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Davos 2023: What insights to read from the World Economic Forum

Davos 2023

Davos 2023 will see world leaders discuss the most pressing global challenges. Image: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Gayle Markovitz
Acting Head, Written and Audio Content, World Economic Forum
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Davos Agenda

This article is part of: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

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  • The World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2023 will be held in Davos, Klosters from 16-20 January, under the theme ‘Cooperation in a Fragmented World’.
  • This meeting comes at a time when the world is facing a multitude of crises, emphasizing the need for dialogue.
  • From the biggest risks facing the world to the future of jobs, here are some key insights from the Forum’s reports to bring you up to speed ahead of Davos.

The World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2023 will take place in Davos, Klosters from 16-20 January. Under the theme ‘Cooperation in a Fragmented World’, the meeting will bring together more than 2,500 leaders from government, business and civil society to address the most pressing global challenges.

Davos 2023 comes at a time when the world is facing a multitude of crises, making the need for dialogue all the more important. You can find out more about Davos’ purpose and history here as well as information on how to follow the Annual Meeting.

Ahead of the meeting, here are some key reports from the World Economic Forum that will give you a greater understanding of the topics and issues that will be discussed in Davos this January.

1. Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2022

The pandemic, the steep economic rebound and the war in Ukraine have disrupted energy markets around the world, showing that the energy transition is far from immune to the impacts of major global events.

An effective energy transition requires careful balancing of all three parts of the energy triangle: economic development and growth, energy security and access, and environmental sustainability.


How is the World Economic Forum facilitating the transition to clean energy?

With global demand for industrial products projected to grow significantly by 2050, the decarbonization of industries is fundamental to the global energy transition. Just five industries (cement and concrete, iron and steel, oil and gas, chemicals, and coal mining) together are responsible for 80% of industrial emissions.

Learn more about the report and its findings.

2. Global Risks Report 2023

The report uses Data from the Global Risks Perception Survey 2022-2023 to understand the risks the world is likely to face over the coming 10 years.

In the next two years, the cost-of-living crisis is seen as the biggest risk, while over the next 10 years environmental risks dominate.

A graphic showing the top 10 global risks.
The top 4 most severe risks over the next 10 years are all environmental. Image: World Economic Forum.

Explore the biggest risks the world is facing over the next 10 years.

3. Markets of Tomorrow Report 2023

There is growing evidence that dynamic governments and purpose-driven businesses are willing to shape a new era of public-private cooperation into investment in new technologies. In order to create the “markets of tomorrow” which can meet key societal needs, a proactive approach and greater strategic planning are needed.

Governments must act as “investors of first resort” to invite wider private-sector interest and investment in technologies and sectors with the highest potential to build the markets of tomorrow.

The report draws on more than 12,000 responses to the Forum’s Executive Opinion Survey. It seeks to identify:

  • Which technologies are the strategic priority?
  • Which sectors are most likely to generate new markets?
  • What are the main obstacles to the growth of new markets?
A bar chart showing global top ten obstacles to the growth of new markets.
The biggest obstacle to the growth of new markets is skills gaps. Image: World Economic Forum.

Find out more about the markets of tomorrow and how we can turn technologies into new sources of global growth.

4. The Future of Jobs Report 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the arrival of the future of work. From the increased pace of technology adoption to the expansion of remote work, the labour market is facing rapid changes that workers must try to keep pace with.

A graphic showing the top 10 skills of 2025.
The most useful skills by 2025. Image: World Economic Forum

On average, companies estimate that around 40% of workers will require reskilling of six months or less in order to meet the fast-changing requirements of the world of work.

Find out more about the future of jobs.

5. Jobs of Tomorrow: Social and Green Jobs for Building Inclusive and Sustainable Economies

Jobs that support social inclusion and environmental sustainability are critical to driving inclusive and sustainable economic growth. This whitepaper seeks to quantify the need for social and green jobs in 10 countries by 2030 in order to meet inclusion and climate targets.

