meet at a strategic point where public figures and world leaders will meet in person to reconnect, exchange insights, gain new perspectives and develop solutions.
The main priority of the meeting is to accelerate progress and make an impact in addressing global challenges and improving the state of the world, the WEF said.
After a two-and-a-half-year hiatus, the gathering will bring together nearly 2,500 leaders and experts from around the world, all committed to the “Davos Spirit” to improve the state of the world.
Against the backdrop of mounting global frictions and rifts and a once-in-a-century pandemic, the unprecedented global context calls for purpose and determination, and the meeting’s ambition is to address these challenges, the WEF said.
The World Economic Forum said it has strengthened its impact initiatives over the past two years, covering issues ranging from COVID-19 and climate change to education, as well as technology and energy management.
These include the Reskilling Revolution, an initiative to provide 1 billion people with better education, skills and jobs by 2030; an initiative on universal environmental, social and governance (ESG) statistics and disclosures to measure stakeholder capitalism; and the 1 Trillion Trees Initiative, 1t.org, to protect trees and forests and restore the planet’s ecosystems.
With the world at such a pivotal turning point, global companies and government leaders must work together to develop long-term policies and strategies that will revitalize the hard-hit global economy, amplify the progress made to advance the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the biggest threat to humanity – climate change, said the WEF, which describes itself as an international organization for public-private partnerships.
“The annual meeting is the first summit to bring together world leaders in this new situation characterized by an emerging multipolar world due to the pandemic and war.
“The fact that nearly 2,500 political, civil society and media leaders come together in person demonstrates the need for a trusted, informal and action-oriented global platform to address the challenges of a crisis-driven world,” said Klaus. Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum.
Running across the theme of the meeting are several priorities and issues that define the present moment and will shape the coming years.
The program will focus on six thematic pillars. These include promoting global and regional cooperation; how to restore stability in the midst of a new era of geopolitical conflict and tension and to promote trade, prosperity and partnerships; and securing economic recovery and shaping a new era of growth.
These also include how to stabilize the real economy and financial system, while also determining the future of balanced growth, globalization and development; and building healthy and just societies.
Leaders will also discuss how to move beyond the health emergency phase of the pandemic, rebuilding in its wake and strengthening health resilience to future threats, as well as investing in quality jobs, living wages, skills and education, not to mention the redefining stakeholder capitalism for a new context.
More than 1,250 private sector leaders will participate, along with nearly 100 Global Innovators and Technology Pioneers – the world’s most promising technology and business start-ups and scale-ups.
Civil society will be represented by more than 200 leaders from NGOs, social entrepreneurs, academia, labor organizations, faith-based and religious groups, and more than 400 media leaders and the press.
The annual meeting will also bring younger generations together, with 100 members of the Forum’s Global Shaper and Young Global Leader communities.
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