A range of challenges from economic instability, supply chain disruption, inflation and a tight labour market have underscored the growing need for advanced manufacturing.
The industry has increasingly looked to technology to meet these challenges, a situation that is unlikely to change as global problems grow exponentially.
To face these challenges, the vision of the Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Supply Chains is to shape manufacturing and supply systems that unlock productivity, innovation and growth, while protecting the planet and contributing to economic and social prosperity. The centre’s mission is to help public- and private- sector leaders from the manufacturing and supply chain ecosystem anticipate global trends, leverage pioneering technologies, unlock innovative business models and incubate new partnerships to drive economic, societal and environmental impact.
The centre’s work includes four priorities:
During the reporting period, the centre launched the US Center for Advanced Manufacturing, the Forum’s first thematic centre. It engages with the national manufacturing ecosystem to accelerate the transition towards advanced manufacturing through a series of local, national and international projects and activities. The centre also plays a role in shaping the global agenda on the future of production, while contributing to strengthening the competitiveness of the US manufacturing sector.
The centre also launched the International Centre for Industrial Transformation, a non-profit organization that provides global benchmarking tools to assess the technology, sustainability and resiliency maturity of industrial operations and helps inform investment and policy decisions.
The centre helped develop the Estainium Association, a non-profit that offers a neutral platform to unlock carbon emissions data-sharing throughout value chains to help accelerate the decarbonization of manufacturing industries.
The Global Lighthouse Network, which spotlights the most successful stories of digital transformation in manufacturing, expanded to 132 Lighthouses.
The centre’s People as the Future of Manufacturing initiative, which shapes a new vision of the role of people in industries through hands-on collaboration with factories worldwide, created a framework to drive industrial workforce transformation programmes and developed the Augmented Learning Tool to assess, share and evaluate upskilling and reskilling programmes.
The Industry Net Zero Accelerator disseminated the Consumer Sustainability Industry Readiness Index globally, offering a benchmarking tool that can assess the sustainability readiness of industrial operations.
The Centre for Cybersecurity used its flagship report in 2023 to highlight leaders’ concerns regarding the likelihood of a hugely disruptive cyberattack before 2025. With technological advancement – particularly following the push towards digitization accelerated by the pandemic – cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated. In a fast-evolving digital ecosystem, decision-makers need to anticipate and address tomorrow’s cybersecurity challenges.
Reflecting this, the centre’s vision is to support every individual and organization to securely benefit from ongoing digital and technological progress. Its mission is twofold: to provide an independent and impartial platform to reinforce the importance of cybersecurity as a strategic imperative, and to drive global public-private action to address systemic cybersecurity challenges.
The centre bridges the gap between cybersecurity experts and decision-makers at the highest levels to reinforce the importance of cybersecurity as a key strategic priority.
The centre’s work includes three priorities:
The centre engages with a range of people and interests, reflecting its multistakeholder approach. Business collaborators include the senior leadership of Accenture, Aramco, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks and Salesforce, among others. It works with the directors and secretary-generals of the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the US Department of Homeland Security, Europol, the FBI, the Cyber Security Authority of Ghana and INTERPOL.
The centre also works with universities and senior academics, including the University of California, Berkeley; IMD Business School, Switzerland; New York University Abu Dhabi; and the University of Oxford. Maintaining ties with civil society, the centre works with the presidents of the Cyber Threat Alliance (US), the Global Cyber Alliance (US) and the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise Foundation (the Netherlands).
Highlights in this reporting period comprised the centre’s in-person meeting, the Annual Meeting on Cybersecurity.
Held in November 2022 under the theme, “Leadership for a Resilient Future”, the meeting convened 135 cybersecurity leaders at Forum headquarters in Geneva. Sessions covered cybercrime, cyberwarfare and quantum security, among other topics.
More than 170 senior leaders contributed insights to the centre’s flagship publication, the Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2023. The report was produced to enhance collaboration between security leaders and executive decision-makers, and provided recommendations designed to enhance societal resilience against cyberattacks. Notably, it emphasized the impact of prevailing geopolitical instability on the global response to cyberthreats and the need for increased public- private collaboration.
