Premium Journalist
2 minute read
15 Dec 2016
6:38 pm

World Economic Forum to focus on five key challenges in 2017


More than 2 500 participants from nearly 100 countries will meet and participate in over 300 sessions.

File picture: AFP / Fabrice Coffrini
People have lunch during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting on January 24, 2015 in Davos, Switzerland

The 47th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) taking place in Switzerland next month will focus on five “critical” challenges for 2017.

In a statement on Thursday, WEF said the annual meeting in Davos-Klosters between 17-20 January would fall under the theme “Responsive and Responsible Leadership”.

WEF said the meeting would call on global leaders to “renew the systems that have supported international cooperation in the past by adapting them to today’s complex, multi-polar world in ways that foster genuinely inclusive and equitable growth”.

To this end, WEF said, the meeting programme would focus on five “gravity centres”, each constructed to help global leaders address distinct yet related critical challenges in 2017.

The five gravity centres include Strengthening Systems for Global Collaboration which would seek to update and re-design systems for international cooperation to better manage the effects of globalisation.

Addressing Identity through Positive Narratives which would seek to “inspire optimism and trust in the future, even as our world gets smaller and more complicated”.

The third aspect would focus on Revitalising the Global Economy through developing the skills and deploying the capital to address slow growth, unemployment and financing the Sustainable Development Goals.

The fourth component would be Reforming Market Capitalism by “addressing short-term thinking, self-interested behaviour and corruption to build a new compact between business and society”.

Lastly, the meeting would seek to Prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution by preparing workers and economies for the coming convergence of technology and humanity.

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of WEF, said: “Our world continues to become increasingly interdependent, even as political events signal a desire for isolation and a retreat from globaliSation. To address both of these daunting forces, we must strive for better global governance and leadership systems that are responsive to the need for social inclusion and responsible in finding constructive answers to our multiple global challenges.”

Co-Chairs who will help shape discussions at the annual meeting, include Brian Moynihan, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Bank of America, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Documentary Filmmaker from Pakistan, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Chief Executive Officer, Save the Children International, based in the United Kingdom, Frans van Houten, President and Chief Executive Officer, Royal Philips, in the Netherlands, and Meg Whitman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, in the US.

– African News Agency (ANA)