Indigenous leaders bringing their knowledge to Davos 2024

The Indigenous Peoples’ Knowledge and Leadership Network is being launched at Davos.
The Indigenous Peoples’ Knowledge and Leadership Network is being launched at Davos.
Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto
  • Davos 2024, the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, takes place from 15–19 January in Davos, Switzerland.
  • This year's event also marks the launch of The Indigenous Peoples’ Knowledge and Leadership Network.
  • Indigenous leaders from around the world are attending to share their unique perspectives in charting a way forward.

As technological progress and cultural shifts accompany deep and complex transformations in the geopolitical and social fabric of the world, it has never been more important to develop solutions for global challenges that are equitable, inclusive and sustainable. This entails giving all stakeholders a meaningful seat at the table to foster collaboration and map the way forward.

Indigenous people and local communities steward one-third of the Earth’s territories, continuing cultural and spiritual practices that nurture their environments and communities. Indigenous voices are thus vital in adding a perspective that prioritizes long-term thinking and human experiences.

Indigenous leaders from around the world are attending World Economic Forum’s 2024 Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland to share their unique perspectives in charting a way forward.

From speaking on the balance of nature and economies to reconciling cutting-edge technologies with Indigenous knowledge, this year’s intergenerational cohort of Indigenous leaders will join a range of sessions reflecting the perspectives of long-standing and next-generation leadership.

Davos 2024 also marks the launch of The Indigenous Peoples’ Knowledge and Leadership Network, which will bring together indigenous experts and representatives across the World Economic Forum’s 10 centres of impact, as a space to foster greater public-private cooperation through Indigenous knowledge.

Among those in attendance at Davos 2024 are:

Fany Kuiru – General Coordinator, Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organisations

Fany Kuiru – General Coordinator, Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organisations
Fany Kuiru – General Coordinator, Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organisations

Fany Kuiru is the first woman elected as the General Coordinator of the Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organisations (COICA) in its 40 years of existence.

She is an expert on in ethnic matters, specializing in indigenous jurisdiction and cultural preservation, and serves as a translator and interpreter in Uitoto language.

She has made significant contributions to women's rights, notably advising on the Program for the Protection of the Rights of Women Victims of Forced Displacement and at Risk.

She has a master’s in political and international studies from the Universidad del Rosario, a specialization in Senior State Management from the School of Public Administrationand a law degree from Universidad Santo Tomas de Aquino.

Watch Fany in these livestreamed Davos sessions or in person:

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim – President, Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim – President, Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim – President, Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim is an expert in the adaptation and mitigation of Indigenous peoples to climate change. She is a member of the Mbororo pastoralist people in Chad and President of the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT).

Oumarou Ibrahim is an advocate for the greater inclusion of indigenous people and their knowledge and traditions in the global movement to fight the effects of climate change.

She received the Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award and was appointed as a United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Advocate. She also serves as a Member of the United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues; Member of the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee (IPACC); Member of the Advisory Committee to the Secretary-General’s 2019 Climate Action Summit; and Conservation International Senior Indigenous Fellow. She also served as a coordinator of the world indigenous peoples’ initiative and pavilion for COP21, COP22 and COP23.

Watch Hindou in this in-person Davos session:

  • Insights over Lunch on Thursday, January 18 in Davos

Uyunkar Domingo Peas Nampichkai – President of Board of Directors, Amazon Sacred Headwaters

Uyunkar Domingo Peas Nampichkai – President of Board of Directors, Amazon Sacred Headwaters
Uyunkar Domingo Peas Nampichkai – President of Board of Directors, Amazon Sacred Headwaters

Uyunkar Domingo Peas Nampichkai is a leader from the Achuar Nation in the Ecuadorian Amazon and has made key contributions to the Indigenous movement in the country.

Presently, Domingo is the President of the Board of Directors of the Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative (Cuencas Sagradas Amazonicas) within the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE), representing 11 indigenous nationalities in the region.

Domingo Peas Nampichkai is dedicated to advancing the rights and interests of Indigenous communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Watch Uyunkar in these livestreamed Davos sessions or in person:

Fawn Sharp – Vice President, Quinault Tribal Council

Fawn Sharp – Vice President, Quinault Tribal Council
Fawn Sharp – Vice President, Quinault Tribal Council

Fawn R. Sharp is the current Vice President of the Quinault Tribal Council in Taholah, Washington, after serving a five-term presidency.

She also served as the 23rd President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native tribal government organization in the country.

She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Washington in 1995 and has subsequently received certificates from the National Judicial College at the University of Nevada and in International Human Rights Law at Oxford University.

