In 2012, the Forum:Blog continued to act as a neutral platform for open debate and analysis, receiving content from top business, political, scientific and societal leaders from around the world. Their articles covered a multitude of topics ranging from global economic competitiveness to faith.

Below is a selection of the top ten posts from this year:

Europe has nothing to fear but fear itself
In his new book, The Re-emergence of Europe, World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab examines the events that have led to Europe’s current challenging political and financial climate. By looking at potential solutions through social, political and economic lenses, the book suggests likely outcomes to what Europe will look like
in the future.

The top 10 most competitive economies in the world
The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013 assesses the competitiveness landscape of 144 economies, providing insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity. The Report series remains the most comprehensive assessment of national competitiveness worldwide.

Is it time to rethink capitalism?
Michael Porter talks about the huge opportunities for corporations to use capitalism as a driver to tackle social problems via the creation of shared value.

Waking up to sleep deprivation
“Five per cent of us have a genetic ability to function effectively on less than six hours sleep a night. For the rest of us, sleep deprivation — sleeping less than seven and a half hours a night — leads in the short term to a loss of effectiveness and in the longer term to serious health problems such as an increased risk of high blood pressure and cancer.” Mehmet Oz

Why we need more women leaders
“Women are half of the global population…but hold less than one fifth of positions in national governments, a meager 9.4% of board directorships and only 20% of senior management positions globally.” Valerie Keller

The best performing economies in Europe for 2012
The EU is not a homogeneous entity in terms of competitiveness. On the contrary, large disparities exist among Member States. The findings from the Europe 2020 Competitiveness Report show that there are four broad groups of countries with distinctive performances. The results point to the complexity and difficulties of bridging the competitiveness divides in Europe.

What will the university of the future look like?
In New York City on 12 June, the World Economic Forum brought together senior university administrators, faculty staff and entrepreneurs in online education and university ventures to discuss online learning. Everyone is talking about this “tsunami”, which could have the same impact on higher education as the Internet has had on printed newspapers.

The top 10 emerging technologies for 2012
The Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies presents the technological trends expected to have major social, economic and environmental impacts worldwide in 2012. Do you think these technologies really made a difference in 2012? Join the discussion now and let us know what you think.

The future of the manufacturing industry
“A new model for manufacturing will not come from one stakeholder, but from a multistakeholder dialogue accounting for all relevant issues affecting the sector, including the rising middle class in emerging economies, innovation, job creation and skills gaps, trade policy, supply value chain evolution, environmental impact and more.” – Tiffany Misrahi.

What is the future for Russia’s economy?
“Russia’s economy is at a turning point. Following a decade of spectacular growth fueled by high energy prices, the country could either use its newfound riches to finance much-needed modernization and become a driver of innovation and growth, or muddle through by continuing to rely on its large yet maturing hydrocarbon base. Russia may either become the big R or the great absent in tomorrow’s BRICS”. Stephan Mergenthaler and Andrew Bishop

Photo: The number 2012 is written with sparklers during a long exposure in front of St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom) during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Vienna. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner