Highlights & updates


Alice Hazelton, Greta Keenan, and Sam Leakey

Youth Mental Health Framework launch

This week, the Forum and Orygen jointly launched the Global Framework for Youth Mental Health in a virtual event that included over 500 participants from around the world.

According to Patrick McGorry, Executive Director of Orygen, young people are facing a 25-30% surge in terms of risk for mental ill-health given the economic fallout underway as the result of the pandemic.

Image: World Economic Forum/Global Framework for Youth Mental Health

Panellists Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria, Australia; Lee Howell, Managing Director, World Economic Forum; Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF; and young people including the Forum's Global Shapers community shared a key message: now is the time to invest in youth mental health.

COVID Action Platform in the news

Here's our pick of this week's news coverage of the COVID Action Platform and its initiatives:

  • The Forum's initiative to engage its global network to respond to the pandemic, under the COVID Action Platform, is mentioned in The Wall Street Journal.

  • The Guardian draws on data from the COVID-19 Risks Outlook released last week, in the context of China-US trade tensions.
  • Fear of COVID-19 slowing trucking in East Africa is the subject of an allAfrica piece, which pulls quotes from the Forum's weekly COVID-19 Africa media briefing.
Image of two trucks driving on a dirt road with sacks of maize loaded on them.
Image: Daily News

What happened during the latest COVID-19 in Africa media briefing?

Since mid-April, the Forum has been partnering with the World Health Organization (WHO) to organize a series of on-the-record media briefings on the impact of COVID-19 in Africa.

Each week, over 200 journalists from across the continent join to hear high-level experts from international organizations, economic institutions, governments and civil society answer questions on national policies, regional actions and global consequences.

Speakers at this week's briefing included Dr Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa; Hon Dr Zweli Mkhize, Minister of Health of South Africa; Hon Dr Jane Aceng, Minister of Health, Government of Uganda; Hon Dr Kailesh Kumar Singh Jagutpal, Minister of Health and Wellness, Government of Mauritius and Dr Michel Yao, World Health Organization Emergency Operations Programme Manager.

New Project: Enabling Trusted Information on Trade Facilitation and COVID-19

The newest project to be launched under the COVID Action Platform, Enabling Trusted Information on Trade Facilitation and COVID-19 aims to consolidate information, actions and initiatives adopted by key stakeholders to facilitate trade during the pandemic.

This consolidation will take the form of a single database that will be user-friendly, easily accessible and searchable, avoiding the need for multiple searches in different engines and platforms. The database will give policymakers and trade operators a comprehensive overview of important resources and a place to share best practices.

Aerial view of shipping containers

The project is a joint initiative by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Commonwealth Small States Office in Geneva, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Customs Organization (WCO), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation and the International Trade Centre (ITC)

We'll keep you posted on the project developments and milestones right here.

What happened during the latest COVID Action Platform virtual meeting?

Speakers in this week's webinar session included Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel; Paula Ingabire, Minister of Information Communication Technology and Innovation of Rwanda; Hugh Evans, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Global Citizen, USA; Jason Kelly, Chief Executive Officer, Ginkgo Bioworks, USA; Punit Renjen, Global Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte, USA.

Take a look at this roundup of key quotes from the meeting. And here's our highlights video:

New Project: Africa Growth Platform COVID-19 Small Business Support Network

The Africa Growth Platform, which was launched at the World Economic Forum on Africa in 2019, has begun a new stream of work to support Africa's entrepreneurs and build resilience during and after the COVID-19 crisis.

The platform was originally developed to help small businesses in Africa; notably, 14% of African startups are more likely to fail compared to the global average.

The COVID-19 crisis has so far demonstrated that individuals and organizations in a vulnerable state will be even more impacted by the crisis, hence the importance of supporting SMEs and startups to ensure they survive, retain jobs and drive innovation on the continent.

The project, Africa Growth Platform COVID-19 Small Business Support Network, will bring together governments, the business community, startups and investors to coordinate collective action for maximum impact.

Aggregated mobility data could save lives

During the recent COVID Action Platform "Tech for COVID" virtual dialogue, leaders and experts made a case for scalable solutions based on aggregated mobility data.

Collected by a network, mobility data is a ubiquitous alternative to contact tracing. Even after being anonymized and aggregated, it has much to offer in guiding the business and public responses to COVID-19. Advantages include tracking the spread of the virus, predicting the number of cases for weeks in advance - which allows for accurate hospital resource planning - and assessing the efficiency of lockdown measures already in place.

Speakers at the virtual dialogue included Caroline Buckee, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Sigve Brekke, President and Chief Executive Officer of Telenor Group, and Victoria A. Espinel, President and Chief Executive Officer of BSA | The Software Alliance. They shared their insights on the governance model for public-private partnerships to make mobility data work and strategies to mitigate privacy risks.

This is the first time that many people have become aware of the extent to which their data is trackable. This is the first time that they realize the extent to which companies have information about them.

—Caroline Buckee, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Check out the Tech For COVID virtual dialogue highlights video:

The speakers also encouraged building momentum around a wider data privacy discussion, revamping health education programmes and being mindful of the proper contact tracing deployments, as there will be no way back.

For aggregated mobility data to be useful, you need clear privacy rules and partners to help governments with analytics.

—Sigve Brekke, President and Chief Executive Officer of Telenor Group

WHO joins forces with Forum Global Shapers to disseminate health advice

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized the Forum's Global Shapers Community as trusted partners in disseminating health advice and combating misinformation to a wide range of audiences, including young people, across Europe.

Regular WHO-hosted webinars provide the Global Shapers network with accurate, timely information, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the COVID-19 response. These sessions also enable the WHO to listen to the real concerns of youth in the region.

The Global Shapers collaboration allows the WHO's Europe branch access to a Facebook group where members from all over the region post rumours they encounter, report on the mood or tone of discussions on their social channels, ask questions and share everything from photos to project ideas. The WHO analyses this information to better tailor its risk communication and shares these concerns with the MythBusters team at WHO headquarters.

"It felt like the youth had a lot of doubts and questions about COVID-19. We wanted to help by creating a platform that would directly put experts and young people in touch."

—Lahiru Elvitigala, incoming curator of the Copenhagen Global Shapers hub

Read here for more information.

New Report: Cybersecurity Leadership Principles

In a new report published by the Forum today, the Platform for Shaping the Future of Cybersecurity and Digital Trust puts forth five principles for effective cybersecurity leadership in a post-COVID-19 world. Together, these principles aim to guide business leaders in shaping responsible courses of action that balance short-term goals against medium- to longer-term imperatives.

Discover the five principles and read the report in full here.

Cyberattacks and data fraud rank third among the greatest COVID-19-related business concerns.
Image: World Economic Forum

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