Annual Meeting 2017 Opens with 23rd Annual Crystal Awards

16 Jan 2017

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

· World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab welcomed participants to the 47th Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, taking place under the theme Responsive and Responsible Leadership

· Public social good over personal interests must be a priority in the coming year

· Anne-Sophie Mutter, Shakira and Forest Whitaker received the Crystal Award, which celebrates the achievements of leading artists who have shown an exemplary commitment to improving the state of the world.

· For more information on the meeting, see

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16 January 2017, Davos-Klosters, Switzerland – Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, welcomed participants to the 47th Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.

Noting significant transformations affecting the world, including disruptive economic and political models, Schwab said that the meeting is a way to construct a vision for the future. “Sometimes it seems that the world is overwhelmed by pessimism and cynicism,” said Schwab. “But we have to look in a confident way into the future.”

Convening under the theme Responsive and Responsible Leadership, the meeting programme will focus on critical leadership challenges for 2017 – strengthening global collaboration, revitalizing economic growth, reforming capitalism, preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and restoring a sense of shared identity.

“Responsive means that we listen to and interact with those who have entrusted us with leadership,” Schwab said, adding that it is also important to have values to show the direction. “It is always important to prioritize the public social good over our own interests. We must emphasize humanization over robotization,” he concluded.

Following his remarks, Hilde Schwab, Chairwoman and Co-Founder of the World Arts Forum, presented three outstanding cultural leaders with the 23rd annual Crystal Awards. 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 early childhood development

Singer/songwriter Shakira is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador devoted to early childhood development. She is the founder of the Pies Descalzos Foundation, which provides over 6,000 disadvantaged students with access to quality education in her native Colombia, including nutritious meals, educational enrichment through art, music and recreation, and economic opportunities and workshops for families and the community at large through an “open door” policy, benefiting over 70,000 community members.

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

Artist and social activist Forest Whitaker is the founder and chief executive 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.

The 47th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is taking place on 17-20 January in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, under the theme Responsive and Responsible Leadership. More than 3,000 participants from nearly 100 countries will participate in over 400 sessions.

The Co-Chairs taking a principal role in shaping the discussion at the meeting are:

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

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

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

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

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

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All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.

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