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Tributes flow for Professor Schwab, 75 this week

Adrian Monck, Managing Director, Head of Communications: Tel.: +41 (22) 8691212, E-mail: adrian.monck@weforum.org

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  • Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum, turns 75
  • Personal milestone caps 42 years at the helm of the Forum, the world’s foremost global multistakeholder organization
  • Other career highlights to date include numerous national honours and the establishment of three foundations, including the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, which he co-founded with his wife, Hilde, in 1998
  • To view a timeline of Professor Schwab’s achievements at the World Economic Forum, visit http://wef.ch/timeline
  • To download Professor Schwab’s latest book, The Re-emergence of Europe, click here 

Geneva, Switzerland, 28 March 2013 – Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum, turns 75 this weekend, marking a career that is still going strong after 42 years at the helm of the organization he founded in 1971.

The occasion has seen a number of tributes received at the World Economic Forum’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, from leaders past and present from the worlds of politics, business, civil society, the arts and other well-wishers.

Ueli Maurer, President of the Swiss Confederation, congratulated Professor Schwab on his personal contribution to social and economic development. “Behind the unique success of the Forum stands a man who has remained modest, and who, with conviction and transparency, continues to stand up for the fundamental values of our society.”

Kofi Annan, Chairman of the Africa Progress Panel and former Secretary-General of the United Nations, said: “Klaus’ energy and vision is as infectious today as the day I first met him. The Forum he created in 1971 has turned from being a meeting of minds into a global movement that has had a huge, positive influence on the way governments, businesses and other organizations think and act. I look forward with optimism and excitement to the years ahead.”

Kanan Dhru, an Ahmedabad, Indian-based member of the Forum of Global Shapers, a community of young, highly motivated individuals established by Professor Schwab in 2011, said: “Being a part of the Global Shapers Community gives me the reassurance, the strength and the conviction that anything is possible! It has been magical to be part of this community: thank you for giving me the platform for being the change I want to see."

Denise Burnet, Senior Director, Head of Events, World Economic Forum, who with 35 years’ continuous service is the longest-standing employee of the Forum after Professor Schwab, said: “Working with Professor Schwab has been an inspiration and a privilege. Every day, through him, we rediscover a world full of challenges and opportunities. I look forward to working with him for many more years to come.”

Since Professor Schwab founded the World Economic Forum as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971, it has become the world’s foremost multistakeholder organization, involved in hundreds of initiatives aimed at helping to solve global, regional and industry challenges. During this time, the Forum has originated a number of global projects and institutions, including the UN Global Compact, GAVI (the Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunization of Children), and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Professor Schwab also co-founded, with his wife Hilde, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in 1998, and he was responsible for the establishment of the Forum of Young Global Leaders in 2004 and the Forum of Global Shapers. As well as holding numerous academic, business and UN positions, Professor Schwab has been awarded 13 honorary doctorates by academic institutions around the world. In 1995, he was given the Commander’s Cross of the National Order of Merit of Germany. In 2006, he was made Knight Commander of St Michael and St George by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In 2012 he received the Grand Cross with Star of the National Order of Germany.

Professor Schwab has indicated a desire to continue to lead the World Economic Forum at least until its 50th anniversary in 2021. He plans to spend his birthday weekend quietly with his family.

Notes to Editors