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The Davos Agenda

Pfizer co-chairs health taskforce

The Forum has launched a high-level Task Force of health and healthcare experts and influencers to resource, scale-up, globalize and accelerate the most rigorous and sustainable public private partnership efforts to strengthen epidemic anticipation, preparedness and response.

Find out more in this session on A Great New Contract for Health and Healthcare.

Co-chair of the taskforce, Pfizer's Albert Bourla, says,

"Greater cooperation and coordination across public, private and civil society sectors, as well as between companies themselves, are necessary if we are to address healthcare disparities and prevent the next global crisis. The World Economic Forum is uniquely suited to encourage an approach to global health in a way that maximizes collaboration, urgency and impact, and I am looking forward to co-chairing this task force and to help lead such efforts."

Greater cooperation and coordination across public, private and civil society sectors, as well as between companies themselves, are necessary if we are to address healthcare disparities and prevent the next global crisis.

—Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Pfizer

ABB: The road to universal EV charging

Making EV charging universally accessible; creating a seamless connection between vehicles, charging stations, charging networks, and the grid; and connecting to the software systems that support them.

That is the foremost goal of ABB’s new E-Mobility Innovation Lab. Situated in the middle of the tech start-up hotspot that is Delft, Netherlands, the lab is home to 120 of the best and brightest specialists who push the boundaries of e-mobility and sustainability.

To ensure that ABB chargers are compatible with all types of vehicle, the lab offers digital compatibility simulations and 3,600m2 of space to make room for cars, buses, and trucks to test-drive under the most extreme conditions, such as high humidity and temperatures from -40 to +100 degrees.


This kind of all-weather operability is an important factor to consider for ABB, which will become the official charging supplier of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship from season 9 of the series (2022-2023).

ABB pioneered EV charging technology that helped drive early adoption of electric vehicles across the world – setting new standards for charging, storage and digitalization.

“With this new E-mobility Innovation Lab, we’ve created a uniquely dedicated environment to develop solutions that will heighten the performance, reliability, energy efficiency, and safety of e-mobility infrastructure.”

— Frank Muehlon, ABB’s head of e-mobility

Softbank's Masayoshi Son: The good of humanity

In conversation with BlackRock's Laurence D. Fink, Masayoshi Son, Representative Director, Corporate Officer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Softbank Group Corporation spoke about vaccines, how the pandemic has accelerated technological developments, the environment and AI.

He said, " "I think a drastic change will happen to the way we live, the way we commute, the way we interact.".

Ending on a positive note, in answer to a question on AI, he said, "As long as we use the power of AI for the good of humanity - which I believe that most people are - then it is good for humanity."

See the session highlights here.

Mastercard's Ajay S. Banga: An internet for everyone

About 3.6 billion people worldwide remain offline, affecting the ability to reach these populations with health, education and economic services.

Speaking about the new EDISON Alliance, which will bring together governments and industries to accelerate digital inclusion and connect critical sectors of the economy, Ajay S. Banga said,

"You can not have the internet of everything without an internet for everyone."

—Ajay S. Banga, Mastercard

Lenzing Group: supply chain transparency

With the COVID-19 pandemic, more changes have been brought to the already transforming fashion and textile industries. To date, supply chain traceability has become a top priority for apparel and home brands.

With the blockchain-enabled supply chain traceability platform powered by TextileGenesis™, Lenzing supports the entire supply chain in meeting the increasing demand for transparency and sustainability.

“Over the past year, during the pilot program and field trials we have been receiving very positive feedback from brands and supply chain partners. Our brand partners have also been encouraging us to accelerate the global roll-out for traceability of Lenzing fibers. With this new system and the integration with Lenzing E-Branding fabric certificates, the entire Lenzing ecosystem will create an unprecedented level of transparency. This will provide consumers with the most sustainable and climate-friendly clothing and home textile products that are made of TENCEL™ or LENZING™ ECOVERO™ branded fibers.”

— Robert van de Kerkhof, Chief Commercial Officer and Member of the Board at Lenzing.
Image: Photo by lan deng on Unsplash

The Valuable 500: CEOs committed to disability inclusion

The Forum's Valuable 500 initiative helps companies become a tipping point for change, unlocking the business, social and economic value of the 1.3 billion people worldwide who have a disability.

Companies involved commit to putting disability on the business leadership agenda, increasing their organization’s confidence and competence in disability inclusion. More than 400 committed companies are currently members of The Valuable 500, driving impact in 35 countries. This group brings the combined revenue of The Valuable 500’s current members to over $5.4 trillion, with over 14.8 million employees.

Read more here.

Business predictions for 2021

Ahead of The Davos Agenda, we invited World Economic Forum Strategic Partners to share ideas on the changes they foresee for 2021 and where business priorities should lie.

You can read their responses in five collections, published over the course of this week, and brought together here.

Here's a snapshot of what they said.

Private companies must ‘be at the heart’ of recovery

—Shunichi Miyanaga, Chairman of the Board, MHI Japan

‘Think big’

—Bill Thomas, Global Chairman and CEO, KPMG International

Diversity is ‘business-critical’

—Thomas Kim, Chief Legal Officer and Company Secretary, Thomson Reuters

‘Prioritize wellbeing’

—Liz Hilton Segel, North America Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company

‘We need a new playbook’

—Laura M. Cha, Chairman, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd

‘Act like these tipping points are imminent’

—Peter Giger, Group Chief Risk Officer, Zurich Insurance Group

‘All companies will become technology companies’

—Dr. Zhou Bowen, Chair, JD Technology Committee; Vice-President, JD.com

Google's Sundar Pichai on being a 'technology optimist'

Yesterday's sessions wrapped up with a conversation with Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and its parent company Alphabet, who joined Miriam Meckel, Co-founder and CEO of ada, for a conversation on the year ahead and the continuing pandemic.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption it has caused, how does Pichai encourage people to trust in the power of technology?

"I'm a technology optimist," he said, because he believes in how people can come together to use technology for good. Pichai added that there are so many examples from around the world of how technology is doing good.

"COVID itself has been a moment of reflection," he add. "And while you see the horrible impact around the world, you also see the role technology plays in how the economy is still functioning around the world. The vaccine development - you realize it's happening on a foundation of technological progress over the past many decades."

Read more here.

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