World Economic Forum Spurs Impact Through Stakeholder Responsibility

Published
29 Jan 2020
2020
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Yann Zopf, Public Engagement, World Economic Forum, +41 79 204 1610, yann.zopf@weforum.org

· The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020 focused on “stakeholder responsibility”, the brainchild of the Forum when it was founded 50 years ago

· Stakeholders were urged to take tangible actions to address the world’s most pressing environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues

· New members signed up to the Forum’s Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, committed to helping companies meet the Paris Climate Goals

· Platforms and partnerships were launched to foster inclusive and sustainable growth globally

· The Forum and its stakeholders produced measures to better understand the positive and negative implications of deploying artificial intelligence

· The Forum launched a variety of partnerships and initiatives aimed at saving lives, including three programmes to develop vaccines against coronavirus, nCoV-2019

· For more information, please visit www.weforum.org. Share on social media using the hashtag #wef20

Geneva, Switzerland, 28 January 2020 The 50th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting closed on Friday, a historic meeting bringing all stakeholders together to shape a cohesive and sustainable world. This milestone Annual Meeting has been truly remarkable because of progress made on a spectrum of issues, where public-private collaboration is crucial.

Cohesive World

On Inclusive Growth

  • The International Business Council, incorporating 140 of the world’s largest companies, agreed to support efforts to develop a core set of common metrics and disclosures that can be used to measure private-sector progress on key environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.
  • The Forum became a founding partner last week, alongside Refinitiv, and the United Nations of The Future of Sustainable Data Alliance. The alliance focuses on improving the quality of climate and environmental data for companies and investors.
  • The Davos Friends of Africa Growth Platform was launched with the support of the Presidents of Botswana and Ghana to promote entrepreneurship in Africa. The platform’s initial target is to reach 1 million entrepreneurs by the end of 2020.
  • A strategic partnership was signed between the World Economic Forum and the OECD to accelerate progress towards inclusive and sustainable growth globally.
  • 42 organizations, including businesses from the mining, automotive, chemical and energy sectors, that have a combined revenue of a trillion dollars, agreed on 10 guiding principles to reinforce environmental stewardship, sustainable development and respect for human rights in the global battery value chain.

On Skills and Work

  • The Reskilling Revolution was launched to provide better education, skills and jobs to a billion people by 2030 with the initial backing of the governments of Brazil, France, India, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, UAE and the US as well as many important companies.
  • Six leading platform companies became founding signatories of the Forum’s Charter of Principles for Good Platform Work.
  • The Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality, which was launched in Davos last year to accelerate inclusion for LGBTI people, announced it has grown its membership to 15 international businesses.

On “Saving Lives”

  • CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations that was launched in Davos in 2017, today announced the initiation of three programmes to develop vaccines against the novel coronavirus, nCoV-2019 in partnership with Moderna and the Wellcome Trust.
  • The World Economic Forum announced a partnership with the Global CEO Initiative (CEOi) to form a coalition to accelerate treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The Forum initiated Ending Workplace Tuberculosis, a multisector initiative aimed at tapping into the business community to help stop TB in countries disproportionately by the disease.

On Trade

  • Ministers in Davos announced negotiations between 99 economies on a new international agreement on investment facilitation at the World Trade Organization. The agreement aims to make it easier for investment to flow between economies while increasing its development impact.
  • As the US and France agreed a détente on digital taxation during the Annual Meeting, the Forum received a mandate from multistakeholder partners to further build understanding of and encourage input into international tax reforms.
  • The Forum partnered with the Japanese government to launch a multistakeholder effort to find practical mechanisms to enable “Data Free Flow with Trust” in support of the Osaka Track process that was initiated at the G20 in 2019.

On Civil Society

  • The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship announced that its community has improved the lives of more than 622 million people in 190 countries since 2000. Examples of impact include: distributing $6.7 billion in loans or value of products and services; mitigating more than 192 million tonnes of CO2; improving education for more than 226 million children and youth; improving energy access for more than 100 million people; and driving social inclusion for over 25 million people.

Sustainable World

On Combating Climate Change

  • 1t.org, a new multistakeholder effort to support efforts to grow, conserve and restore 1 trillion trees by the end of the decade was announced. Within the first days of its launch, Colombia announced to plant 180 million trees by 2022, Salesforce committed to plant 100 million trees and Pakistan said it will plant 2 billion trees. Additionally, 1T was supported by the US, China and Saudi Arabia as part of its G20 Presidency. The Forum’s network of Global Shapers also committed to planting one million trees by 2021 across its 400 hubs worldwide.
  • New members signed up to the Forum’s community of CEO Climate Leaders. The community is committed to helping companies meet the Paris Climate Goals.
  • The Sustainable Markets Initiative, backed by a Sustainable Markets Council, was launched by HRH The Prince of Wales in collaboration with the Forum with the goal of bringing about a transition to sustainable financial markets and rapid industry decarbonization.
  • The Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance of 16 pension funds and insurers, committed to helping achieve the Paris Climate Goals, added the Church of England and Generali as new members. The Alliance’s portfolio now stands at $4.3 trillion.
  • The Forum’s Advanced Manufacturing and Production community launched the Carbon Reduction in Manufacturing Initiative to achieve a goal of cutting carbon emissions in manufacturing by 50% by 2030.

On the SDGs

  • Frontier 2030 was launched as a platform to leverage the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to accelerate the SDGs. The platform is led by UNDP in partnership with the governments of Botswana, South Korea and Norway, and private sector commitment from a range of companies.
  • The Food Action Alliance was launched by the Forum, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and over 20 global leaders to strengthen the sustainability of the world’s foods systems through better nutrition, climate adaption and access to finance.
  • A new multistakeholder partnership, SDG500, was launched to mobilize $500 million towards achieving the SDGs in emerging markets through a series of six blended finance funds.

A Cohesive and Sustainable Fourth Industrial Revolution

On Emerging Technologies

  • The Forum partnered with a community of 40 central banks, international organizations, academic researchers and financial institutions to create a framework to help central banks evaluate, design and potentially deploy Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
  • The Forum, in collaboration with 100 stakeholders, produced the Empowering AI Toolkit to help board members better understand the positive and negative implications of deploying artificial intelligence.
  • Partners of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Global Network, including Brazil, Colombia, Japan and Saudi Arabia, expanded their commitment to ensuring responsible and ethical governance of smart city technologies through the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance on Technology Governance, led by the World Economic Forum.
  • The World Economic Forum’s Global AI Council, launched in 2019, collaborated with UNICEF to create guidelines for AI-supported toys for the under sevens, as well as identifying young people under the age of 18 to sit on a Global AI Youth Council.

On Cybersecurity

  • A group of private-sector leaders from major cybersecurity companies, services providers and global corporations along with leading law enforcement agencies, Interpol and Europol, agreed to work together with the Forum through 2020 to foster a global public-private alliance against cybercrime.
  • A group of telecommunications stakeholders endorsed new principles combatting high-volume cyberattacks that could protect up to 1 billion consumers in 180 countries.
  • A community of key stakeholders from international organizations, government and business was formed to reinforce cyber resilience in global aviation.

The theme of the 50th Annual Meeting, “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World”, could not be more relevant. The moral imperative that weighs upon us to be custodians of the planet for the sake of the next generation implies that we must act today. As the Forum celebrates its 50th anniversary, it looks ahead rather than backwards, to improve the state of the World for the next 50 years, by continuing to offer its platform to advance the common interest.

Notes to editors

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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.