As part of the work of the Quantum Economy Network, the centre developed a framework and guidance to help address security challenges while realizing the transformative potential of quantum technologies, outlined in a white paper entitled “Transitioning to a Quantum-Secure Economy”.
The Systems of Cyber Resilience: Electricity initiative secured direct funding from its 11 founding members for a dedicated Forum-hosted secretariat. Its aim is to help the industry pursue collaborative action to strengthen operational cyber resilience.
At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023, the Cybercrime Atlas initiative was launched to provide a platform for cybercrime investigators, national and international law enforcement agencies and global businesses to share knowledge, generate policy recommendations and identify opportunities for coordinated action against cyberthreats.
The energy sector is in a period of profound transformation, shifting from a model in which fossil fuels dominate to one that produces zero carbon emissions. During the reporting period and against a backdrop of high energy prices and growing environmental threats, the Centre for Energy and Materials continued to help accelerate the overhaul of national energy systems and key industrial sectors.
The centre’s aim is to act as a platform for local and global stakeholders and diverse industries that develops coalitions and delivers the insights required to enable a sustainable, secure and just energy future. Its mission is to accelerate the transition to an energy system fit for 2050 – one that is secure, sustainable and just, and enables positive economic and social development.
The centre’s work includes four priorities premised on ensuring that the energy transition is sustainable, secure, resilient, just and affordable:
The centre has four complementary flagship programmes, each comprising initiatives implemented in collaboration with more than 180 Forum Partners active in the energy and materials fields, as well as with a range of collaborators. It works with governments, international organizations, academia and civil society.
Underscoring the amount of attention and investment the energy transition is attracting, the centre worked on multiple activities over the period. In particular, and in an especially volatile year for energy markets, the centre’s Energy and Industry Transition Intelligence programme provided insights into how to navigate the energy transition through its flagship report, Fostering Effective Energy Transition 2023 Edition, and a white paper on energy security, “Securing the Energy Transition”. The Energy and Industry Transition Intelligence programme guides supported transition efforts by providing data and facts and by identifying gaps and enablers for transitioning energy and industrial systems.
The centre launched the Coal to Renewables Toolkit, offering a practical tool referencing best practices from coal power producers and regions that have repurposed their coal infrastructure into clean energy.
The Accelerating Clean Hydrogen Initiative presented two Enabling Measures Roadmaps for Green Hydrogen covering Europe and Japan, while the Clean Power and Delivery and Electrification Accelerators were launched at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023.
Finally, the Net-Zero Industry Tracker was created. It marks the world’s first standardized cross-sectoral framework to monitor progress on hard-to-abate sectors’ decarbonization.
The Centre for Financial and Monetary Systems oversees a fast- moving sector, one in which the adoption of digital technology is accelerating rapidly, but also one that is in turmoil. The period witnessed the continued fallout from COVID-19, instability in the financial sector, high inflation and the effects of the Russia– Ukraine war.
Amid this, the centre’s vision is to design a financial system that effectively allocates capital and investment in support of the planet, people and communities. The centre provides an independent and impartial platform to design a more sustainable, resilient, trusted and accessible financial system that reinforces long-term value creation and economic growth.
The centre’s work includes four priorities:
The Financing the Transition to a Net-Zero Future initiative, which mobilizes capital and enables demand signals in support of critical decarbonization technologies required to transition the global economy to net-zero emissions, engaged with more than 80 financial institutions and heavy industry and mobility corporates to develop financing blueprints and policy recommendations for breakthrough decarbonization technologies to enable the net-zero transition of hard-to-abate sectors.
The Green Building Principles: The Action Plan for Net-Zero Carbon Buildings offered a roadmap for all organizations to deliver net-zero carbon buildings, helping to accelerate action from a range of industries with significant real-estate footprints. At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023, eight CEOs of organizations representing the full real-estate value chain adopted the principles. In adopting them, these CEOs committed to reducing real-estate-related emissions by 50% by 2030 and reaching net-zero carbon no later than 2050, impacting thousands of buildings worldwide.
