As the rich and powerful from across the globe assemble this week in this Swiss ski resort town to discuss a ‘cohesive and sustainable world’, over 100 CEOs and also some Union and Chief Ministers from India would also be present alongside film star Deepika Padukone and Sadhguru.
While Ms. Padukone will talk about mental health and other issues, Sadhguru will hold morning meditation sessions at the summit being attended by over 3,000 world leaders. U.S. President Donald Trump, Britain’s Prince Charles, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Afghanistan’s Ashraf Ghani and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan would be among the world leaders attending the five-day 50th annual meeting of World Economic Forum (WEF) beginning Monday.
The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020, to take place over January 20-24, will focus on establishing stakeholder capitalism as a way of addressing the world’s greatest challenges, from societal divisions created by income inequality and political polarization to the climate crisis we face today, the Geneva-based International organisation for public-private partnership said.
From India, besides Ms. Padukone over 100 CEOs as well as political leaders including Union and Chief Ministers will take part. Underpinning the meeting will be the Davos Manifesto 2020, a document that builds on the original Davos Manifesto of 1973, which set out for the first time the stakeholder concept that businesses should serve the interests of all society rather than simply their shareholders’.
The Davos Manifesto 2020 provides a vision for stakeholder capitalism that touches on a range of important issues of our time, including fair taxation, zero tolerance for corruption, executive pay and respect for human rights. “Business has now to fully embrace stakeholder capitalism, which means not only maximizing profits, but use their capabilities and resources in cooperation with governments and civil society to address the key issues of this decade. They have to actively contribute to a more cohesive and sustainable world,” said Klaus Schwab, WEF Founder and Executive Chairman.
Core areas of activity
This year’s programme focuses on achieving maximum impact on the forum’s platform for public-private cooperation across six core areas of activity: Ecology, Economy, Society, Industry, Technology and Geopolitics.
Among the initiatives to be launched at the Annual Meeting is one that aims to plant 1 trillion trees over the next decade and to equip 1 billion people with the necessary skills in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Besides President Trump, Chancellor Merkel, Prince of Wales, President Ghani and Prime Minister Khan, top political leaders taking part include Han Zheng, Vice-Premier of the People’s Republic of China; Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy; Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission; Simonetta Sommaruga, President of the Swiss Confederation; Sebastian Kurz, Federal Chancellor of Austria and Ivan Duque, President of Colombia.
Leaders from international organizations include Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations; Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund; Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO); Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary-General, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC); Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; Liu Fang, Secretary-General, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO); Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); Christine Lagarde, President, European Central Bank; Peter Maurer, President, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Leaders from civil society taking part in the meeting include Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation; Luca Visentini, General Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation; Micah White, Co-Creator, Occupy Wall Street; Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch; Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director, Greenpeace International; David Miliband, President, International Rescue Committee.
Participation of young leaders
This year over 120 of civic-minded young leaders will also join as members of the WEF Global Shapers, Young Global Leaders, and Social Entrepreneur communities. The WEF said it will also welcome 10 leaders under the age of 20 representing viewpoints of younger generations.
Adding a new dimension this year is the Arts and Culture Festival. Running alongside the Annual Meeting, the Festival will feature a number of sessions and immersive art installations, including those featuring the participation of the winners of the 26th Annual Crystal Awards and Cultural Leaders.
The WEF has said the 2020 meeting aims to give a concrete meaning to “stakeholder capitalism”, assist governments and international institutions in tracking progress towards the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, and facilitate discussions on technology and trade governance.
Those who are registered from India include industry leaders Gautam Adani, Rahul and Sanjiv Bajaj, Kumar Mangalam Birla, N. Chandrasekaran of Tata Group, Uday Kotak, Rajnish Kumar of SBI, Anand Mahindra, Sunil and Rajan Mittal, Ravi Ruia, Pawan Munjal, Nandan Nilekani and Salil Parekh of Infosys, C. Vijayakumar of HCL Tech, Ajay Piramal, Rishad Premji, Ajay Singh and Pirojsha Godrej.