Davos Agenda

Congratulations Yao Chen, Leonardo DiCaprio, Olafur Eliasson and will.i.am

Hilde Schwab
Chairperson and Co-Founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, World Economic Forum Geneva
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Davos Agenda?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Arts and Culture is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Davos Agenda

This year in Davos we celebrate the 22nd Annual Crystal Awards. The awards, which Klaus and I conceived of together with our late friend, the violinist and conductor Lord Yehudi Menuhin back in the early 90’s, recognize artists who have shown exemplary commitment to improving the state of the world.

Given the geopolitical realities of the time when we launched the award, its purpose was at first to recognize artists who were inspiring cross-cultural understanding and trust across nations. While this remains as true as ever, as the world has changed so too has the award evolved to also embrace those exceptional artists who deal with some of the other major global issues, including the environment, social inclusion, health, education, food security and peace-making. Through the years there have been more than 80 recipients of the Crystal Award, including artists such as Andrea Bocelli, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Christo & Jeanne Claude, Matt Damon, Peter Gabriel, Shirin Neshat, Sidney Poitier, Mario Vargas Llosa and many others.

The 2016 group of awardees is as exceptional as ever. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to this year’s awardees: actors Yao Chen and Leonardo DiCaprio, artist Olafur Eliasson, and musician and entrepreneur will.i.am.

Awardees

Yao Chen, for her leadership in raising awareness of the refugee crisis

A beloved Chinese actress, known as the “Queen of Weibo” for having the most followers on the Chinese equivalent of Twitter (78 million), Yao Chen has used her high profile to influence the public on a range of issues, including environmental pollution and food safety. She is perhaps best known for her role as the UNHCR’s honorary patron for China - regularly visiting refugee camps in the Philippines, Thailand, Ethiopia, Lebanon and Pakistan. Chen says: “helping others also fulfils the needs of the helper. We can only survive by needing and depending on each other”.

Leonardo DiCaprio, for his leadership in tackling the climate crisis

A globally recognized actor and producer, Leonardo DiCaprio has long been a passionate advocate for environmental sustainability. With the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, which he founded in 1998, he has been active on a range of sustainability topics, including the protecting of key species, among them sharks in California, tigers in Asia, and elephants in Africa. He has also called on world leaders to address climate change and was designated as the United Nations Messenger of Peace for Climate Change. DiCaprio says: “Clean air, water, and a liveable climate are inalienable human rights. And solving this crisis is not a question of politics, it is a question of our own survival.”

Olafur Eliasson, for his leadership in creating inclusive communities

A world-renowned artist, Olafur Eliasson has created large-scale installations and designs that have contributed to redefining the essence of cities and communities. Some of his major works include The New York City Waterfalls, Ice Watch, The Weather Project, and Riverbed. Since 2012, he has co-led Little Sun, a social business and global project addressing the need for providing light in a sustainable way that benefits communities without electricity, creates local jobs and generates local profits. Eliasson says: “Art offers one of the few places in our society today where people from various backgrounds can come together to share an experience while having different opinions. Disagreement is not only accepted but encouraged. Art helps us identify with one another and expands our notion of we—from the local to the global”.

will.i.am, for his leadership in creating educational opportunities for the underserved

An award-winning musician, known for his work with The Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am is a multi-faceted entertainer and creative innovator. With a commitment to inspire kids to stay in school and go to college to become the leaders of tomorrow, he advocates for the importance and power of a good education through the i.am angel Foundation. The Foundation’s programmes include i.am STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths), i.am scholarship, and i.am college track. will.i.am says: “The STEM/STEAM skills needed to excel in the Fourth Industrial Revolution can equip every citizen with the ability to have a career, vs. a job, and to build companies and wealth that benefit entire communities vs. just a few people.”

Find out more about arts and culture at Davos here.

Author: Hilde Schwab, Chairperson and Co-Founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Davos AgendaArts and CultureMedia, Entertainment and Sport
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Building trust amid uncertainty – 3 risk experts on the state of the world in 2024

Andrea Willige

March 27, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum