Davos 2011 - Highlights - Wednesday 26 January


Kevin Steinberg, COO, World Economic Forum USA

Risk Response Network: Proactively preparing for the threat of global risks 

The World Economic Forum launched the Risk Response Network on the opening day of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos. The world has fundamentally changed and this new reality calls for more foresight and collective action to address a broad range of global risks.

The network will address concerns about widening economic inequalities and failed global governance systems underpinning a raft of other interrelated risks ranging from financial governance to cybersecurity and resource scarcity. Uniquely placed to catalyse a collective response to this new landscape, the World Economic Forum is launching the platform to better understand, manage and respond to these complex and intertwined risks.

“Throughout the extreme shocks of recent years, both public and private sector leaders have been struggling to avoid collapse and keep the economy afloat. This year in Davos, the mood is shifting to these global leaders taking a more forward-looking approach, exploring how to proactively address complex risks and associated opportunities,” said Kevin Steinberg, Chief Operating Officer, World Economic Forum USA, and Head of the Risk Response Network. Steinberg added: ”In this spirit, the World Economic Forum is launching the Risk Response Network: an umbrella of projects and initiatives all designed to help global leaders better understand, prepare for and respond to risk.”
News release I Video I Quotes I Davos 2011

President Dmitry Medvedev at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011Medvedev addresses investor community

Russia faces difficulties in building the rule of law, said President Dmitry Medvedev. Addressing overseas investors, Medvedev said decision-makers in Russia are not immune to ordinary mistakes, but “major changes” are taking place, particularly in fighting corruption and modernizing the judiciary.

“Realistic attempts are being made to improve the investment climate in Russia. We have not yet achieved outstanding results, but we have resolved to persevere. We are learning and ready to receive constructive advice, but we do not need lecturing,” he added.
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José CarrerasJosé Carreras and A. R. Rahman receive Crystal Award at World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011

World famous opera singer José Carreras and musician A. R. Rahman received the World Economic Forum Crystal Award 2011. They were honoured for their contribution to the world of arts and culture and for reaching out to other cultures, supporting the Forum’s mission to improve the state of the world.“

Countries that work to eradicate poverty and help the poor are the best,” said Rahman after Hilde Schwab, President and Co-Founder of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, presented him with the award.

“I started this conservatory in my car shed and now want to expand it to a 40-acre land in Chennai because there is no native symphony orchestra in India.” Addressing the Annual Meeting participants, he said: “You can support the foundation and be part of the music.”

Carreras was honoured for his work to fight leukaemia. “It is our duty to use our popularity in order to give as much back to society as we receive from it. As a cured leukaemia patient, I am eternally in debt to the professionals who helped, and my work is to turn my gratitude into action.”
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Davos 2011 Co-Chairs Yorihiko Kojima and Ellen KullmanDavos Co-Chairs urge collaborative dialogue

The world is at a turning point and dialogue among leaders from all sectors is imperative to forge a sustainable future, the Co-Chairs of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting agreed.

“The new reality is an acceleration of globalization,” said Jacob Wallenberg, Chairman of Investor, Sweden. To keep pace with emerging challenges, “we need to see more collaboration and dialogue between different stakeholders, which is what Davos is all about,” he added.

As the economic centre of gravity has shifted east and a dual-speed economy sees high rates of growth in emerging countries and relatively low rates in developed countries, the economic rebalancing presents opportunities and challenges best met through a shared interest in improving the state of the world.
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The Congress Centre at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011The "new normal" for growth

The "new normal" for the global economy looks bleak, according to panellists in a debate hosted by Time magazine, including Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics at New York University; Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP; and Min Zhu, Special Adviser to the International Monetary Fund.

The panel predicted that growth in most advanced economies will remain below trend with outright contraction in parts, prospects hindered by lack of international cooperation on key issues and an ability of the US to tackle its budget deficit - the "real gorilla in the room".
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World leaders confront new reality

Over 2,500 leaders from business, government and civil society are in Davos for the 41st World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. The theme of the five-day meeting is "Shared Norms for the New Reality". Participants will focus on defining the new reality facing the globe and discuss which shared norms are needed for improving global cooperation in a new era.
"The shifts of political and economic power from West to East and from North to South, as well as the speed of technological innovation, have created a completely new reality. Global systems and decision models can no longer cope with the speed and complexity of all these changes," said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum.

Over 1,400 business leaders from the Forum's 1,000 Member companies will take part in the Annual Meeting. Participants include over 35 heads of state or government, with 19 of the G20 governments represented at the ministerial level or higher. They are joined by government ministers, central bankers, top officials from international organizations, labour leaders, spiritual leaders, representatives of civil society, media and leading academics.
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Recognition, Discussion and Change: Open Forum 2011 Davos

The Open Forum Davos 2011, which runs in parallel to the Annual Meeting, is hosting a series of high-level discussions with top leaders. For the ninth year, the public is invited to join the discussions which offer the possibility to debate on globalization and its consequences. 

Participants include Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics and International Business, New York University; Jean-Claude Trichet, President, European Central Bank; Huguette Labelle, Chair, Transparency International; Fahrad Darya, Singer, Composer, Peace and Human Rights Activist; and Oliver Kahn, Goalkeeper, German National Team (1994 to 2006), Germany.
News release I Davos 2011

The following topics will be discussed later this week: 

Thursday 27 January 
1. 12.30 - 14.00 Euro Grounding? 
2. 19.00 - 20.30 Has the West Failed in Afghanistan? 
Friday 28 January 
3. 12.30 - 14.00 Can We Fight Corruption? 
4. 19.00 - 20.30 Does Faith Need Religious Institution? 
Saturday 29 January 
5. 12.30 - 14.00 Sport : Bread and Games, Power and Money? 
6. 15.30 - 17.00 Burnout – The Latest Fashion?