The centre’s Future of Capital Markets initiative worked to broaden access to capital markets for all. A report and a global retail investor survey that covered nine markets and received more than 9,000 responses analysed global trends in capital market access, education and trust. They identified public- and private-sector calls to action to increase financial advice, improve financial literacy and expand options for private-market access for individual investors.
The Technology, Innovation and Systemic Risk initiative engaged in the identification of emerging technology-driven risks to the financial system and in the development of effective mitigation approaches to ensure system integrity. More than 100 senior leaders from financial services firms and the public sector were involved in the initiative during the period, leading to targeted risk mitigation opportunities for financial services executives, policy-makers and regulators, and to the report, Pushing Through Undercurrents.
The Digital Currency Governance Consortium convened more than 80 public- and private-sector organizations to ensure the collaborative and responsible expansion and adoption of digital assets and held a series of Central Bank Digital Currency Regional Roundtable discussions.
The digitization of manufacturing, healthcare and agriculture continues, ushering in significant changes in the ways products are made, patients are treated and food is grown. Reflecting these and other industry transformations, the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s global network continued to expand over the reporting period to 19 centres, each with its own areas of focus. Never has this been more important given the challenges the world faces today and the promise that technology offers for tomorrow.
The vision of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution is to help stakeholders harness the potential of technological progress for the equitable and human-centred transformation of industries, economies and societies. Its mission is to provide a strategic and future-oriented platform to make sense of exponential technologies and shape their responsible adoption and application globally.
The centre’s work spans four priorities:
The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network launched three new centres: the Centre for Trustworthy Technology in Austin, Texas, with a focus on the ethical uses of technologies; the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Telangana, in India, with a focus on policy and governance for healthcare and life sciences; and the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Malaysia, with a focus on digital transformation and the energy transition.
Elsewhere in the network, Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Rwanda and Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Azerbaijan developed roadmaps for their national artificial intelligence (AI) strategies to improve governance, increase productivity and create jobs. Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution India’s AI in Agriculture framework was adopted by the Telangana state government, leveraging emerging technologies to improve efficiency, reduce costs and increase yields of over 7,000 chili farmers. Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Japan convened key stakeholders on the topics of smart cities, agile governance and digital transformation and fed recommendations into the G7 ministerial meetings, which included a G7-endorsed case for an institutional mechanism for cross-border data flows. Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Brazil published a toolkit for manufacturing companies to adopt 4.0 technologies in predictive maintenance.
The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s cross-cutting communities deepened their engagement with key stakeholders from business, government and civil society. The Innovator Communities grew to more than 400 start-ups, including over 100 Unicorns, 100 Global Innovators and 200 Technology Pioneers. The Chief Digital Officers community expanded to over 90 C-level digital transformation leaders, working together to accelerate the sustainable digital transformation of industries. Eight focused Global Future Councils kicked off their two-
year term, driving expert insights on the future of tech policy, synthetic biology, and more. The San Francisco centre hosted the launch of the Tech Diplomacy Network, a multistakeholder community of technology diplomats and public- and private- sector envoys based in Silicon Valley, which aims to build expertise, share best practices and facilitate dialogue on technology diplomacy topics.
and highlighting more than 20 successful AI applications in manufacturing and supply chains. Additionally, the Responsible AI Leadership: A Global Summit on Generative AI convened experts to identify and establish means to ensure generative AI models are safe, robust, fair and equitable.
The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution produced several publications during the reporting period, including the Building a Quantum Economy report on the opportunities and risks of quantum technology and the current state of the quantum computing industry; The Next Frontier in Fighting Wildfires report from the FireAId initiative that describes an algorithm’s ability to predict the location of wildfires up to 24 hours in advance with 80% accuracy; and the Earning Digital Trust report on the requirements for trustworthy technology, which introduces a new framework for decision-makers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the strengths, inequalities and systemic issues facing health systems worldwide. The pandemic has also brought to the fore new ways of working; digital tools have been embraced, helping to address some of the sector’s challenges. The task now is to reshape healthcare systems so they can better cope with short- and long-term challenges, including workforce shortages, increased mental health issues and variable access to healthcare services, which are complex and often interconnected.
