World Economic Forum Annual Meeting to Focus on Five Challenges for 2017

15 Dec 2016

Fon Mathuros, Head of Media, World Economic Forum, Tel.: +41 (0)79 201 0211 E-mail:

· The 47th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum will focus on five critical leadership challenges in 2017: strengthening global collaboration, restoring a sense of shared identity, revitalizing economic growth, reforming capitalism and preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

· The Co-Chairs of the Annual Meeting 2017 will be Brian T. Moynihan, Bank of America, documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Save the Children International, Frans van Houten, Royal Philips and Meg Whitman, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

· Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, singer/songwriter and education advocate Shakira, and artist and social activist Forest Whitaker will be awarded with the 2017 Crystal Awards in recognition of their leadership as artists improving the state of the world at a special session and concert on 16 January

· For more information about the Annual Meeting 2017, please visit

Geneva, Switzerland, 15 December 2016 – The 47th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum will take place on 17-20 January 2017 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, under the theme Responsive and Responsible Leadership. More than 2,500 participants from nearly 100 countries will meet and participate in over 300 sessions.

The theme of the meeting calls on global leaders to renew the systems that have supported international cooperation in the past by adapting them to today’s complex, multipolar world in ways that foster genuinely inclusive and equitable growth.

To build on this theme, the programme focuses on five “gravity centres”’, each constructed to help leaders address distinct yet related critical challenges in 2017:

· Strengthening Systems for Global Collaboration: Updating and re-designing our systems for international cooperation to better manage the effects of globalization

· Addressing Identity through Positive Narratives: Inspiring optimism and trust in the future, even as our world gets smaller and more complicated

· Revitalizing the Global Economy: Developing the skills and deploying the capital to address slow growth, unemployment and financing the Sustainable Development Goals

· Reforming Market Capitalism: Addressing short-term thinking, self-interested behaviour and corruption to build a new compact between business and society

· Preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Preparing workers and economies for the coming convergence of technology and humanity

“Our world continues to become increasingly interdependent, even as political events signal a desire for isolation and a retreat from globalization. To address both of these daunting forces, we must strive for better global governance and leadership systems that are responsive to the need for social inclusion and responsible in finding constructive answers to our multiple global challenges,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum.

The Co-Chairs taking a principal role in shaping the discussion at the Annual Meeting 2017 are:

- Brian Moynihan, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Bank of America, USA

- Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Documentary Filmmaker, SOC Films, Pakistan

- Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Chief Executive Officer, Save the Children International, United Kingdom

- Frans van Houten, President and Chief Executive Officer, Royal Philips, Netherlands

- Meg Whitman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, USA

The World Economic Forum also announces today the recipients of the 23rd Annual Crystal Awards. They will be honoured at the opening session of the Annual Meeting 2017 on 16 January. The awards celebrate the achievements of leading artists who are bridge-builders and role models for all leaders of society. The 2017 recipients are:

Anne-Sophie Mutter, for her leadership in providing opportunities for young people to develop careers as musicians

Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter is the founder of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation. Since 1997, the foundation has provided support in the form of scholarships, performing opportunities and commissions for rising young artists worldwide to fulfil their ambition of developing careers as artists and to contribute to the musical life of their communities.

Shakira, for her leadership in supporting education and early-childhood development

Singer/songwriter Shakira is a global advocate for Education and Early Childhood Development and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She is the founder of the Pies Descalzos Foundation which provides access to high-quality education for displaced and underprivileged children in her native Colombia. Through her work with ALAS, Shakira also works in alliance with public and private partners and philanthropists to bring comprehensive Early Childhood Development programs to the children of Latin America.

Forest Whitaker, for his leadership in peace-building and conflict resolution

Artist and social activist Forest Whitaker is the founder and CEO of the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, co-founder and chair of the International Institute for Peace and UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation. His work as a global advocate and peacebuilder focuses on empowering youth as leaders and entrepreneurs in communities touched by violence and poverty.

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