The Open Forum Comes of Age with a Focus on Youth

Oliver Cann, Public Engagement, World Economic Forum, +41 (0)79 799 34 05, oliver.cann@weforum.org

· The Open Forum Davos 2020 is hosting a series of panel discussions on 21-24 January, all open to the public

· Panellists include Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel, YouTuber Molly Burke, modern slavery survivor Sophie Otiende, GenderProud Founder Geena Rocero and Occupy Wall Street Co-Creator Micah White, with a special performance by Yo-Yo Ma

· Topics vary from the power of youth, ending modern slavery, disability inclusion to LGBTI questions and digital safety for youth

· The public is invited to join the sessions in Davos or via webcast at www.weforum.org/open-forum

Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 20 January 2020 – As part of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020, this year’s Open Forum Davos will focus on youth and their will for change, as well as digital safety, breaking with traditional sexual and gender roles, and more.

For the first time this year, the Forum will be joined by a group of teenage change-makers who will participate in the Open Forum and offer their perspectives in sessions of the official programme of the Annual Meeting.

Autumn Peltier, a 15-year-old Canadian activist fighting to raise awareness of the water crisis and for the rights of indigenous people, and Melati Wijsen, 19, who launched large-scale beach clean-up campaigns and advocates for plastic-free societies are among these young change-makers.

Also present at the Open Forum is Naomi Wadler, 13, who will join a conversation with musician will.i.am on the fight to end gun violence and speak on how youth are influencing policy and inspiring the next generation. Swiss Youth Delegate to the United Nations, Maxime Crettex, will participate and Berengere Fouqueray, a student at the International School of Zug and Lucerne, will moderate a panel.

Also at the Open Forum, internationally renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, a 2008 Crystal award winner and Member of the World Economic Forum's Board of Trustees, will perform Bach’s Suite for Solo Cello No.1. Coming in the midst of his Bach Project, a journey to perform the cello suites in 36 locations on six continents, Yo-Yo Ma offers these gifts of music to inspire a conversation about how culture helps us to seek the truth, build trust and act in service of one another. He will also perform six pop-up concerts – one for each of J.S. Bach’s six suites for solo cello – at the Annual Meeting.

The Open Forum Davos, now in its 18th year, will open its doors to the public from 21 to 24 January in Davos, Switzerland. Leading personalities from business, government, academia, and civil society, as well as young people, will discuss and interact with the Swiss public on critical – and, at times, controversial – subjects, opening a unique window into some of the world’s most challenging debates.

Additional panelists who will participate in this year’s Open Forum Davos include:

Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister and Minister for Communications, Media and Digitization of LuxembourgMolly Burke, YouTuber, Motivational Speaker, Author and Commercial Model, Molly Burke Corp.Ana Mari Cauce, President, University of Washington, USABastien Girod, Member of the National Council, Swiss Parliament, SwitzerlandWanuri Kahiu, Filmmaker, AFROBUBBLEGUMChristian Lohr, Member of the National Council of Switzerland and Vice-President, Pro Infirmis, SwitzerlandJennifer Morgan, Executive Director, Greenpeace InternationalSophie Achieng Otiende, Programme Consultant, Awareness Against Human Trafficking (HAART Kenya)Edward Ndopu, Secretary-General's Sustainable Development Goals Advocate, United NationsGeena Rocero, Founder, GenderProudShamina Singh, President Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, MastercardMicah White, Co-Creator, Occupy Wall Street

Open Forum Programme

Tuesday 21 January

12.00 - 13.30 Songs of Latin America

Wednesday 22 January

09.00 - 10.30 Free To Be (LGBTI)

12.30 - 14.00 The Power of Youth

Thursday 23 January

09:00 - 10:30 Disability Inclusion

12.30 - 14.00 Ending Modern Slavery

18.30 - 20.00 The Disposable Society

Friday 24 January

09.00 - 10.30 Digital Safety for Youth

12:00 - 14:00 Screening: The Forum

The Open Forum will be held at the Aula of the Swiss Alpine Mittelschule, Guggerbachstrasse 2, Davos Platz, Switzerland. Although no registration is required, those wishing to participate are encouraged to either register online here or arrive early as the maximum capacity of the auditorium is 300. For those unable to take part, all 10 sessions will be live-streamed on www.weforum.org/open-forum

Follow the debates using the Open Forum Twitter account: @openforumwef #wef20 #openforum. All sessions will be live-streamed on the Forum’s website, available on YouTube after the event; and some will benefit from social media integration, which offers deeper engagement and analysis to a global audience.