The vision of the Centre for Health and Healthcare is for a world in which every person has equal access to the highest standards of health and healthcare. As part of the mission, the centre aims to identify and expand solutions for more resilient, efficient and equitable healthcare systems. It also fosters collaboration to allow government and business to use the developments of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to improve the state of health and healthcare globally.
The centre’s work includes four priorities:
In January 2023, the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Telangana was established in Hyderabad, India to focus on healthcare and life sciences. The centre also entered into a partnership with the Wellcome Trust to provide an action-oriented and research-based framework on the impact of climate change on population health.
At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023, the World Health Organization announced the establishment of a Tuberculosis Vaccine Accelerator Council that will facilitate the development and delivery of novel TB vaccines.
The centre launched the CEO Alliance on Food, Water and Health to connect business leadership to advance the sustainable, healthy food systems’ transformation. It also continued its collaborative work on the Digital Health Action Alliance, which seeks to leverage digital solutions and adopt a systems-change approach to reducing death, disability and inequity from non-communicable diseases.
The centre published the Global Health and Healthcare Strategic Outlook, which sets a vision for 2035 based on equitable access and outcomes, healthcare systems transformation, technology and innovation, and environmental sustainability, with equity as the foundational goal. The Global Health Equity Network introduced the Zero Health Gaps Pledge to advance health equity through core strategies, operations and investments.
Building on the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 pledge #WorkingWithCancer, led by the Publicis Foundation, the Forum created a joint initiative to help remove stigma and discrimination at work and to provide a supportive workplace for employees with cancer. The Partnership for Health System Sustainability and Resilience released new national-level findings that assess the strengths, weaknesses and threats to the sustainability and resilience of national health systems and offer recommendations for healthcare policy.
The vision of the Centre for Nature and Climate is to protect, restore and regenerate the global commons. The mission is to build knowledge and share insights, to engage diverse stakeholders in co-creating solutions and to catalyse bold, action-oriented partnerships.
The centre’s work includes three priorities:
The centre supported global efforts to expand and accelerate the nature and climate agenda. In particular, it published more than 20 reports promoting thought leadership by generating insights on topics from blue carbon to food, nature and health transitions, to embedding Indigenous knowledge in the conservation and restoration of landscapes.
At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023, leading climate scientists premiered a framework on biophysical domains that consider a range of indicators along with the 1.5°C global warming limit and serve as a set of earth system boundaries that should not be breached to secure a safe and just future.
During the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), the centre hosted 10 sessions, gathering hundreds of leaders to discuss issues ranging from the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework to biodiversity credits and deforestation-free supply chains.
At COP27, the centre actively supported the Egyptian COP27 presidency on such topics as climate adaptation, mobility and a just energy transition.
Initiated by Indonesia as part of its G20 presidency and with a long history of ocean stewardship, the Ocean 20 (O20) convened to identify actionable policy recommendations and strategies to collectively spur investment and growth in the ocean economy while protecting, restoring and regenerating it.
At the Sustainable Development Impact Meetings 2022, the Forum hosted the first ministerial gathering of the High Ambition Coalitionto End Plastic Pollution, which discussed a roadmap to end plastic pollution by 2040.
Related to industry decarbonization efforts, the First Movers Coalition added Canada and the United Arab Emirates as partners. The Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders launched a supply chain collaborative to set targets and deliver decarbonization outcomes for Scope 3 (value chain) emissions, and worked with governments to address policy and regulatory barriers to deliver Scope 2 targets.
Regarding system transitions to nature positive, the 1t.org initiative increased its corporate pledges to 81 companies, with commitments to plant 7 billion trees in over 65 countries by 2030. A partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature revealed that 85% of companies who shared data on their reforestation were on track to fulfil their commitments. Additionally, a partnership was signed with the Indonesian Government to support its ambition to expand blue carbon restoration and ocean conservation efforts.