Watch Fawn in this in-person Davos session:

  • Insights over Lunch on Thursday, January 18 in Davos

Aslak Holmberg – President, Saami Council, Finland

Aslak Holmberg – President, Saami Council, Finland
Aslak Holmberg – President, Saami Council, Finland

Aslak Holmberg has for the past decade worked with Sámi and indigenous issues through NGOs, Sámi parliament, as well as through activism and academia. He is currently the president of the Saami Council, which is the largest and oldest international Sámi Indigenous organization, working in fields such as human rights, culture, knowledge production and environmental policy.

Holmberg is a fisher, teacher and holds a master’s degree in Indigenous studies. Indigenous rights and knowledge are at the core of his work across various fields.

Watch Aslak in this livestreamed Davos session:

Robert Beamish – Global Shaper, Ottawa Hub, Canada

Robert Beamish – Global Shaper, Ottawa Hub, Canada
Robert Beamish – Global Shaper, Ottawa Hub, Canada

Robert Beamish serves as the Anti-Racism Policy Adviser to the Canadian Assistant Deputy Minister of International Trade, Investment, and Innovation. In this capacity, he is dedicated to influencing cultural change by advocating for anti-racism and reconciliation, and promoting equity, diversity and inclusion.

Robert holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Business Specializing in International Trade from the University of Waterloo. He is a Global Shaper from the Ottowa Hub.

Watch Robert in these livestreamed Davos sessions or in person:

Nixiwaka Yawanawá – Chief, Yawanawá Tribe, Brazil

Nixiwaka Yawanawá – Chief, Yawanawá Tribe, Brazil
Nixiwaka Yawanawá – Chief, Yawanawá Tribe, Brazil

Chief Nixiwaka Yawanawá is a prominent Indigenous leader, who has devoted his life to reclaiming his people's ancient culture and spirituality. After successfully reconquering ancestral territory rights, Nixiwaka, alongside his family, has played a pivotal role in sharing their culture to the wider world.

He resides in the Sacred Village, immersing himself in spiritual practices and healing while receiving wisdom from elders to carry forth the Yawanawá legacy. As a representative of his community, he has engaged with spiritual leaders globally, participating in the exchange of diverse cultural traditions.

Watch Chief Nixiwaka in these livestreamed Davos sessions or in person:

  • Cultural Table - Trust Me, I'm an Artist on Wednesday, 17 January in Davos
  • The Dance of the Algorithms on Thursday 18 January, 16:15-16:45 CET
  • Painting Nature in Pixels @ the Global Collaboration Village on Friday, 19 January in Davos

Putanny Yawanawá, Chief, Yawanawá Tribe, Brazil

Putanny Yawanawá, Chief, Yawanawá Tribe, Brazil
Putanny Yawanawá, Chief, Yawanawá Tribe, Brazil

Putanny Yawanawá is an indigenous leader and wife of Chief Nixiwaka Yawanawá. She is one of the the first women of the Yawanawá nation to receive the highest spiritual initiation from the elders.

She is a respected spiritual leader, opening the way into this sacred path for other Yawanawá women and setting precedent for such breaks in tradition. For this achievement, she has received a commendation from the Brazilian senate as recognition of their important role in Brazilian women’s empowerment.

Putanny is dedicated to representing her people’s ancestry. She also resides in the Sacred Village, where she organizes spiritual retreats.

Watch Putanny in these livestreamed Davos sessions or in person:

Xiye Batisda, Co-founder, ​Re-Earth Initiative​

Xiye Batisda, Co-founder, ​Re-Earth Initiative​
Xiye Batisda, Co-founder, ​Re-Earth Initiative​

Xiye Bastida is a climate justice activist and member of the Mexican Indigenous Otomi-Toltec community.

She is a co-founder of Re-Earth Initiative, an international youth-led organization that focuses on highlighting the intersectionality of the climate crisis and an organizer with Fridays For Future.

Bastida was the recipient of the 2018 UN Spirit Award and was featured on Time Magazine's TIME100 Next list in 2023. She currently attends the University of Pennsylvania.

Watch Xiye in these livestreamed Davos sessions or in person:

As part of the Forum’s Civil Society Communities, the Forum’s Indigenous Leaders community engages Indigenous leaders and Indigenous knowledge holders in order to shape the insights, discussions and impact of the Forum’s multi-stakeholder platform and initiatives. Visit wef.ch/indigenous to learn more about the Forum’s engagement of indigenous leaders.

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