Accessibility links

Elites Gather in Davos; Some Worry About Plunging Public Trust

  • Jim Randle

Klaus Schwab, World Economic Forum (WEF) Executive Chairman and founder speaks during the Crystal Awards ceremony of the annual meeting of the Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 16, 2017.

The founder of the World Economic Forum in Davos says it is time to favor "humanization" over "robotization and globalization." Klaus Schwab spoke Monday as political, economic, and social leaders gathered in the Swiss resort town of Davos for an annual discussion of economic and other problems.

In remarks to royalty, prime ministers, CEOs, and other elites, Schwab said it is time to reinvigorate the global economy, create jobs, and recreate confidence in the future. He said the world is overwhelmed by cynicism and pessimism, and called on members to repair deficiencies in capitalism and restore the social compact.

Angry, disillusioned voters recently surprised elites by moving Britain out of the European Union and electing political outsider Donald Trump to be President of the United States.

Those votes come at the same time Schwab said the world is undergoing extraordinary transformations of business, economies, society, and politics.

A global survey by the Edelman public relations firm, shows "the largest-ever" drop in trust of government, business, media, and NGOs. The company published its findings in advance of the gathering of Davos.

The study shows more than half of survey respondents think the current overall system is unfair and offers little hope for the future. Only about one in seven people said the system is working for them.

A separate survey of CEOs by a consulting company shows a slight majority plan to hire more people. The Price Waterhouse Coopers study, published just before Davos, also shows majorities of CEOs are worried about economic uncertainty, regulation, and finding enough workers with modern skills.Many also worried that protectionism could hurt international trade.

XS
SM
MD
LG