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  • World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017

    3,000 people converge on a small town in the Swiss mountains for the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2017, running from 17 to 20 January. What are they doing there? Who are they and what do they hope to achieve?

The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.

The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

It was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests. The Forum strives in all its efforts to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance. Moral and intellectual integrity is at the heart of everything it does.

Its activities are shaped by a unique institutional culture founded on the stakeholder theory, which asserts that an organization is accountable to all parts of society. The institution carefully blends and balances the best of many kinds of organizations, from both the public and private sectors, international organizations and academic institutions.

The main belief is that progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life who have the drive and the influence to make positive change.


Last but not least, 100 leading businesses signed the Compact for Responsive and Responsible Leadership. The Compact was developed with the Forum’s International Business Council which will now develop a framework which will allow the measurement of a long-term approach.

10 achievements from Davos 2017

Our Annual Meeting is often described as a talking shop, but it is also a working meeting for dozens of different communities from all regions of the world, all ages and all sections of society.

“There are 3.6 billion people around the world aspiring to better income, to food on the table twice a day, once a day. To turn our back on globalization, to turn our back on helping development, is exactly the wrong approach. To say that globalization is bad because it destroys jobs is a very short cut for something that needs far more analytical work and understanding.”

The end of globalization? Davos disagrees

In the past few decades, globalization has narrowed the wealth gap between rich and poor countries, but fed into a growing crisis of inequality within Western countries

 ”The only way to get out of this is to remove moral hazard, stop confirming the image that we’re there to make life difficult, that it’s not the member states’ fault what happens in Brussels, that the North is imposing models that don’t work on the South, that the South is lazy. These are all lies, but they lead to a huge lack of trust within nations and between nations.”

‘This double game is destroying us’ – EU strikes back at its critics in Davos

Leaders of the European Union lashed out at the forces that could bring it down in an emotive session at Davos, days after Theresa May revealed that Britain was heading for a clean break

For all the talk of trade wars between the two economic powerhouses, Ma says that’s unthinkable, and thinks they would instead benefit from working together on this more inclusive form of globalization.

Jack Ma: America has wasted its wealth

Jack Ma, one of China’s most successful and richest entrepreneurs, has responded to America’s growing globalization backlash, arguing that the superpower has benefited immensely from the process – but that it has largely squandered its wealth

The forces of liberalism, free trade and globalisation that have had – and continue to have – such an overwhelmingly positive impact on our world, that have harnessed unprecedented levels of wealth and opportunity, that have lifted millions out of poverty around the world, that have brought nations closer together, broken down barriers and improved standards of living and consumer choice, forces that underpin the rules-based international system that is key to our global prosperity and security, are somehow at risk of being undermined.

Theresa May at Davos 2017: Her speech in full

Thank you Professor Schwab for that introduction, and thank you for inviting me to speak here at the World Economic Forum this morning

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