World’s most pressing issues and long-term challenges, include inequality, climate change and terrorism.

 Highlights from Davos 2015

  • To reduce inequality, the best answer is growth. More optimism because the US economy is coming back.
  • Need to increase the impact that global growth has on the poorest. Improving healthcare and the quality of education are proven both to reduce inequality and foster sustainable growth.
  • 2015 is the ultimate test to see if public-private partnerships really work.
  • Growth must touch everybody and lift everybody if it is to be sustainable. Many business leaders are ready to commit to reducing inequality and to mitigating the impact of climate change but political leaders are falling behind.
  • Governments are being delegitimized in many parts of the world. They are struggling to keep up. However, there are promising signs for 2015, including the European Central Bank’s adoption of quantitative easing and the boom in alternative energies, which low oil prices will not stop.
  • Need to ensure a relatively high employment rate, especially sufficient employment for young people. And need to optimize income distribution and raise people’s welfare.
  • Climate change was top of the agenda, following an invitation by the French government to galvanize public-private support for the 2015 UN climate change conference in Paris later this year.
  • Need to reignite Europe’s growth engine. The European direction must stress the importance of growth and public and private investment, not only austerity. Austerity is often pitted against so-called growth and there is a need for a growth-oriented, sound fiscal policy, investments by the state, and an environment which encourages private investors to take out investments.
  • Deflation and secular stagnation are the risks of our time. The world is in a currency war. One of the easier ways to stimulate economy is to weaken currency.
  • There cannot be prosperity without security. Private sector should play a role as there needs to be a global international response. It needs to be international and it needs to be shared, also by business, particularly the largest corporations. Eliminating the terrorists that confront us today actually only solves part of the problem. We have to do more to avoid an endless cycle of violent extremism. We have to transform the very environment from which these forces emerge.
  • We’ve got to get this balance between privacy and legitimate public safety. The internet is one of the greatest global goods. If we destroy it, we destroy a lot of our economic future. Increasing access should be key. If we can extend the internet to more people, we increase economic opportunities and equality.
  • The Forum gained formal status under the Swiss Host State Act, confirming its role as an international institution for public-private cooperation. Through this recognition, Switzerland has shown not only its full support for the World Economic Forum’s mission but also its commitment to further enhance Geneva’s role as a centre for international cooperation.
  • The meeting created momentum for the Forum’s regional agendas, thanks to strong representation from governments and business leaders from emerging markets, including Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey and South Africa, in addition to those from Brazil, Russia, India and China.
  • African leaders gathered to discuss the Forum’s Africa Strategic Infrastructure Initiative. Mexican stakeholders worked to advance and sustain the country’s long-term growth reforms. The cabinets of Brazil, Russia and India were all represented by senior ministers.
  • A number of key stakeholders from Libya, Syria and Ukraine gathered for informal talks. Topics included the mitigation of the impact of the Syrian conflict on its population and the reversal of the emergency situation in Libya. This was part of the Forum’s long-standing commitment to improve the state of the world, which also includes ongoing engagement on Palestinian-Israeli relations.
  • Against the background of ongoing conflict, the Forum also convened an expanded meeting of business leaders from Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Europe and the United States as part of its ongoing Geneva-Ukraine Initiative. At the meeting, all participants reaffirmed their commitment to a common approach, despite the very tense circumstances, to help resolve the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
  • The Shaping Davos initiative brought together Global Shapers from around the world. Over the course of 16 live sessions, 40 cities connected to the meeting in Davos. These included Gaza, Juba, Erbil, Paramaribo and San Salvador. The spirit of Davos was present in all these cities as Global Shapers hosted local conversations on the meeting’s topics.
  • The Forum launched a new Global Challenge Initiative on Food Security and Agriculture, with support from the Government of Canada and a broad network of stakeholders. The initiative will work to achieve sustainable and inclusive food systems through investment, innovation and collaboration.
  • The Forum also presented its Transformation Maps, and urged participants to travel around Davos on foot, with its Walk for Education project, resulting in a donation of 2,500 bicycles to children in rural South Africa.

In the run-up to and during the meeting, the Forum launched the following reports:

  1.  Global Risks 2015
  2. The Future of Electricity
  3. Maximizing Healthy Life years: Investments that Pay Off
  4. Partnering for Cyber Resilience: Towards the Quantification of Cyber Threats
  5. The Business of Creativity: Seeking Value in the Digital Content Ecosystem
  6. Data-Driven Development: Pathways for Progress
  7. Building Foundations Against Corruption: Recommendations on Anti-Corruption in the Infrastructure and Urban Development
  8. Industries
  9. Health Systems Leapfrogging in Emerging Economies: From Concept to Scale-Up and System Transformation
  10. Bridging the Skills and Innovation Gap to Boost Productivity in Latin America: The Competitiveness Lab
  11. Industrial Internet of Things: Unleashing the Potential of Connected Products and Services

 Finally, the Forum launched its Benchmarking and Inclusive Growth and Development white paper, presented the Global Strategic Foresight Community , and gave an update on the circular economy.

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