Open Forum Davos 2024 to Address Global Challenges through Science

World Economic Forum, public.affairs@weforum.org

  • As part of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024, the Open Forum is hosting a series of public sessions on 15-19 January 2024.
  • The theme of this year’s meeting is “From Life to Lab: Science in Action”, featuring sessions on such topics as trust in science, the Arctic, and the future of research and development.
  • All Open Forum sessions are livestreamed. Discover more about the Open Forum Davos 2024 and how to register here.
  • For more information on the Annual Meeting 2024, visit www.weforum.org. Share on social media using the hashtag #wef24 and #OpenForum24.

Geneva, Switzerland, 9 January 2024 – As part of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024, this year's Open Forum Davos – convening under the theme "From Life to Lab: Science in Action – will feature sessions on topics of critical importance through a scientific lens.

Taking place on 15-19 January 2024 at the Swiss Alpine School in Davos, the publicly accessible event aims to stimulate dialogue among thought leaders on current geopolitical concerns, environmental problems and the role of the arts in society.

From exploring the potential of openness and trust in science to addressing such global challenges as air pollution, biodiversity loss and climate change, the programme will also delve into disruptive innovations in research in development, the science of ageing, gender research in medicine, the urgent need for cybersecurity preparedness, and other pressing issues.

Notable sessions include a one-on-one with UN Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall on overcoming global crises, and discussions on collaboration between science and biodiversity.

The "Primer on AI" session will address the rapid growth of artificial intelligence (AI), emphasizing the critical need for inclusive, ethical and well-aligned solutions, while a panel, including American singer will.i.am, technology advocate Alexandra Reeve Givens, and Alex Oster, a student from the Cantonal School of Baden, will explore how to ensure AI benefits everyone.

French Turkish artist Yaman Okur, acclaimed for his achievements in choreography, photography and breakdancing, will unveil a new short film on the 1999 Türkiye earthquake. Join this session to witness Okur's personal and artistic response to the natural disaster, exploring the role of art in fostering resilience. The session will provide insights into the transformative power of creativity in overcoming adversity.

In collaboration with the Arctic Basecamp’s Gail Whiteman, a session entitled "On Thin Ice" will address the irreversible collapse of Arctic summer sea ice, with panellists discussing the consequences of accelerated global warming and increased extreme weather events in the northern hemisphere.

“Digital Einstein", an interactive platform created by researchers at ETH Zurich, will take centre stage at the entrance to the Open Forum, offering visitors the opportunity to “engage” with the Nobel Prize-winner scientist and immerse themselves in the fascinating world of science.

Open Forum Davos panels embrace a spectrum of ages, genders and backgrounds. Sessions include perspectives from inspiring voices from all walks of life and from different corners of the globe. Notably, the discussions feature traditional academic voices as well as indigenous voices, ensuring a truly inclusive and comprehensive dialogue.

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

  • Xiye Bastida, Founder, Re-Earth Initiative
  • Alexandra Baumann, Head, Prosperity and Sustainability Division, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) of Switzerland
  • Ruzica Dadic, Head of Research Unit, Snow and Atmosphere, Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research
  • Michael Hengartner, President, ETH Board
  • Aslak Holmberg, President, The Saami Council
  • Iliana Ivanova, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, European Commission
  • Renata Koch Alvarenga, Founder and Director of EmpoderaClima
  • André Kudelski, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Kudelski Group
  • Maria Leptin, President, European Research Council
  • Melissa C. Lott, Director, Research; Senior Research Scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University
  • Maria Susana Muhamad, Minister of the Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia
  • David Obura, Director, Coastal Oceans Research and Development in the Indian Ocean (CORDIO) East Africa, Kenya
  • Naomi Oreskes, Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University
  • Guilherme de Rosso Manços, Global Shaper, Curitiba Hub
  • Julienne Stroeve, Professor of Polar Observation & Modelling, University College London (UCL), United Kingdom
  • Luciana Vaccaro, President, swissuniversities
  • Martin Vetterli, President, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
  • Gail Whiteman, Professor of Sustainability, University of Exeter Business School, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  • Michele Zatlyn, Co-Founder, President and Chief Operating Officer, Cloudflare Inc.

Open Forum Programme

Monday 15 January

18.30 - 19.30 Liberating Science

Tuesday 16 January

09.30 - 10.30 Take a Deep Breath with Technology

12.30 - 13.30 Medicine and Women

18.30 - 19.30 R&D Disrupted

Wednesday 17 January

09.30 - 10.30 Speaking Truth to Power

12.30 - 13.30 Sustaining Life on Earth

18.30 - 19.30 A Primer on AI

Thursday 18 January

09.30 - 10.30 Cracking the Code

12.30 - 13.30 On Thin Ice

18.30 - 19.30 Resilience in Motion

Friday 19 January

09.30 - 10.30 Turning Back the Clock

About the Open Forum Davos

The Open Forum Davos was founded in 2003, when a series of public sessions was co-organized by the World Economic Forum and civic society groups, including churches, fair trade organizations and the Swiss Red Cross. Today, the Open Forum Davos remains a key platform for all of society to share thoughts and experiences on pressing and controversial issues. For further information, click here.

Climate Hub Davos

For the first time, local NGO Greenup, in collaboration with the city of Davos, is hosting the Climate Hub, which is open throughout the Annual Meeting 2024. Events include climate-related movie screenings, premieres, talks, workshops and more. More information on the programme can be found here.

About the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024, taking place on 15-19 January in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, convenes the world’s foremost leaders under the theme “Rebuilding Trust.” For further information, click here.

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