The European Sting live from the World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

World Economic Forum 2015

So it’s time. The most prominent economic and political congress in the world opens its golden doors today. More than 40 heads of state accompanied by an exclusive selection of 2500 business leaders and social entrepreneurs are arriving this evening in the small city of 10.000 inhabitants at the heart of the Swiss Alps.

The 45th World Economic Forum is happening now and the world’s elite is convening to plan and decide pretty much all that is going to shape our lives in 2015. The European Sting is the only Brussels based European media that will be present in Davos to cover this magnificent Forum.

If anyone has doubts about the importance of the congress in the middle of the Swiss Alps, she just has to browse through the list of participants and be immediately convinced. Otherwise browsing through the names that follow in bold should also be enough: Ahmet Davutoğlu, Prime Minister of Turkey, Béji Caïd  Essebsi, President of Tunisia, François Hollande, President of France, Li Keqiang, Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of China, Angela Merkel, Federal Chancellor of Germany, John Kerry, US Secretary of State, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Matteo Renzi, Prime Minister of Italy, Simonetta Sommaruga, President of the Swiss Confederation, and Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa.

Starting to walk on the fragile post global crisis era it seems that collaboration and synergy is the only way to move forward now in the current global affairs, in order to ensure stability and safety in the world. This year’s Forum is addressing this matter and describes it as its mere scope. Further, the crisis has created a lot of distrust in all legs of the global society. Building trust is the key challenge this year for the founding father of WEF.

According to the Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, Mr Klaus Schwab“the World Economic Forum serves the international community as a platform for public-private cooperation. Such cooperation, to address the challenges we all face, is more vital than ever before. But it requires mutual trust. My hope is that the Annual Meeting serves as the starting point for a renaissance of global trust.”

The slogan of the World Economic Forum this year will be “The New Global Context”. The context of the congress refers to 10 challenges or thematic pillars which this year’s Forum aims to focus on: environment and resource scarcity, employment skills and human capital, gender parity, long-term investing, infrastructure and development, food security and agriculture, international trade and investment, future of the Internet, global crime and anti-corruption, social inclusion, and the future of financial systems. Of course topics inspired by current affairs will be also treated in the agenda like energy, geopolitical conflicts and pandemics.

The 4 day concise programme of the world’s greatest congress consists of 280 diverse sessions covering a wide range of crucial issues. 100 of them will be broadcast live and can be watched here. The most important thematic units are:

Crisis & Cooperation

  • Resolving geopolitical crisesWith conflicts continuing to destabilize Ukraine, the Middle East and other parts of the world, what can the international community do to help bring about a lasting peace? Registered participants include Abdel Fatah El Sisi, President of Egypt, H.M. King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Haïdar Al Abadi, Prime Minister of Iraq, Masoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region, Iraq, Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine.
  • Repercussions of climate change: As the world prepares for another round of post-Kyoto climate negotiations, what are the chances for success at the climate meeting in Paris? And how can the private sector contribute?
    Registered participants include Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Ollanta Moises Humala Tasso, President of Peru, and Al Gore, Vice-President of the United States (1993-2001); Chairman and Co-Founder, Generation Investment Management, USA.
  • Pandemics and health: As the outbreak of Ebola has shown, combating the spread of viruses is still a worldwide priority. At the same time, non-communicable diseases such as diabetes are becoming the world’s biggest silent killer. What can the world do to ensure global health going forward?
    Registered participants include Kofi Annan, Chairman, Kofi Annan Foundation, Switzerland; Secretary-General, United Nations (1997-2006), Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva, Alpha Condé, President of Guinea, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, President of the Republic of Mali, and Peter Piot, Director, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Executive Director, UNAIDS (1994-2008).

Growth & Stability

  • Diverging growth and monetary policies: As expansionary monetary policy in one part of the world comes to an end, central banks policies in other parts of the world are further incentivizing the growth and employment, with mixed results. What will 2015 bring in terms of growth and monetary policies around the world? Registered participants include Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Governors of the Central Banks of Brazil, Canada, England, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Switzerland.
  • The new energy context: As energy prices are dropping to five-year lows, what are the short- and long-term effects on the world? What does it mean for growth in emerging economies and the impact on climate change? Registered participants include Khalid Al Falih, President and Chief Executive Officer, Saudi Aramco, Mary Barra, Chief Executive Officer, General Motors Company, Abdalla Salem El Badri, Secretary-General, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Emilio Lozoya, Chief Executive Officer, Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX), and Patrick Pouyanné, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Executive Committee, Total, President and Chief Executive Officer.

 Innovation & Industry

  • Future of technology: As technology expands to virtually all aspects of the economy, how does it affect our lives? What good can technology do for the world? And what is the right balance between competition and innovation in the technology industry? Registered participants include Jack Ma Yun,Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group, Marissa Mayer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Yahoo, Satya Nadella¸ Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft Corporation, Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer and Member of the Board, Facebook Inc., Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google, USA, and Jimmy Wales, Founder and Chair Emeritus, Board of Trustees, Wikimedia Foundation. 

Society & Security

  • Income inequality and the development agenda: While many countries are still struggling to reinvigorate growth, the discussion in other countries revolves around the redistribution of wealth. How can we incorporate the needs of developing nations, struggling western economies, and the equality and parity questions?
    Registered participants include Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO), Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Undersecretary-General and Executive Director, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN), and Guy Ryder, Director-General, International Labour Organization (ILO).

All in all, the World Economic Forum 2015 is expected to be the best so far. The organiser has lifted the bar significantly higher than ever this year. We hope that this will be a great opportunity for the leaders of the world to table issues of the most culminant importance with outstanding co-operative thinking and clarity.

This is one of the few chances that all the big bosses come together.

Time to make the most of it for the betterment of this world.

Stay tuned at the European Sting as we will be reporting live for Davos from Wednesday onwards. 

For those who would like to have a pre taste of Davos before the fancy opening ceremony tonight, you can have a look at the pre-press conference of last week.

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