As concerns resource stewardship for better living, the Global PlasticAction Partnership signed an agreement with the Government of Ecuador to work towards a global effort to create a legally-binding agreement to address plastic pollution. The Food Innovation Hubs added the United Arab Emirates as a co-founder alongside the Netherlands, to strengthen multistakeholder investments to increase food systems innovation through a network of country hubs.
During this reporting period, the centre launched a Chief Sustainability Leaders Community that already comprises 91 chief sustainability officers from 18 sectors and 27 countries; the Giving to Amplify Earth Action community of philanthropic, public- and private-sector stakeholders, as a catalytic force to drive strategic interventions on climate and nature solutions; and the Earth Decides community of world-class nature and climate experts from diverse societies, generations and landscapes meeting with and informing public-,private-and philanthropic-sector decision- makers to drive credible Earth-centred action on a wide scale.
The last three decades’ growth models raised living standards widely and lifted more than 1 billion people out of poverty, but also augmented inequality within and between countries. The vision of the Centre for the New Economy and Society is to build prosperous, resilient and inclusive economies and societies that create opportunities for all.
The centre’s mission is to develop insights on growth, jobs, skills, equity and risks and to provide a platform for dialogue and high-ambition action by leaders to restore and shape growth, prosperity and improved living standards.
The centre’s work includes five priorities:
The centre also coordinates the Forum’s engagement with all Knowledge Communities, including universities, academic experts and Global Future Councils.
The Future of Growth Consortium, a high-level coalition of leaders championing a new multidimensional framework for resilient, inclusive and sustainable growth, held its inaugural meeting on 2-3 May 2023 and began its multi-year work. Chief economists from over 50 leading organizations released three Chief Economists Outlooks, while insights and dialogues on the markets of tomorrow, industrial policy, taxation and inflation helped shed light on specific aspects of the economic outlook.
The Jobs Consortium, a coalition of leaders championing investment in “good jobs”, aligned on pathways for mobilizing new and good jobs. The Future of Jobs Report 2023 mapped the jobs and skills outlook for the next five years. The Good Work Alliance developed the Good Work Framework to help companies establish a new benchmark for job quality, while Morocco became the first country to set up the Forum-supported Jobs Accelerator. The Refugee Employment and Employability Alliance aligned on methods for supporting refugees with labour market integration.
The centre’s initiatives to accelerate racial justice, disability inclusion and LGBTQI+ inclusion impacted over 500 companies during the year. On the issue of equity, the Global Gender Gap Report 2023 released data on countries’ rate of progress in reaching gender parity, which stands at 131 years to achieve full parity. The Gender Parity Accelerators expanded their work to 14 economies. A new initiative on accelerating an equitable and just transition began building a vision, tools and coalitions for change.
The Global Risks Report 2023 highlighted the new era of polycrises in five categories, economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological, and outlined how best to analyse them over the short, medium and long term. This foresight was widely disseminated and discussed over the course of the year to develop a proactive agenda for risk preparedness.
Nearly 200 business partners and over 30 governments worked closely with the centre during the year. The centre’s unique accelerator model converted global frameworks into country- level initiatives and fostered cross-country learning on innovation, jobs, skills, education and gender parity. The centre’s work also continued to be supported by five expert bodies – Global Future Councils – to bring additional analysis and foresight to its work.
As the urgency of global challenges mount amid a landscape of rising geopolitical rivalry, progress on shared objectives can only be achieved through the collaboration of leaders from government, business, international organizations and civil society.
The mission of the Centre for Regions, Trade and Geopolitics is to convene these stakeholders to deliver insight into the dynamics of a fast-changing geopolitical context, and to identify and operationalize opportunities for impact-driven partnerships. The centre’s vision is to help stakeholders shape progress on global and regional priorities within the most complex geopolitical and geo-economic landscape in decades.
