25th January 2019

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting and matters for humanity

The financial world’s event of the year in Davos, Switzerland, 22-25 January 2019, had an agenda more concerned with topics of broad human interest than perhaps ever before. Some items from the agenda this year are summarised below.

A Co-Chair’s story:
Mohammed Hassan Mohamud is a Somalian refugee who lived in Kenya’s Kakuma camp for 20 years. He doesn’t have a passport, an official date of birth and he’s never left Sub-Saharan Africa. Mohammed attends Davos to bring refugee rights to the global stage and make the financial community question how it thinks about the displaced people of the world.

Sir David Attenborough’s address:
David Attenborough took to the stage to deliver a call to action for global society to address the matters that will bring a brighter future. He brought to the minds of the audience the importance of the next two years, which will include United Nations decisions on climate change and sustainable development, and how they will form our “species” plan” for the future.

Globalization and climate change:
Environmental crises are among the biggest threats to global society for the next decade. The IPCC say we have only 12 years to act to avoid a highly dubious future. This year’s conference has brought to light the need for the governments and private institutions of the world’s nations to come together to build a solution.

What it means to be a global CEO in 2019:
Mark Weinberger, CEO of EY, and his discussion on how topics at Davos have evolved over the years and what that says about the changing role of a global CEO in the 21st century. In a world of emerging opportunity balanced against the uncertainty running through societies around the world, new skills are needed to navigate an international business.

These are just a taste of the topics in discussion, making this year’s WEF Annual Meeting acutely significant to the issues of the world in 2019.