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News Release

World’s Largest Brainstorming Identifies Major Challenges in 2011

Lucy Jay-Kennedy, Senior Media Manager, Media, Tel.: +41 (0)79 514 4139; E-mail: lucy.jaykennedy8608f2e2cc198c23@f47663aweforum.org

• According to global experts, the leading challenges facing the world over the next 12-18 months are: global power shifts, the uncertain economic recovery, population growth, inequality and resource shortages.
• The emergence of the G20 offers one of the best examples of the global power shifts from developed to emerging economies.
• Income inequality must be addressed through sustainable development.
• The complete survey results available online at: www3.weforum.org/tools/gac/surveyweb/index.html 
• More information about the Summit is available here: www.weforum.org/gac10

Dubai, United Arab Emirates 29 November 2010 – Global power shifts, an uncertain economic recovery, population growth, inequality and resource shortages loom as the leading issues facing the world over the next 12-18 months, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Councils.

These trends were revealed by a survey of almost 600 global experts comprising 72 Global Agenda Councils, including leaders from business, academia, civil society, government and other walks-of-life. The Councils have gathered in Dubai for the world’s largest brainstorm over the next three days.

“I felt gratified by the survey results because they show that the international community is focused on the right issues and that it is on the right track to address them,” said John Lipsky, First Deputy Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Washington DC.

Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Trade of Indonesia, and Zhang Yunling, Director, International Studies, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), People's Republic of China, both cited the G20 and some of its recent decisions as a prime example of the shift in power from developed to emerging countries. “This means a greater role for emerging economies in global bodies like the G20,” said Pangestu. “Development issues made it into the Seoul declaration.” Noted Zhang: “In the past, global governance was done by the developed countries, through the G8 or G7. Now we have the G20. I am not sure if the G20 can meet all of the global concerns, but the fact that the G20 has replaced the G8 means that there will be more emphasis on the interests of the developing world.”

“Rapid growth in the emerging economies,” said Lipsky, “is the only way that poverty will be eliminated and greater equality achieved.” Zhang added that, “The emerging economies move towards a new growth model that is more inclusive. This new growth model should also focus on clean management, the saving of energy and be environmentally-friendly.”

The complete survey results and analysis are available online: www3.weforum.org/tools/gac/surveyweb/index.html

The Summit on the Global Agenda 2010 is a unique gathering of the Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils, the world’s most relevant thought leaders from academia, business, government and society. During the three-day Summit, over 600 participants are engaging in interactive workshops and sessions to set priorities for the most compelling ideas to improve the state of the world and identify the latest trends, risks and innovative solutions to address the world’s challenges. The Co-Chairs of the 2010 meeting are Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates, and Sami Dhaen Al Qamzi, Director-General, Department of Economic Development, Government of Dubai.

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The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is tied to no political, partisan or national interests (www.weforum.org)


The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (www.weforum.org).