The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023, taking place 16-20 January in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, comes as multiple crises deepen divisions and fragment the geopolitical landscape. Leaders must address people’s immediate, critical needs while also laying the groundwork for a more sustainable, resilient world by the end of the decade.
“We see the manifold political, economic and social forces creating increased fragmentation on a global and national level. To address the root causes of this erosion of trust, we need to reinforce cooperation between the government and business sectors, creating the conditions for a strong and durable recovery. At the same time there must be the recognition that economic development needs to be made more resilient, more sustainable and nobody should be left behind,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum.
The programme of the 53rd Annual Meeting focuses on solutions and public-private cooperation to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges. It encourages world leaders to work together on the interconnected issues of energy, climate and nature; investment, trade and infrastructure; frontier technologies and industry resilience; jobs, skills, social mobility and health; and geopolitical cooperation in a multipolar world. Special emphasis is on gender and geographical diversity across all sessions. The full programme is available here.
Switzerland is the host country for the Annual Meeting. More than 2,700 leaders will participate this year, with a strong representation from all key regions of the world. Top political leaders taking part include:
Olaf Scholz, Federal Chancellor of Germany; Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission; Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament; Yoon Suk-yeol, President of the Republic of Korea; Cyril M. Ramaphosa, President of South Africa; Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain; Alain Berset, President of the Swiss Confederation 2023 and Federal Councillor of Home Affairs; Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan; Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium; Gustavo Francisco Petro Urrego, President of Colombia; Félix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland; Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece; Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach of Ireland; Maia Sandu, President of the Republic of Moldova; Aziz Akhannouch, Head of Government of Morocco; Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands; Ferdinand Marcos, President of the Philippines; Andrzej Duda, President of Poland; Aleksandar Vučić, President of Serbia; Samia SuluhuHassan, President of United Republic of Tanzania; Najla Bouden, Prime Minister of Tunisia.
As well as:
John F. Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate of the United States of America; Avril Haines, US Director of National Intelligence; Martin J. Walsh, Secretary of Labor of the United States; Katherine Tai, United States Trade Representative; Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Canada; Christine Lagarde, President, European Central Bank.
Heads of international organizations taking part include:
Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General; Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General, World Trade Organization; Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General, North Atlantic Treaty Organization; Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, World Health Organization; Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency; Catherine Russell, Executive Director, UNICEF; Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, President, International Committee of the Red Cross.
This year will bring about the highest ever business participation at Davos, with over 1,500 leaders registered across 700 organizations, including over 600 of the world’s top CEOs from the World Economic Forum’s Members and Partners, with top-level representation from sectors such as financial services, energy, materials and infrastructure, information and communication technologies. They come as governments increasingly look to business to take big ideas and put them into action quickly and inclusively. There will also be a strong representation of Global Innovators who are transforming industries, with more than 90 mission-driven leaders from the Forum’s Technology Pioneers and recently launched Unicorn communities.
Leaders from civil society taking part in the meeting include:
Seth F. Berkley, Chief Executive Officer, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; Stephen Cotton, General-Secretary, International Transport Workers’ Federation; Christy Hoffman, General-Secretary, UNI Global Union; Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, President, Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad; Azza Karam, Secretary-General, Religions for Peace; Oleksandra Matviichuk, Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2022 and President, Centre for Civil Liberties; David Miliband, President, International Rescue Committee; Luisa Neubauer, Climate Activist, Fridays for Future Movement; Kirsten Schuijt, Director-General, WWF International; and Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder, Art of Living Foundation.
Among the new initiatives at the Annual Meeting is the Global Collaboration Village, a purpose-driven metaverse that fosters more sustainable public-private collaboration and spurs action to deliver impact at scale. The first-ever metaverse multilateral meeting hosted by the Forum will bring together experts and leaders from finance, food and retail to drive action on ocean health and seafood waste.
This year more than 160 of the Forum’s civic-minded young leaders will join as members of our Global Shapers, Young Global Leaders and Social Entrepreneurs communities. We will also welcome nine Indigenous leaders bringing the knowledge and expertise of their communities to advance regional and global efforts in ecosystem restoration, inclusive trade and sustainable development.
More than 125 experts and heads of the world’s leading universities, research institutions, and think tanks will join the Meeting, bringing the latest facts, insights, science, and data into the programme and the Forum’s work.
The Arts and Culture programme features a number of sessions and immersive art installations on the preservation of coral reefs, displaced peoples and the global refugee crisis, gender equality and female empowerment, and global sea-level rise. It will include the 27th Annual Crystal Awards and our Cultural Leaders.
This year is the 20th anniversary of the Open Forum, which welcomes diverse people from around the world to listen and share experiences with experts and leaders on pressing issues. The theme is, Our Environment: Lessons, Challenges and Opportunities.
The 53rd Annual Meeting will also be climate-neutral for the sixth consecutive year. New initiatives to boost resource efficiency and reduce emissions will build on the Forum’s 2018 ISO 20121 certification for sustainable event management.