Since 1971, leaders from all walks of life have gathered together at the start of the year for the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting.

With over 40 heads of state, some 1,500 CEOs and hundreds more leaders from across global society coming, security is tight. As a result, many are left wondering what goes on when the world’s most influential people take over the normally sleepy town of Davos. Here are 10 things you should know about this year’s meeting.

1. More than 2,500 participants from 99 countries will descend on Davos from today.

2. Over 1,500 are business leaders. But it’s not just CEOs and industry executives: participants come from all parts of society. This year, Leonardo DiCaprio, an award-winning actor, is in Davos, as well as Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Jim Yong Kim, the head of the World Bank, and Fabiola Gianotti, the head of CERN.


3. With participants like IMF chief Christine Lagarde and Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, there will of course be a big focus on the state of the global economy. For example,we’re having sessions on the global economic outlook, how to kick start economic growth, and the economic priorities of the Middle East and Europe.

4. But don’t let the name fool you: it’s not just about economics. We’ve got sessions on issues as varied as the refugee crisis, meditation and climate change.

5. All of the sessions will be tied together under one theme: Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Over the four-day meeting, participants will explore how technology is changing the way we live, work and do business.


6. Over 120 of these sessions will be livestreamed. If you want to hear what Kevin Spacey has to say on innovation and technology, or how Yao Chen uses social media to humanize the refugee crisis, head over to our programme page and add some sessions to your calendar.

7. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter and Facebook, where you’ll have the chance to put questions to people such as author and vlogger John Green, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

8. Better still, see it in person. For those of you in the local area, we’re hosting seven sessions open to the public on topics including the machine age.

9. While it might be a jam-packed week, the Forum is about more than Davos. Later this year we’ll be in Rwanda, Kuala Lumpur, Colombia and China.

The Annual Meeting is taking place in Davos from 20 to 23 January, under the theme “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.