Full report
Published: 6 September 2023

Annual Report 2022-2023

Our Institutional Framework

The World Economic Forum engages political, business, academic, civil society and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. It was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation. It is independent, impartial, not tied to any special interests and upholds the highest standards of governance and moral and intellectual integrity. The World Economic Forum has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and offices in New York and San Francisco in the United States, in Beijing, China and in Tokyo, Japan.

The Forum received the status of an international organization for public-private cooperation from the Swiss authorities in 2015. It engages organizations and leaders through dialogue, debate and commitments for action in the service of building more future-ready, resilient, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies.

The Forum’s work on facilitating progress on systemic challenges is taken forward through its 10 centres, each applying the institution’s unique combination of impact methods to drive holistic efforts. The centres build communities of purpose that conceptualize the high-level ambition, cooperation and framework needed to address large-scale global challenges. Based on the direction provided by these communities, the Forum’s centre teams support the strategic planning and organizing architecture needed to convert ambition into focused action, through structured multi-year initiatives and insight generation.

The work of the centres is complemented by the Forum’s meetings that provide a platform for trust-based engagement, robust debate and public-facing dialogue. They range from large-scale events, such as the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting that helps coalesce a wide range of stakeholders around common long-term challenges as well as newly emerging issues, to smaller meetings designed to advance specific thematic areas or community activities, such as the Sustainable Development Impact Meetings, Industry Strategy Meetings or Growth Summit.

Several core functions within the organization enable the activities of the centres and meetings. The partner and stakeholder engagement teams support unparalleled, high-level and sustained participation from business, government, civil society, media, academic and youth communities, among others. Meeting programming anticipates top-of-mind issues while ensuring future-orientation and develops best-in-class event experiences. The multi-channel communication platforms provide transparency into the Forum’s work and help share the latest ideas and knowledge with the global public. The institution’s talent and human capital, financial management, and technology and digital tools are unrivalled.

Throughout its 50-year history, the Forum has worked to improve trust through dialogue, support better decision-making through research and insights, and enable the implementation of ambitious initiatives for a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable future. These efforts have included the Davos Declaration signed in 1988 between Greece and Turkey, flagship reports that track the global gender gap, the labour market landscape and the economic outlook, as well as hundreds of public-private collaborative endeavours to improve living standards, support planetary health, provide a channel for diplomacy and dialogue, and progress industry and technology governance.

This Annual Report provides an overview of key developments in 2022-2023. In Our Impact, selected initiatives and meetings from the period provide a deeper sense of how Forum initiatives seek to drive large-scale progress and how the events serve as a platform for dialogue.

In Our Organization, the report provides an overview of the 10 centres, their priorities and key highlights over the year. This section also includes a summary overview of over 130 initiatives, coalitions and flagship reports across the 10 centres. Additionally, it covers overviews and the latest developments from the Forum’s core functions: Partner and Stakeholder Engagement, the Global Programming Group, the Global Communications Group, Technology and Digital Innovation, and Finance and Operations. In addition, this section provides more information on our talent, the four offices and the three sister organizations affiliated with the Forum: the Forum of Young Global Leaders, the Global Shapers Community and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

The final three sections of the report provide the latest information on the Forum’s leadership and governance, financial statements and performance on non-financial stakeholder metrics.

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