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World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2018

Political, economic and social fractures risk dividing us, by fostering intolerance, indecision and inaction. The Davos meeting will call for leaders to work together in more than 400 session in order to create a shared narrative that will improve the state of the world


The global context has changed dramatically: geostrategic fissures have re-emerged on multiple fronts with wide-ranging political, economic and social consequences. Realpolitik is no longer just a relic of the Cold War. Economic prosperity and social cohesion are not one and the same. The global commons cannot protect or heal itself.

The World Economic Forum 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.

The 48th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos therefore aims to rededicate leaders from all walks of life to developing a shared narrative to improve the state of the world. The programme, initiatives and projects of the meeting are focused on Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.

By coming together at the start of the year, we can shape the future by joining this unparalleled global effort in co-design, co-creation and collaboration. The programme’s depth and breadth make it a true summit of summits.


“Have we actually learned the lessons of history? We haven’t really,” she said in a plenary session at Davos. The spirit of multilateralism that rebuilt Europe and formed our international institutions in the aftermath of the Second World War was now under threat, she said.

Angela Merkel at Davos: we need global cooperation, not walls

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the importance of multilateralism and warned that we haven’t learned from the darkest days of history

As the UK leaves the EU, it will still be an advocate of global trade, making new bilateral deals with countries across the world, says the British PM.

British Prime Minister Theresa May looked ahead to hi-tech life after Brexit

A special address by UK’s Theresa May

President Macron also called for the EU, which already opened the world’s first carbon trading market, to “go a little bit further and create a floor price for CO2.” Carbon markets work by providing a financial incentive to pollute less; many experts have called for a minimum price on carbon to boost progress.

Macron at Davos: I will shut all coal-fired power stations by 2021

France will shut down all coal-fired power stations by 2021, President Emmanuel Macron said in an energetic speech to participants at Davos

“Bitcoin is another really clever idea, I’m impressed with the technology, but it seems to me that it’s technology for something else…. I tend to think of Bitcoin as an interesting experiment, it’s not a permanent feature of our lives. We’re over-emphasising Bitcoin, we should broaden it out to blockchain, which will have other applications.”

Robert Shiller: Bitcoin is just an ’interesting experiment’

The Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller described Bitcoin as an “interesting experiment” rather than the future of our financial system

“AI is probably the most important thing humanity has ever worked on. I think of it as something more profound than electricity or fire,” he said. “Any time you work with technology, you need to learn to harness the benefits while minimising the downsides.”

Google CEO – AI will be bigger than electricity or fire

Artificial Intelligence will save us not destroy us, Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, said at Davos

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”If we don’t align together, human beings are going to fight each other, because each technology revolution makes the world unbalanced.”

Jack Ma on the IQ of love - and other top quotes from his Davos interview

By: EBR | Thursday, January 25, 2018

In Davos, Alibaba founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma spoke openly and at length about some of the key challenges facing the world, delivering a stream of perspectives and guidance

Still, there is good news for spurring growth and equity in the form of the billion or so women poised to engage in economic activity. Empowering women to participate equally in the global economy could add $28 trillion in GDP growth by 2025.

This is why women must play a greater role in the global economy

By: EBR | Thursday, January 25, 2018

For the last 30 years, trade has been one of the stabilising pillars of the global community – creating jobs, supporting the development and spreading of technology and ideas, boosting productivity, expanding consumer choice and enabling cross-border communications channels and supply chains

On that note, today, I am pleased to announce that Canada and the ten other remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership concluded discussions in Tokyo, Japan, on a new Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Justin Trudeau addresses the World Economic Forum

By: EBR | Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A transcript of Justin Trudeau's speech at the World Economic Forum 2018

In our liquid, digital economy, labor no longer ties down capital. While labor still depends on capital to supply the tools to be productive, capital itself is now weightless, free of spatial confinement.

Liquid Capitalism: Making Sense of Davos

By: EBR | Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Living under the modern conditions of “liquidity,” humans know that everything can happen—yet nothing can be done with confidence and certainty

Modi, leader of the fastest growing major economy in the world - as well as the world’s largest democracy - delivered a special address during which he also spoke about the opportunities and dangers of technology, India’s plan to fight income inequality, job creation, and how the country is “cutting the red tape and rolling out the red carpet” to international trade and investment.

