World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2008

Participants in the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2008 convened in Davos at a time of great anxiety in the world. The turmoil in the financial markets and the continuing conflict in the Middle East were naturally of immediate concern. Mounting awareness of the epochal challenge of climate change and the looming threat of global terrorism, two issues that were addressed in the opening plenary session, heightened our shared sense of urgency.

In such times of stress and disquiet, we truly understand the value of the Davos Spirit of inclusiveness, openness and commitment to improving the state of the world. The Annual Meeting theme - The Power of Collaborative Innovation - was a fitting focus for two reasons. First, it highlighted that a multistakeholder approach is critical for any authentic and viable solutions to global problems. And second, it served to underline the need for new and imaginative ways to mitigate global risks and the importance of achieving tangible results or value. While some may criticize us for our continued optimism amidst gloom, we must never discard our positive attitude for irrational pessimism. We should be neither paralyzed by despair nor casual in our concern.