News / Economy

Davos Economic Forum to Tackle Challenges of a Changing World

World Economic Forum Executive Chairman and founder Klaus Schwab addresses a news conference in Cologny, near Geneva, Jan. 15, 2014.
World Economic Forum Executive Chairman and founder Klaus Schwab addresses a news conference in Cologny, near Geneva, Jan. 15, 2014.
Lisa Schlein
A stellar cast of more than 2,500 business, government, academic and civil society leaders are expected to attend this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.  The meeting, which takes place from January 22 to 25, will address the challenges facing today’s changing world. 

As in previous years, glitz and glamour will be in abundant supply at the World  Economic Forum.  Security will be tight in the small Swiss Alpine town of Davos to protect some of the world’s leading movers and shakers.  

Among the more than 40 heads of state expected to attend are the prime ministers of Australia, Japan, and the United Kingdom, and the presidents of Mexico, South Korea and Brazil.  

For the first time since 2004, a sitting president of Iran will come to Davos.  Forum organizers say Hassan Rouhani will speak about Iran’s place in the world and present his view of Iran’s relationship with the rest of the world.  

The list of luminaries expected to attend is extensive.  Many will participate in panel discussions focused on this year’s unwieldy theme -- “The Reshaping of the World:  Consequences for Society, Politics and Business.”

The forum's founder and executive chairman, Klaus Schwab, says some of today's best minds will be asked to try to unravel the world's complexities.  He says they will be asked to look at hot-button issues, such as the situation in the Middle East.  They also will be asked to address fundamental underlying development issues, including the new digital and technological landscape, job creation and global warming.

“What we want to do in Davos this year in this respect is to push the reset button," he said. "Let me explain. The world is much too much still caught in a crisis management mode and we forget that we should take now into our hands and we should look for solutions for the really fundamental issues.  We should look at our future in a much more constructive, in a much more strategic way.”  

Among the many highlights in the program are sessions on climate change and the post-2015 development goals, the future of health and healthcare, and the pressing problem of youth unemployment.  Others include panels on economic prospects for major emerging economies including China, India, Brazil, Mexico and Russia.  The future of North Africa and the Middle East also will be discussed.

Africa, too, will figure prominently, but differently from previous years.  Nearly 40 African leaders, among them nine heads of government, will attend, including the presidents of Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, Ghana and Liberia.

In a departure from traditional practice, WEF Director, Head of Africa, Elsie Kanza, says this year there will be no formal sessions devoted to Africa.  She tells VOA African issues will be dealt with on the sidelines of the meeting, or they will be integrated into other global topics that are addressed.

“Something that is important from the African community, and which we paid heed to this year, is that they were tired of being boxed into an Africa corner," she said. "They said Africa is very much part of the world and Davos is really a platform that is global, and that therefore what you have is African voices on global issues.”

Kanza says African leaders do not want their issues to be treated as isolated cases.  She says they want to be seen as equals to all others who attend the meeting.  They say they want the Davos focus to be more on Africa’s place in the world, rather than on the continent or region of origin.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama, Modi Break Nuclear Deal Deadlock

Impasse over liability issues had been stalling bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation; deal reached at start of US president's three-day visit to India More

WHO's Late Efforts in Tackling Ebola Highlight Need for Reform

Health experts debate measures to reform agency’s response to global public health emergencies in special one-day session on deadly outbreak More

One Tumultuous Year in Power for CAR's President

As sectarian violence raged across Central African Republic, interim President Catherine Samba-Panza has Herculean task: to end civil war and put country back on right track More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8930
JPY
USD
117.98
GBP
USD
0.6673
CAD
USD
1.2445
INR
USD
61.498

Rates may not be current.