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Global Future Councils
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Cultural Leaders

Cultural Leaders

A Platform for Cultural Change

From inequality to climate change, all major issues have important cultural dimensions which are often overlooked: fear, bias, prejudice, exclusionary narratives, or a collective failure of the imagination block our ability to create change. How should we address this?

We believe that the arts and culture can promote inclusive and sustainable cultural change.

We do this by:

• Providing a diverse range of artists and cultural leaders unparalleled access to the Forum’s convening power, exposure and resources in support of their courage, innovation and narrative-shaping ability;

• Integrating culture into the major dialogues and Forum activities to reflect the true complexity of issues and ensure cultural change is within the fabric of any effort for progress.

Video Highlights


The Forum opens its platform to artists, cultural leaders and cultural institutions to co-develop exhibitions, performances, experiences, and panels that have the power to advance inclusive and sustainable cultural change. In some cases we commission and produce new work.

• Read here about the Emmy-Award winning VR documentary Collisions by Lynette Wallworth, commissioned and executive-produced by the Forum and world-premiered at Davos 2016

• Explore here the international phenomenon that was the first tour of the Afghan Women’s Orchestra, produced by the Forum and launched at Davos 2017

• Read here about the Forum’s collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution to make a culture of disability inclusion a major focus at Davos 2019.

Caroline Baumann, Director, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, USA; Cultural Leader,.speaking during the Session
Image: Mattias Nutt

The Crystal Award

The Crystal Award celebrates leading artists whose leadership has inspired inclusive and sustainable change. Bestowed each year in Davos, the award marks the start of the Annual Meeting.

Past Crystal Awardees are active in several areas, including cross-cultural understanding, peace-making, social inclusion, the environment, health, education and food security. See here for the list of all past awardees.

Awardees are selected by the members of the World Economic Forum’s arts advisory body, the World Arts Forum, chaired by Ms. Hilde Schwab.

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