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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 can 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.

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.

Recent Highlights

• Watch and learn about "See Me: A Global Concert", produced by the Forum and world-premiered during the 2021 Davos Agenda Dialogues. Filmed as a cinematic musical experience during peak COVID, See Me poetically interweaves the musical contributions of Yo-Yo Ma and orchestras and choirs in Afghanistan, Austria, Brazil, China, Italy, South Africa and the United States. See Me is an original film about the power of hope and connection during a global pandemic.

• Learn about the monthly Town Halls of the Arts and Culture Global Solidarity Network. The network was begun by the Forum in March 2020 and ran until May 2021. It brought together cultural actors across the world and across disciplines to support each other, share insights and work together to rebuild a more inclusive, sustainable cultural sector post-COVID. You can still join the conversation on Toplink.

• Discover the New Narratives Lab, an initiative developed by the Forum and the artist Lynette Wallworth, with support from the Ford Foundation, to support the leadership development of storytellers from under-represented communities. The first year of the programme was launched at the 2020 Annual Meeting in Davos.

• Explore the Emmy-Award winning VR documentaries Collisions and Awavena by Lynette Wallworth, commissioned and executive-produced by the Forum and world-premiered at Davos 2016 and 2018 respectively.

• Read here about the Forum’s collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution to launch the Forum's first every disability inclusion campaign, launching at Davos 2019.

• 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

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.

Video Highlights

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