Making the Future Work for Humanity: Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils Begins in Dubai

11 Nov 2018

Oliver Cann, Head Media Content, Public Engagement, Tel.: +41 79 799 3405;

· The World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils starts today in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

· Meeting brings together nearly 700 experts from around the globe with the purpose of generating ideas and answers to solve the world’s most critical challenges

· Outcomes from the meeting will be taken forward at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland in January.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 11 November 2018 – The third Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils starts today in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, bringing together nearly 700 top experts from around the world.

With participants including top-level politicians, business leaders, civil society leaders and academics, the purpose of the meeting is to generate ideas that contribute to solving the most critical global, regional and industry challenges. Comprising 38 distinct councils, the community of Global Future Councils covers subject areas as diverse as the global financial system, geopolitics, cities and urbanization, cybersecurity and the bio-economy.

Ideas generated at the meeting will be adopted and integrated into the programme of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, taking place in January. This year’s Annual Meeting theme, Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, reflects an urgent need to use emerging technologies to make sure that continued global integration creates more inclusive, sustainable and human-centred societies.

“The Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils is the world's biggest brainstorm. Over the next two days, nearly 700 experts here in Dubai will each bring with them their own ideas on how to shape a future that is inclusive, prosperous and globally integrated. Globalization cannot be reversed but it must be improved,” said Borge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum.

“We first discussed the concept of the Fourth Industrial Revolution here in Dubai at this meeting 3 years ago. This inspired a global conversation and led to the creation of a worldwide network of Centers for the Fourth Industrial Revolution aimed at designing the protocols and values necessary to ensure new technology serves humanity rather than threatens it. Our goal for this year is just as ambitious: we want to find radical new ideas for shaping a new global architecture to future proof the economy, the planet and our societies.” said Stephan Mergenthaler, Head of Knowledge Networks at the World Economic Forum.

The Co-Chair of the meeting, Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future of the United Arab Emirates, said: “Technology has the potential to bring gainful employment to the world’s population and solve many of our greatest challenges. Bringing together the most diverse and knowledgeable experts here in Dubai allows us to conceive new ways to make these possibilities a reality and build a world that is safer and more prosperous than the one we live in today. The United Arab Emirates supports the work of the councils and stands ready to put some of their best ideas into practice.”

This year sees the introduction of a number of new councils, representing new areas of focus for the Forum’s activities throughout the year. These include the Global Future Council on Biodiversity and the Bio-economy, which aims to protect nature through innovative technology and business models; the Global Future Council on the New Social Contract, whose mandate is to rethink the future of work, education and gender parity; and the Global Future Council on Advanced Energy Technologies, which has been charged with developing ways to accelerate global energy transition.

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