Amid increasing division and uncertainty that continue to destabilize the world, the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024 will bring together more than 2,800 leaders across geographies and industries to advance dialogue, strengthen cooperation and deepen partnerships on critical global challenges.
“We face a fractured world and growing societal divides, leading to pervasive uncertainty and pessimism. We have to rebuild trust in our future by moving beyond crisis management, looking at the root causes of the present problems, and building together a more promising future,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum.
The meeting’s programme will address the latest global developments and will draw on the forward-thinking work of the Forum and its stakeholders to deliver innovative, practical solutions. The meeting aims to revitalize and reimagine the cooperation necessary for advancing resilience and security; reviving economic growth that improves living standards; pursuing rapid action that protects the climate and nature while securing energy; ensuring technological developments are inclusive; and investing in people and equitable opportunities.
Global stakeholders meeting
Switzerland is the host country for the Annual Meeting. More than 300 public figures will participate this year, including more than 60 heads of state and government. There will be strong representation from all key regions of the world. Top political leaders taking part include:
Li Qiang, Premier of the People’s Republic of China; Emmanuel Macron, President of France;
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission; Javier Milei, President of Argentina;
Han Duck-soo,Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea; Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain;
Viola Amherd, President of the Swiss Confederation 2024 and Federal Councillor of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports; Volodymyr Zelenskyy,President of Ukraine; Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium; Gustavo Francisco Petro Urrego, President of Colombia; Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece; Mohammed Shyaa Al Sudani,Prime Minister of Iraq; Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach of Ireland; Bisher Hani Al Khasawneh, Prime Minister of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; William Samoei Ruto, President of Kenya; Najib Mikati, President of the Council of Ministers of Lebanon; Oyun-Erdene Luvsannamsrai, Prime Minister of Mongolia; Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands; Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President of Nigeria; Andrzej Duda, President of Poland; Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar; Aleksandar Vučić, President of Serbia; Tharman Shanmugaratnam,President of Singapore; Ranil Wickremesinghe,President of Sri Lanka; Isaac Herzog, President of the State of Israel; Srettha Thavisin, Prime Minister of Thailand; Pham Minh Chinh, Prime Minister of Viet Nam.
As well as:
Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State; Jake Sullivan, US National Security Adviser, and representatives from the Senate and House of Representatives.
Heads of international organizations taking part include:
António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General; Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund; Ajay S. Banga, President, World Bank Group; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General, World Trade Organization; Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary-General, North Atlantic Treaty Organization; Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization; Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme.
An estimated 1,600 business leaders, including 800-plus of the world’s top CEOs and chairs from the World Economic Forum’s Members and Partners, will participate. There will also be more than 150 Global Innovators, Tech Pioneers and Unicorns who are transforming industries.
More than 200 members of the Forum’s Global Shapers, Young Global Leaders and Social Entrepreneurs communities will join to showcase local innovations and solutions. Also taking part in the meeting will be more than 150 experts and heads of the world’s leading universities, research institutions and think tanks. More than 40 labour, nongovernment organization and religious leaders from civil society will take part as well.
Heads of civil society organizations include: Kirsten Schuijt, Director-General, WWF International; David Miliband, President, International Rescue Committee; Luc Triangle, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation; Tirana Hassan, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch.
The Annual Meeting 2024 will continue to be informative and accessible to the wider public through the livestreaming of over 200 sessions. In addition, the Open Forum, now in its 21st year, will host panel discussions open to the public under the theme “From Life to Lab: Science in Action”. The Global Collaboration Village will continue to advance its work at the meeting and broaden public access.
Throughout the week, sessions will feature the latest proposals for progress on global security, trade, economic growth, jobs, climate and nature action, the energy transition, technological disruption, and health and well-being. The full programme is available here.
“At a time when global challenges require urgent solutions, innovative public-private collaboration is necessary to convert ideas into action,” said Børge Brende, President, World Economic Forum. “The Forum provides the structure for developing research, alliances and frameworks that promote mission-driven cooperation throughout the year. Next week’s Annual Meeting will serve as an accelerator of that cooperation, deepening connections between leaders and between initiatives.”
On global cooperation, the Forum’s recently released Global Cooperation Barometer sets the stage for discussions by highlighting key areas where cooperation is possible, despite a more competitive global context. Sessions will examine regional partnerships, address ways to strengthen North-South collaboration and consider measures to shape an effective and inclusive trade system, with key initiatives such as the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation and the TradeTech initiative offering steps for practical, actionable reforms. The Forum also continues its tradition of providing a space for diplomacy, including for Ukraine and the Western Balkans. The Annual Meeting will be preceded by a gathering of 70 national security advisers in Davos on 14 January, co-hosted by the Ukrainian and Swiss governments.
On the economy,sessions will address the latest economic developments including industrial strategies, debt, the new high-rate reality and the jobs outlook, featuring leaders from international organizations, financial institutions and top economists. The Forum’s first Future of Growth Initiative will drive a two-year effort on the quality of growth. The Global Risks Report 2024 will, just ahead of the meeting, identify the top risks for the near term as well as the next decade, while the latest Chief Economists Outlook will focus on expectations for the global economy in 2024.
On climate, nature and energy, the Forum will build on the COP28 momentum and outcomes to scale the deployment of renewable energy, drive energy efficiencies and address energy demand, and protect and restore nature. The Forum will also advance the work of key initiatives, including the First Movers Coalition, Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders and Financing the Transition to a Net-Zero Future, as well as launch new initiatives to mobilize the energy transition investment required in the Global South and unlock investment for a nature-positive future.
On technology, the Forum aims to maximize the opportunities of rapid technological advancement while understanding and managing the risks. The meeting will see the release of the global cybersecurity outlook and insights on artificial intelligence. Sessions will advance the work of the EDISON Alliance to increase digital inclusion and the AI Governance Alliance to advocate for the responsible global design, development and deployment of inclusive AI systems.
On human development, the focus will be putting people at the centre of economic and technological transformations. Sessions will address income inequality, social mobility, modern supply-side economics, gender equality, and efforts to improve health and well-being. Key initiatives will include the Reskilling Revolution and the Gender Parity Sprint, as well as new efforts on an Equitable Transition and on Women’s Health parity.
The Arts and Culture programme, which includes the 30th Annual Crystal Awards and over 35 Cultural Leaders, focuses on the protection and preservation of the Amazon and its indigenous communities, the fight for gender equality, and the need to address forced displacement, natural disasters, planet pollution, mental health and well-being.