Professional Services


The Professional Services (PS) Industry Group is an exclusive community of top global leaders from across a range of services companies. For the PS industry, the World Economic Forum provides a unique platform to demonstrate thought leadership, act as a connector across other industries, and catalyse change.  For the Forum, the Professional Services Industry Group provides a crucial cross-industry perspective, knowledge and insight, research capacity, and support for projects and initiatives.

The value of the Industry Partnership for Professional Services companies falls into three main categories :

  • Interaction: access to the premier global network of industry and cross-industry peers, government decision-makers, academics, and civil society leaders. The CEOs of the PS firms also comprise the Governors, who set the industry agenda in Davos.
  • Insight: opportunities to demonstrate thought leadership across a variety of platforms, including speaking roles in public and private sessions during Forum events, and ability to nominate experts to Global Agenda Councils.
  • Impact: access to Forum projects and initiatives creating significant change on carefully selected topics.


Throughout the year, the Forum brings together top leaders in a variety of configurations across sector, region, and industry. These range from the large Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, to an intimate CEO dinner with Chancellor Merkel, from public TV debates at regional summits, to private industry-specific sessions behind closed doors. In each configuration, leaders find opportunities for networking, public and private exchange, sharing of best practice, and collective action.


  • Annual Meeting, Davos-Klosters, Switzerland
  • The Annual Meeting of the New Champions, Tianjin or Dalian, China
  • Regional Summits, Latin America, Africa, South East Asia, MENA, Europe
  • Industry Strategy meeting, Community of Strategy Officers
  • Industry-specific private sessions
  • Bilateral meetings


Comprised of the top experts from business, government, civil society and academia, the Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils (GACs) drives the Forum’s content creation. The network is comprised of 82 councils, each with 15-20 members focused on a specific topic of global, regional or industry importance. Participation is based on subject expertise and a rigorous selection process. Industry Partners may nominate participants to serve for a two-year term. 

Examples Global Agenda Councils with PS participation:


Each year, the Forum undertakes a portfolio of projects and initiatives across a wide range of topics, often linked to the work of the Global Agenda Councils. The Professional Services Industry Group has access to the projects via two channels:

  • Bid to become an official Project Advisor: Via the competitive Project Advisors Process, PS companies may bid to support projects by providing a combination of strategic advice, senior executive expertise, and a dedicated secondee. Project support offers the PS firm opportunities to create content and demonstrate thought leadership, access to project-related sessions at Forum events (may include limited access to the Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters), and acknowledgement in project-related publications and communications. The Project Advisors Process is only open to Professional Services firms at the Industry Partner level and above.

Sample projects:

  • Contribute to PS industry-specific projects: The Professional Services Industry Group also runs its own projects, when a given topic is mandated by the Governors. All PS partner companies may then choose to contribute, often through steering board or working group participation.

Recent PS projects:

The Leadership, Trust and Performance Equation Project (2013-2015)

Trust is a necessary condition for economic growth and performance at the corporate and national level. The world today has rapidly evolved into a tightly connected environment; trust constantly has to be won anew and building trust is more challenging in this new model than ever before.

Phase I of the project (2013-2014) provided a robust analysis of how building trust contribute to competitiveness, what barriers for implementation, and what hard truths companies need to consider. For an overview of the key findings, see the report - The Evolution of Trust in Business: From Delivery to Values.

Phase II of the project (2014-2015) explores how the trust issues manifest differently or similarly across industries by conducting a series of workshops with primarily business executives as well as representatives from government and civil society. Key findings of the workshops are expected to be published in early 2015.

Practicing Talent Mobility for Economic Growth (2009-2013)

The project on Practicing Talent Mobility for Economic Growth aimed to engage academia, governments and businesses from various sectors in the development of recommendations on facilitating talent mobility across geographical and industrial boundaries and to share these with governments. The report Talent Mobility Good Practices – Collaboration at the Core of Driving Economic Growth in 2012 highlighted 55 case studies from around the world and showed concrete actions that organizations – including companies, governments, academic institutions, and non-profit entities – had implemented to address talent challenges. The report concluded with recommendations on how individual stakeholders can advance successful collaborative talent mobility practices.

Exploring Talent Challenges

Talent Mobility Good Practices - Online Repository

Human capital is an indispensable driver of economies. Talent capable to ensure success of organizations in turbulent times, handle the political, social agenda and boost science to fuel economies is a scarce resource. The crisis highlights imbalances on the human capital market and confronts key stakeholders with challenges that need to be overcome collectively.
The Forum has created an on-line community of people passionate about talent so that participants of our events can stay connected and keep exploring the challenges of talent landscape in the XXI Century.

Cynthia Hansen, Director, Head of Professional Services Industry,


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