The centre’s work includes three priorities:
The centre collaborates with governments, international organizations, businesses and global intergovernmental entities, including the G20, Conference of the Parties, trade secretariats and UN agencies. It continues to work closely with US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry to advance the First Movers Coalition. The centre is also responsible for coordinating the Forum’s engagement with all civil society organizations, including non-governmental organizations, labour unions and religious organizations.
As part of the Forum’s participation in the Partnership for Central America, the centre convened three high-level workshops on the adoption of the Stakeholder Metrics, reaching more than 200 leaders in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
The centre helped launch Ocean 20 (O20) in cooperation with Indonesia’s G20 presidency, providing a platform for stakeholders to realize commitments towards a sustainable, inclusive ocean. In addition, the Global Plastic Action Partnership in Latin America pioneered efforts to reduce plastic pollution particularly in Ecuador, Mexico City and Panama.
The centre hosted ongoing Country Strategy Dialogues, convening government officials and business executives to drive growth and investment, as well as CEO-led community partnerships in Europe, India and the Middle East that work to accelerate progress on climate targets. It also worked with key stakeholders from Europe and the United States as part of the Western Balkans Diplomacy Dialogue and with more than 200 Israeli and Palestinian business leaders collaborating to advocate for a two-state solution.
The Humanitarian and Resilience Investing Initiative launched its first UpLink Challenge in October 2022, selecting 10 ventures that are helping communities build resilience and recover from crises. In February 2023, the initiative launched an investor-led programme to help these ventures expand their solutions in frontier markets.
The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation’s projects delivered initial cost savings of $60 million in seven countries, providing 10 times the return on their investment. Among the projects was the digitization of Ecuador’s phytosanitary certification, completed in October 2022.
A TradeTech initiative was launched with the United Arab Emirates to help increase the use of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies in trade.
A Coalition of Trade Ministers on Climate launched at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023. The community identified key goods and services for climate-trade focus.
Together with the World Bank and World Trade Organization, the Action on Climate and Trade programme supported countries to position strategically for the climate transition. Additionally, a partnership with South Africa provided new thinking on tradepolicies for tackling plastic pollution, and leading supply chain firms pooled their insights into supply chain sustainability.
Completing the progress made in this work stream, the Inclusive Trade project sought to improve the societal impacts of trade, including better outcomes for workers and improving access to the benefits of trade for Indigenous communities.
Cities are facing a tough road ahead as they seek to recover from compounding global crises and continued economic instability.
Cities are often on the front line of disruptions – from inequality to climate change – but they also serve as incubators and accelerators of new solutions. Public-private collaboration and
co-investment are essential to creating more sustainable, resilient and equitable cities.
Reflecting this situation, the mission of the Centre for Urban Transformation is to catalyse and accelerate global progress and build a more prosperous future through collective action in cities and local communities. To this end, the centre mobilizes public- and private-sector leaders to commit expertise and resources to invigorate local economies, improve quality of life and make communities more resilient.
The centre’s work includes three priorities:
With activities in more than 130 cities worldwide, the centre registered significant growth during this reporting period.
The centre published the 2023 edition of the State of the Connected World report, establishing a set of priority actions for businesses and government leaders to address the risks and maximize the benefits of connected technologies. In parallel, the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance released a policy benchmarking tool to advance the responsible and ethical use of smart city technologies.
At COP27, the centre launched a first-of-its-kind platform for urban decarbonization, the Toolbox of Solutions: Decarbonizing Urban Ecosystems, and mobilized mayors and partners to deliver a global call for the increased financing of urban nature-based solutions at Biodiversity COP15.
Complementing these efforts, business leaders and government ministers from 31 countries joined forces to establish a coalition, the Davos Baukultur Alliance, to advance a conscious, quality-oriented approach to the planning, construction and management of buildings, infrastructure, public spaces and landscapes. The Centre for Urban Transformation was selected as the secretariat.
Infrastructure funding and financing were key themes at the second Urban Transformation Summit. The three-day event, held in Detroit from 10-12 October 2022, included 150 global leaders from more than 20 countries. The event helped jump-start a series of new expert task forces on topics ranging from urban regeneration to innovative procurement. During the event, the Forum and UN-Habitat launched the Global Partnership for Local Investment to accelerate public-private collaboration and the resourcing of urban initiatives that advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda.