In these countries, social jobs represent 11% of the total workforce while green jobs constitute just 1%. To meet inclusion and social mobility goals, these nations need 64 million more social jobs. Meanwhile, 12 million more green jobs are needed in these countries to meet environmental goals.

A bar chart showing unmet need for green jobs in selected areas.
The largest unmet need for green jobs across the 10 countries is in the agriculture and forestry sector. Image: World Economic Forum.

Learn more about the jobs of tomorrow and how we can create them.

6. Global Parity Alliance: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lighthouses 2023

The pandemic has caused a generational loss in gender equality, increasing the projected time to reach global parity from 100 to 132 years. LGBTQIA+ individuals continue to face stigma and discrimination and only 4% of businesses are focused on making offerings inclusive of people with disabilities.

However, efforts to improve diversity, equity and inclusion are becoming more widespread. In 2020, it was estimated that companies worldwide spent $7.5 billion on DEI-related efforts, a figure that is projected to more than double to $15.4 billion by 2026.

A table showing what works for DEI initiatives: five common success factors.
The five success factors for the most effective and successful DEI initiatives. Image: World Economic Forum.

Read more on how businesses drive effective diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

7. Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2022

The accelerated shift to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with high-profile cyberattacks, have resulted in bringing cybersecurity top of mind among key decision-makers in organizations and nations.

The rise of supply chain threats and escalating ransomware attacks are the most pressing cyber challenges the international community needs to address. Business leaders must consider cybersecurity as a risk management issue and balance the trade-offs between security, usability and cost at the Board or C-suite level.

David Koh, Commissioner of Cybersecurity and Chief Executive, Cyber Security Agency (CSA), Singapore

One challenge identified by the report is recruiting and retaining cybersecurity talent. The Forum’s survey found that 59% of all respondents would find it challenging to respond to a cybersecurity incident due to the shortage of skills within their team.

Learn more about the challenges facing cybersecurity and how governments and organizations can plug the gaps.

8. Travel & Tourism Development Index 2021: Rebuilding for a Sustainable and Resilient Future

As the sector recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial that steps are taken to embed long-term inclusivity, sustainability and resilience into the industry as it faces evolving challenges and risks.

A chart showing the top 10 economies enabling travel and tourism development.
These are the top 10 economies enabling the sector’s development. Image: World Economic Forum.

On average, the above results have only increased just 0.1% between 2019 and 2021, reinforcing the difficult situation that the sector faces. Supporting the recovery of this sector will in turn help the global recovery, build resilience and support all of those who depend on the sector for work.

Discover what needs to be done to help the travel and tourism sector recover.

9. Global Gender Gap Report 2022

Progress on gender equality is stalling. It will take another 132 years to close the global gender gap, with only 68% of the gender gap currently closed, according to the Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2022.

A chart showing the top 10 countries that are closing the gender gap.
The world's most gender-equal countries. Image: World Economic Forum.

The Global Gender Gap Index measures the world’s progress towards gender parity across four key dimensions: Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment.

This progress has been stifled by global crises including the COVID-19 pandemic. According to trends leading up to 2020, the gender gap was set to close within 100 years.

Read more about the global gender gap and how the world can close it faster.

10. The Net-Zero Industry Tracker

The Forum’s Net-Zero Industry Tracker is a tracking platform that supports the emergence of low-carbon industries by the decade’s end.

Given that industrial sectors account for nearly 40% of global energy consumption and more than 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions, the transformation and tracking of these sectors is pivotal to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

Learn more about the state of decarbonization with the Net Zero Industry Tracker.

11. BiodiverCities by 2030: Transforming cities’ relationship with nature

Cities contribute 80% of the world’s GDP, yet their exponential growth in recent decades has come at the expense of nature. Aside from damaging local ecosystems and fuelling the loss of habitats, urban areas are responsible for over 75% of global carbon emissions.

A chart showing 15 changes that can help for a nature-positive-economy.
15 transitions needed for a nature-positive economy. Image: World Economic Forum.

Find out what systemic shifts are needed to develop BiodiverCities that place nature at the heart of decision-making.

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

Related topics:
Forum InstitutionalJobs and the Future of WorkEnergy Transition
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