As in every year since 1971, political, business, cultural and civil society leaders are travelling to the snowy Swiss mountains to meet for a week in Davos. Who are these 2,500 men and women attending the Forum’s Annual Meeting?
It might come as a surprise to some but the largest group in Davos is non-business participants. Approximately 900 leaders from civil society, the public sector and academia have travelled to the Magic Mountain, including 45 top scientists and 20 Nobel laureates. More than 40 heads of state and government are coming to the Annual Meeting – a new record – including newly elected Justin Trudeau of Canada and Mauricio Macri of Argentina, as well as recently re-elected Alpha Condé from Guinea and Ranil Wickremesinghe from Sri Lanka. Around 300 ministers are joining to discuss global challenges ranging from health and climate change to the future of jobs.
The strongest industry representation is from the world of banking, insurance and asset management. These 480 participants comprise institutional investors and central bankers. Media and entertainment are the second biggest industry group, with 200 participants (not including the 500 journalists covering the meeting).
Africa and North America are the front-runners in terms of gender parity: from both continents, almost a quarter of the participants are women (24%). On the other end of the scale, Latin America (10%) and the Middle East and North Africa (8%) are struggling. With 18%, Western Europe lands in the statistical centre, despite having six countries in the top 10 of the Forum’s Gender Gap Index 2015.
The average age for participants is 55 for men and 49 for women. The Forum’s Global Shapers community has 50 participants and the Young Global Leaders another 150; together, they’re not just challenging existing leadership models but are also doing their part in rejuvenating the Davos crowd. The youngest participant is 23-year-old Liliya Borovets, a Shaper from Lviv, Ukraine. Born in 1993, she beats her fellow Shapers Javier Aguera from Madrid, Spain, and Alanda Kariza from Jakarta, Indonesia, by only a couple of months.
A newcomer to Davos, and for now in a category of its own, is HUBO, a freestanding and walking humanoid robot. He is attending together with his parents from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.