More than 40 Cultural Leaders in Davos to Contribute to Shaping the Global Agenda

17 Jan 2016

Fon Mathuros, Head of Media, Public Engagement, Tel.: +41 (0)79 201 0211; Email:

· Cultural Leaders will be engaged across the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2016 programme on topics ranging from migration to sustainable development and freedom of speech; special focus on cultural heritage

· Collaborations with the Victoria and Albert Museum, Sundance Institute, National Geographic and more offer immersive experiences aimed at creating debate on global issues

· Yao Chen, Leonardo DiCaprio, Olafur Eliasson and named 2016 Crystal Award winners for their

exemplary leadership in improving the state of the world

· More information on arts and culture at the Annual Meeting available here

Davos Klosters, Switzerland, 17 January 2016 – More than 40 Cultural Leaders will participate in the 46th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, taking place on 20-23 January in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. They will join leaders from business, government, international organizations, civil society and academia to contribute to shaping the global agenda.

Participating Cultural Leaders include Bono (musician), Peter Gabriel (musician), John Green (author and vlogger), Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (filmmaker), Platon (photographer), Elif Shafak (author), Kevin Spacey (actor and theatre director) and Lynette Wallworth (artist and filmmaker), among others.

“Leaders from business, politics and other sectors will look to the Cultural Leaders for context, inspiration and collaboration to address the most pressing issues of our time in an inclusive manner,” said Nico Daswani, Programme Lead for Arts and Culture at the World Economic Forum. “The arts and culture in Davos are meant to bring decision-makers together, create debate, question assumptions and help imagine a long-term future together,” he added.

Cultural Leaders will take part in dozens of sessions in the programme on topics ranging from migration and sustainable development to cancer and freedom of speech. There will be a special focus on how to protect cultural heritage at a time of catastrophic destruction.

Several cultural leaders have also collaborated with the Forum to present exhibitions and immersive installations aimed at sparking debate on global issues. A virtual reality film, Collisions, supported by the Sundance Institute, Ford Foundation and Jaunt VR, will have its world premiere in Davos before its screening at the Sundance Film Festival. The film takes viewers on a journey into the remote desert of Western Australia to discover what happens when indigenous tradition meets Western science, and what we can learn from indigenous knowledge about caring for our planet for future generations.

An interactive exhibit, This Time Tomorrow, developed in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum, features designs ranging from the infinitesimal scale of DNA to the distant horizon of outer space to form a landscape of clues about the world of tomorrow. With the theme of this year’s Annual Meeting – Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution – as context, the exhibition presents six scenarios where the radical ideas of today have become the norm of tomorrow.

Additional experiences include Perspectives, in collaboration with National Geographic, which features a series of large-scale projection-mapping animations. Using imagery by National Geographic photographers combined with animation and sound, three different projections explore collective responsibility on the themes of biodiversity, oceans and climate change, and cultural heritage, and ask Annual Meeting participants: What will you protect?

The winners of the 22nd Annual Crystal Awards – which recognize artists who have demonstrated exemplary leadership aligned with the World Economic Forum’s mission of improving the state of the world – are also part of the Cultural Leaders community participating in Davos: actress Yao Chen for her leadership on the refugee crisis; actor and producer; Leonardo DiCaprio for his leadership on the climate crisis; artist Olafur Eliasson for his leadership in creating inclusive communities; and musician and entrepreneur for his leadership in education for the underserved. “These artists are role models not only for the cultural community, but also for the global community at large,” said Hilde Schwab, Chairwoman and Co-Founder of the World Arts Forum, which hosts the awards.

Over 2,500 leaders from business, government, international organizations, civil society, academia, media and the arts will participate in the 46th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, on 20-23 January. Under the theme, Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the programme comprises over 300 sessions, of which over 100 sessions will be webcast live.

Taking a formative role in shaping the discussion at the Annual Meeting 2016 as the Co-Chairs are: Mary Barra, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, General Motors, USA; Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Brussels; Satya Nadella, Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft Corporation, USA; Hiroaki Nakanishi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Hitachi, Japan; Tidjane Thiam, Chief Executive Officer, Credit Suisse, Switzerland; and Amira Yahyaoui, Founder and Chair, Al Bawsala, Tunisia.

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Author: Media Team
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