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Alice Hazelton and Greta Keenan

New paper outlines ways to boost manufacturing and supply systems resilience

Recognizing the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic on manufacturing and global supply chains, the Forum, together with Kearney, has today published a white paper addressing short and long-term responses to the crisis.

Drawing on insights from over 400 senior executives in operations and supply chain management from different industries, the paper presents business continuity best practices, outlines major initiatives to increase the resilience of manufacturing and supply systems, and proposes key imperatives for business leaders and policy-makers to future-proof their organizations against permanent changes in global value chains.

Ajay Banga, Bill Gates and Klaus Schwab urge companies to support the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator

“As daunting as it may seem, we can only fully get back to business when we’ve addressed the health concerns and when there are effective remedies to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

These are the words of the leaders of Mastercard, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Economic Forum, in a letter published today.

As a project of the COVID Action Platform, the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator aims to identify and scale treatments to counter the virus. To date, over $220 million has already been invested by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Mastercard, Wellcome, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Dell Foundation, and the UK Government. But more is needed.

“History will not forget this moment. After the physical distancing subsides and businesses begin to reopen, it may be asked: when the world faced a global pandemic, what did you do?”

—Ajay Banga, Mastercard, Bill Gates, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Klaus Schwab, World Economic Forum

Click here to read the letter in full. Find out more about how to contribute to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator here.

#JuntosEnCasa - a new TV programme to keep Latin America safe

Live at 18.00 ET tonight will be the fourth episode of #JuntosEnCasa. A collaboration between the World Economic Forum, Univision and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), #JuntosEnCasa is an online series to promote staying home to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The series was launched a month ago following a virtual meeting of the COVID Action Platform for Media, which brought together editors-in-chief from the world’s leading media, from Japan to Brazil, South Africa to Sweden and everywhere in between. #JuntosEnCasa is an educational and prevention program for Hispanic youth in the United States and Latin America.

“The idea is to bring this timely, reliable information at a very important time for everyone,” said Enrique Acevedo, Anchor at Univision and host of #JuntosEnCasa.

Recent episodes of the show have included actor Diego Luna, highlighting the issues Mexicans are facing all over the country, ex-President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos, singers Jesse y Joy and more. Each show counts on the participation on experts, academics, performers and public figures. Last week’s episode (pictured below) featured renowned journalist María Elena Salinas, Dr Jarbas Barbosa from PAHO, Global Shaper Bibi de la Luz Gonzalez and lead vocalist of Reik, Jesús Navarro.

cartoon advertisement for online episode of #JuentosEnCasa
Image: Univision

"Young people have shown that inclusivity, resourcefulness and leading by example are the guiding principles to keep community cohesion during uncertain times", said Ana Saldarriaga, Deputy Head of Global Shapers Community.

#JuntosEnCasa airs every Friday at 18.00 ET via @wef_es, @UniNoticias and @PAHOWHO, and live on Facebook. An archive of past episodes can be found here.

The latest COVID Action Platform virtual meeting

Beating the COVID-19 pandemic while protecting livelihoods around the globe was the focus of the Forum's COVID Action Platform virtual meeting on Wednesday.

Participants on this week's webinar included Piyush Goyal, India's Minister of Railways and Minister of Commerce and Industry; Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar; Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna; Amanda McClelland, Senior Vice-President at Prevent Epidemics, Resolve to Save Lives; and David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman of The Carlyle Group.

Take a look at this roundup of key quotes from the meeting, as well as our highlights video of the session.

Blockchain toolkit launched to strengthen supply chains

From food to face masks, the COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted an urgent need to maintain and strengthen the resilience of international supply chains, and a new Forum toolkit launched yesterday could help.

The Redesigning Trust: Blockchain Deployment Toolkit enables leaders to maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of the technology by sharing best practices from over 100 organizations including governments, companies, start-ups, academic institutions, civil society, international organizations and technology and supply chain experts.

There are many lessons to learn from the current pandemic and this toolkit is a starting point for improving long-term pandemic preparedness and accelerating an economic recovery led by public-private cooperation.

—Nadia Hewett, Blockchain and Digital Currency Project Lead, World Economic Forum

Where do things stand?

Welcome to the launch of our newly-minted live blog for all things COVID Action Platform!

Here’s what we’ve been up to so far...

Since its launch on 11 March, the Forum’s COVID Action Platform has brought together 1,577 people from 1,046 businesses and organizations to mitigate the risk and impact of the unprecedented global health emergency that is the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The private sector has an essential role to play in combating this public health crisis through their expertise, innovation and resources,” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), said at the launch. “We call on companies and organizations around the world to make full use of this platform in support of the global public health response to COVID-19.”

Nearly two months later, 31 projects - ranging from developing workforce principles for Chief Human Resource Officers to scaling production of 3D printed products to help with the response - are already in the works. We’ll be using this space to keep you up to speed on the activities of the COVID Action Platform and how its projects are protecting lives and livelihoods.