Narendra Modi: These are the 3 greatest threats to civilization

By: EBR | Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Climate change, terrorism and the backlash against globalization are the three most significant challenges to civilization as we know it, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2018 in Davos, Switzerland

Developing country data show a similar disconnect between GDP growth and Inclusion. Of the 30 countries in the top two quintiles of GDP growth performance during the past five years, only 6 have scored similarly well on a majority of the Inclusion indicators, while 13 have been no better than mediocre and 11 have registered outright poor performances.

A new way to measure economic growth and progress

By: EBR | Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Global economic growth is making a stronger than expected comeback. It is likely to accelerate to as much as 4% in 2018 from 3.2% in 2016

Any one of these risks could disrupt the world trading system and global growth. Together, they remind us that global leadership matters. Progress is rarely rooted in conflict, although conflict is at times necessary for peace. The challenge today in a world of simmering conflict is how leaders will foster stability. Acting alone, history would suggest, has rarely worked.

Five reasons to lose sleep in 2018

By: EBR | Tuesday, January 23, 2018

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde reported in October 2017 that “the long-awaited economic recovery is taking root [with] the broadest-based acceleration since the start of the decade”

Now, ten years later, we look once again with optimism at our future, having managed the financial crisis and returned to strong economic growth. But still, we are stuck in a social crisis and there is no doubt that we are living in a fractured world. The big concern is that our optimism lets us forget that economic growth without restoring the social contract will not be sustainable.

The wold needs ’qualitative easing’ and business must lead

By: EBR | Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A message from Professor Klaus Schwab to the participants of Davos 2018

The challenge and opportunity before us today is to begin to think of development through the lens of environmental health. The environment as a primary concern, not an afterthought. The science has never been clearer. We know the impact, the consequences and the unsustainability of our development model. As we continue to connect in new ways, we must also reconnect to Earth.

It’s time to bring our planet back from the brink

By: EBR | Monday, January 22, 2018

As world leaders gather in Davos this week to discuss how to better shape our future through strengthened cooperation, it’s imperative to also focus on how to prevent the health of our planet from failing. This is not “doom and gloom” – the risk is real

The debate among leaders, technologists, futurists, employees of all stripes is on the profound impact AI will have on our workplace, our societies, our lives. The scale of this impact is hotly debated. Could machines replace us? Could they actually take over?

Machines can’t dream

By: EBR | Monday, January 22, 2018

People are concerned about robots

Science is universal and unifying. An apple falls in the same way whether it falls in a 17th-century English garden, inspiring Isaac Newton to develop his laws of universal gravitation; or whether it falls anywhere on earth at any time in history. It is this universality, coupled with a love for knowledge and understanding shared by all humanity, that gives science its power to transcend cultural and other differences.

Science is universal and unifying

By: EBR | Monday, January 22, 2018

The history of humankind is often told as the epic rise and fall of great empires, clashes of civilizations and epoch-defining conflicts

The first lesson I have learnt is the importance of finding, and following, a passion. In this respect I was fortunate from the start. I discovered my love of music when I was three years old. The first time I heard Elvis Presley I knew that was what I wanted to do. My passion arrived fully-formed.

Sir Elton John: 5 leadership lessons from my darkest hours

By: EBR | Monday, January 22, 2018

There is a lot to be learned about leadership, especially when you come, as I did, from one field into another.

This year at the World Economic Forum the challenge of female empowerment is also firmly on the agenda, because giving women and girls the opportunity to succeed is not only the right thing to do but can also transform societies and economies.

Why 2018 must be the year for women to thrive

By: EBR | Monday, January 22, 2018

The need for greater respect and opportunities for women is becoming an ever more prominent feature of the public conversation

Editor’s Column

The EP cacophony after Lagarde’s hearing

N. Peter KramerBy: N. Peter Kramer

On Wednesday Christine Lagarde had her ‘hearing’ in the EP’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

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