The story of day two at Davos 2023

Olena Zenlenska, First Lady of Ukraine, address day 2 of Davos 2023.
Olena Zenlenska, First Lady of Ukraine, address day 2 of Davos 2023.
Image: World Economic Forum/Manuel Lope
  • Ukraine, energy, cost of living and the climate crisis, trade and the metaverse were high on the agenda at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting 2023 today.
  • Here's a snapshot of what you might have missed from Day 2 of Davos 2023.

We've had discussion today on Day 2 of Davos 2023 on energy, to the metaverse, the cost of living crisis and the war in Ukraine.

Below we have just a snapshot of some of what was discussed today. Be sure to follow us across social media and on our website to keep up to date with everything.

The message from global leaders

Today, we heard from leaders from around the world. This morning Alain Berset, President of the Swiss Confederation 2023, Olena Zelenska, First Lady of Ukraine, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and Liu He, Vice-Premier of the People's Republic of China, all addressed Davos 2023.

And then, this afternoon, we heard from Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland, and Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain.

The impact of the war in Ukraine was a common thread.

The post-war order is currently experiencing its greatest crisis. Russia's war of aggression on Ukraine constitutes a brutal attack on a peaceful country. But it is also a brutal attack on international law and multilateralism.

—Alain Berset

Olena Zelenska emphasized the human cost of the war in her country. 'Everyone has a right to life,' she said.

Ursula von der Leyen stressed solidarity and the ongoing support that will be given to Ukraine - 'we are in it for as long as it takes and stand by our Ukrainian friends.'

'We have to stand behind the rules-based order,' said Sanna Marin. We have to respect these values and rules. And for Ukraine, we must give them a message of hope, that with our help they can become a prosperous society, with a good future for their children.

Pedro Sánchez also looked to the future. "Our present struggle is not only against Putin or the energy shortage but also against fear, mistrust, selfishness, xenophobia, and environmental disaster. And the outcome will define life in the west and beyond for decades to come," he told Davos today.

But, the interlinked crises of energy and rising costs and inflation, as well as the threat of trade crises and climate change, were also front of mind. There is significant work, collaboration, and action needed on these challenges - and beyond.

For example, Liu He called for action on climate change. Cooperation is needed, he explained, on this issue and others, in particular on the international economic order and to coordinate international macro policy.

What next for Ukraine?

Across sessions today we heard messages of solidarity, hope and support for Ukraine. As Sanna Marin explained, we want to help build a better future for Ukraine's children.

This morning, in particular, we heard from leaders across the continent in our In Defence of Europe session.

They were clear on the need for continued unity - and the role this unity has already played - following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In our Ukraine: What Next? session panelists offered a Ukrainian perspective. "'What next for Ukraine?'", said Yuliia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy of Ukraine. "Actually, it is success."

Dialogue is vital, alongside support, said Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade of Finland.

However, before we can think too far into the future, we must first win the war, stressed Oleksiy Chernyshov, Chief Executive Officer, NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine.

And in the Democracy: The Way Forward session, Samantha Power, Administrator, US Agency for International Development (USAID), emphasized the role of technology. "Ukraine is one of the globe's great trailblazers in terms of technology," she said.

Trade and growth

We heard today about the future of trade and growth. Decarbonization, decoupling and dependencies were on the agenda.

Energy and climate change

There was more than $800 billion in philanthropic giving in 2021, but just 2% went towards efforts to cut emissions. So, today in Davos a new initiative, Amplify Earth Action (GAEA), was launched. It will use philanthropic capital to help generate the money needed each year to tackle climate change and nature loss.

Investment and development of clean technology was a big talking point as well. As Ursula von der Leyen told us, 'clean tech is now the fastest-growing investment sector in Europe – doubling its value between 2020 and 2021 alone.' She outlined a plan - the Green Deal Industrial Plan - to make Europe the home of clean tech and innovation.

It is energy security, though, that's driving growth in renewables now, not environmental concerns, explained the International Energy Agency's Executive Director, Fatih Birol, in this morning's Mastering New Energy Economics.

However, 'our world has never seen an energy crisis of this depth and of this complexity,' he said.

Global Collaboration Village

Today, the World Economic Forum, in partnership with Accenture and Microsoft, has launched its Global Collaboration Village.

80 organizations have also joined as Village Partners and will drive the development of a purpose-driven metaverse bringing people together to learn about, create solutions for, and take action on the world’s most pressing challenges.

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