World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017
18.01.2017

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Davos-Klosters, Switzerland 17-20 January

Responsive and Responsible Leadership

Global events this year have reminded decision-makers that the more complex a system, the greater a community’s concern about its future. The weakening of multiple systems has eroded confidence at the national, regional and global levels. And, in the absence of innovative and credible steps towards their renewal, the likelihood increases of a downward spiral of the global economy.

All the while the Fourth Industrial Revolution continues to drive the convergence of technologies that blur the lines between physical, digital and biological systems. Our interdependence will not diminish, but more agile, inclusive and collaborative responses are urgently needed to address the complexity and uncertainty in people’s lives. We must hone our capacity to manage the systems that underpin our prosperity and security.

Collaborative efforts in the 20th century yielded the norms, policies and institutions that collectively served as a protective system until today. It is imperative that we again shape such systems through more inclusive development efforts. Enhanced international cooperation and earnest multicultural dialogue are critical to advancing innovations for greater societal impact. The 47th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting therefore aims to rededicate leaders from all walks of life to achieve common goals and drive new initiatives.

The emergence of a multipolar world cannot become an excuse for indecision and inaction, which is why it is imperative that leaders respond collectively with credible actions to improve the state of the world. Responsive and Responsible Leadership is the theme driving the design of the programme, initiatives and projects of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017. By coming together at the start of the year, we can shape the future by joining this unparalleled global effort in co-design, co-creation and collaboration. The Annual Meeting in Davos remains a global platform unmatched in engaging leaders from across business, government, international organizations, academia and civil society in peer-to-peer working sessions. The programme’s depth and breadth make it a true summit of summits.

Responsive and Responsible Leadership requires recognizing that frustration and discontent are increasing in the segments of society that are not experiencing economic development and social progress. Their situation will only become more uncertain with the onset of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its impact on future employment. Responsive and Responsible Leadership therefore entails a deeper commitment to inclusive development and equitable growth, both nationally and globally. It also involves working rapidly to close generational divides by exercising shared stewardship of those systems that are critical to our prosperity. In the end, leaders from all walks of life at the Annual Meeting 2017 must be ready to react credibly and responsibly to societal and global concerns that have been neglected for too long.

Responding with Systems Leadership and Platform Engagement

The World Economic Forum was recognized in 2015 as the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation by the Federal Council of Switzerland. Therefore we offer our organizational capacity – including convening power, community management excellence, insight generation and platform technology – for the benefit of all actors responding to challenges related to the following 14 System Initiatives :

  • Shaping the Future of Consumption
  • Shaping the Future of Digital Economy and Society
  • Shaping the Future of Economic Growth and Social Inclusion
  • Shaping the Future of Education, Gender and Work
  • Shaping the Future of Energy
  • Shaping the Future of Environment and Natural Resource Security
  • Shaping the Future of Financial and Monetary Systems
  • Shaping the Future of Food Security and Agriculture
  • Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare
  • Shaping the Future of Information and Entertainment
  • Shaping the Future of International Trade and Investment
  • Shaping the Future of Long-Term Investing, Infrastructure and Development
  • Shaping the Future of Mobility
  • Shaping the Future of Production

Communities Committed to Improving the State of the World

Participation in the Annual Meeting is by invitation for the following Forum communities:

  • Chief executives and chairs of our 1,000 Partner and Member companies actively engaged in our International Business Council, Community of Chairman, Industry Governors, Regional Business Councils and System Initiative Stewardship Boards
  • Political leaders from the G20 and other relevant countries and the heads of international organizations engaged in high- level dialogues facilitated by the Informal Gathering of World Economic Leaders (IGWEL) programme
  • Members of our Global Future Councils, academic networks and Global University Leaders Forum collaborating with spiritual and cultural leaders and representatives from important civil society, labour and media organizations
  • A new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs represented by communities such as the Technology Pioneers, the Global Shapers Community, the Forum of Young Global Leaders and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

The objective in Davos is to engage these communities to advance multiple agendas such as:

The Global Agenda

To improve global governance through public-private cooperation by working in close collaboration with key international organizations and providing substantial, yet informal, input into major multilateral processes related to the 14 System Initiatives

The International Security Agenda

To convene public- and private-sector leaders together with defence, intelligence and public safety experts to prepare for and respond to a rapidly changing security landscape and multiple humanitarian crises

The Economic Agenda

To support multistakeholder efforts to deliver sustainable and inclusive economic development in the face of slowing growth rates, declining productivity and disruptive innovations

The Regional and National Agenda

To examine in depth the social and economic transformations occurring in all regions of the world through informal interaction with over 250 political leaders on trade and investment-related issues in various national and regional contexts

The Industry and Business Agenda

To shape the evolution of industry ecosystems and business models, particularly in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, by engaging industry leaders with their peers from government to better prepare for the future

The Future Agenda

To share ideas, innovations and discoveries that will reshape global systems by engaging those at the vanguard of change from fields such as the arts, media, medicine, science and technology, as well as the next generation of future leaders

Advancing these agendas with bold ideas to consider in the year ahead are the insights of our Global Future Councils , representing over 1,000 of the world’s leading thinkers. The Annual Meeting is also distinct in its development of new digital technology such as TopLink , our digital interaction platform and our world-leading Knowledge App , which features continuously updated contextual intelligence through our Transformation Maps . Traditional means will not lead to the innovations required to address global issues; the only way forward is a multistakeholder approach in the true Davos Spirit

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