Davos Forum 2021: the Great Reset after the pandemic
This year, the Davos Forum will be celebrating its most special and challenging edition, in the midst of the ongoing COVID pandemic. For this reason, the 51st edition of the World Economic Forum (World Economic Forum, WEF) will be held in two phases: An virtual one in January and another one, face-to-face, in August. The summit will convene politicians, businessmen and representatives of social and cultural organizations at a crucial time for the world, under the tagline ‘The Great Reset‘.
For more than 50 years, the World Economic Forum, also known as the Davos Forum, has served as a global platform where leaders from business, government, international organizations, civil society and academia come together to address critical issues at the start of each year. In 2021, it will abandon its traditional format to adapt to the demands of the pandemic.
From January 25 to 29, the dates on which the event normally takes place, the Forum will hold a virtual round of so-called ‘Davos Dialogues’, where global leaders will share their insights into the state of the world in 2021.
The Davos Agenda will feature participation from heads of State and government, CEOs, civil society leaders, global media and youth leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and North America. Participants will discuss a broad variety of topics, including building a better future for work, sustainable development and harnessing the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
In addition, the Forum has scheduled an extraordinary meeting this year in Singapore, that will take place between August 17 and 20, according to the organization itself. This decision has been made factoring in criteria concerning the evolution of the pandemic in Asia and Europe. In 2022, the Forum expects to be able to convene again face to face in Davos (Switzerland).
The Singapore event will bring together the world’s leading figures in a number of fields to focus on shaping solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. According to Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, “a global leadership summit is of crucial importance to address how we can recover together.” “Public-private cooperation is needed more than ever to rebuild trust and address the fault lines that emerged in 2020,” he said on the occasion of the event.
Davos is the highest town in Europe
What is the Davos Forum?
The Forum is traditionally held in Davos, the highest town in Europe (1,560 meters). Surrounded by mountains, it houses the largest ski station in Switzerland. However, Davos is not famous for its snow but for hosting the World Economic Forum (WEF). This annual meeting is attended by political, business, cultural and media leaders who wish to take part in the international agenda.
Davos was established in 1971 in Geneva (Switzerland) as an “independent, impartial and not tied to special interests” non-profit organization. Its founder is Klaus M. Schwab, a professor at the University of Geneva, who initially invited 444 executives from European companies to a meeting on corporate governance in the convention center of Davos.
His idea was to introduce the American business management approach to European firms. He never imagined that that meeting would lead to the unparalleled international summit that it is today.
Thousands of ideas come out of the Davos Forum. Not all of them materialize, but some have come far: the North American Free Trade Agreement, signed between Canada, Mexico, and the United States, was first proposed at an informal meeting in Davos.
An Agenda for the Post-COVID World
The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that no institution or individual can take on the economic, environmental, social, and technological challenges of our world by itself. This crisis has bolstered trends that were evident even before its onset, such as digitization or the need for sustainable and inclusive development. In 2021, the Davos Forum faces the crossroads of rebuilding trust and to making crucial choices and the need to reset priorities and urgently reform systems.
To that end, in January an entire week of global programming will be dedicated to helping leaders choose innovative and bold solutions to stem the pandemic and drive a robust recovery over the next year. Each day will focus on one of the five domains of the Great Reset Initiative:
- Monday, January 25: Designing cohesive, sustainable and resilient economic systems.
- Tuesday, January 26: Driving responsible industry transformation and growth.
- Wednesday, January 27: Enhancing stewardship of our global commons.
- Thursday, January 28: Harnessing the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
- Friday, January 29: Advancing global and regional cooperation.
A total of 1,507 guests from the highest levels of leadership will participate virtually in the different meetings that will be held over the course of these five days, including Christine Lagarde, President of the ECB; and the prime ministers of the Netherlands and Greece. Teresa Ribera, Fourth Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge will participate on behalf of the Spanish government. BBVA Chairman Carlos Torres Vila will also attend this virtual forum.
First in January and then in August, this year Davos aims to become a pioneering mobilization of global leaders to shape the principles, policies and partnerships needed in this challenging new context It is essential for leaders from all walks of life to work together virtually for a more inclusive, cohesive and sustainable future as soon as possible in 2021.
A summit inspired by a sustainable manifesto
2020 saw the launch of a new ‘Davos Manifesto’ with the single objective of building a more sustainable, inclusive world.
Last year’s was the most sustainable annual summit held to date. It received IS0 20121 certification for sustainable events and will be totally carbon neutral. This accomplishment was possible thanks to policies aimed at using locally-sourced food suppliers, introducing alternative sources of protein to reduce meat consumption, sourcing 100% renewable electricity, reducing or eliminating the use of materials that cannot be recycled or easily re-used, and increasing the availability of electric vehicles.
Last year’s (2020) was the most sustainable annual summit held to date. It received IS0 20121 certification for sustainable events and will be totally carbon neutral.
How can you follow the World Economic Forum in Davos?
The Davos Agenda aims to inform the global public and the Forum’s 25,000,000+ social media followers on the key issues shaping the year ahead. It will also engage over 430 cities in 150 countries that host Global Shapers, a network of young people driving dialogue, action and change. More than 20,000 members of TopLink, its digital interaction platform, and over 400,000 subscribers to Strategic Intelligence, its world-leading knowledge app, will also be active online throughout the week’s programme.
There is no excuse to miss out: various channels have been set up where event discussions and agenda activities can be followed.
The conversations can be followed on Twitter at (@wef and @davos), under hashtag #wef20, and on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Also follow at LinkedIn, Google+, and Youtube
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