City strategy dialogues were held in Melbourne, Australia and Miami-Dade, USA, helping to catalyse public-private collaboration in support of net-zero carbon goals. The centre also partnered with Columbia University to develop a digital library of best practices and lessons learned from public-private collaboration in cities.
The Global Future Council on the Future of Cities was relaunched in 2023 with a focus on the urban affordability crisis, a widespread and multifaceted global challenge that includes systemic injustices and deepens inequities. The council includes mayors, business leaders and experts in urban development.
The Forum’s centres bring diverse groups of people together from governments, businesses and civil society to create communities of purpose to address the world’s most pressing challenges. More than 130 multistakeholder initiatives, insights and communities are described in the following list.
Global Lighthouse Network: Spotlights the most successful stories of digital transformation in manufacturing, and builds a cross- industry learning journey to disseminate data-based insights on how technologies are transforming operations for unprecedented financial, operational and societal returns
People as the Future of Manufacturing: Shapes a new vision of the role of people in industries through hands-on collaborations with factories worldwide, creating a framework to drive industrial workforce transformation programmes and the Augmented Learning Tool, a tool for the manufacturing community to assess, share and evaluate upskilling and reskilling programmes
Industry Net Zero Accelerator: Creates structured knowledge-sharing platforms between stakeholders to inform decisions and demystify industrial net-zero transformations; incubates the Estainium Association, a neutral platform to accelerate solutions to reach net zero; disseminates the Consumer Sustainability Industry Readiness Index globally, a benchmarking tool to assess the sustainability readiness of industrial operations
Circular Transformation of Industries: Defines the impact of circularity transformations on resiliency, growth, efficiency and sustainability; promotes a repository of the most innovative cross-industry use cases of circular operating and business models; incubates new partnerships to drive circular production (in collaboration with the Centre for Nature and Climate)
Industrial Strategies for the Future of Supply Chains: Classifies potential future supply chain configurations; collects eminent global examples of public-private collaborations to inform the design and development of the next generation of industrial strategies in light of future global trends and developments
US Center for Advanced Manufacturing: Incubates and disseminates projects and communities as well as the impact and outreach of this national thematic centre, which is focused on accelerating the transition towards advanced manufacturing in the United States (in collaboration with the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution)
Chief Operating, Supply Chain and Procurement Officers: Collaborate to navigate the latest trends and advance the transformation of manufacturing and supply chain systems in industries from the production ecosystem
New Generation Industry Leaders: Gather tomorrow’s industry leaders to connect, get inspired by foremost industrial thinkers and design a responsible industry transformation
Global Network of Advanced Manufacturing Hubs: Engages regional production ecosystems to highlight local success stories and distil global learnings to drive successful industrial transformations
Global Future Council on Advanced Manufacturing and Value Chains: Sheds light on the most critical industrial issues and trends shaping and advancing the centre’s agenda, vision and mission
Cyber Resilience in Industries: Develops collaborative approaches to enhance cyber resilience across the electricity, manufacturing, and oil and gas ecosystems
Partnership Against Cybercrime: Amplifies public-private cooperation to combat cybercrime and kick-start concrete actions such as the Cybercrime Atlas, a collaborative effort to map and create shared knowledge on the cybercrime landscape
Bridging the Cyber Skills Gap: Creates a strategic cybersecurity talent framework and devises actions to help individuals enter and thrive in the cybersecurity workforce
Global Cybersecurity Outlook: Elevates the issue of cybersecurity from a technical topic to a strategic imperative, based on in-depth research with the Forum’s Chief Information Security Officer community and business leaders
Chief Information Security Officer Community: Collaborates on key issues identified by top cybersecurity leaders from Partner organizations to advance the state of cybersecurity globally
Global Future Council on Cybersecurity: Offers foresight on the most salient cybersecurity trends identified by leading global experts
Energy and Industry Transition Intelligence: Provides data and insight to reflect the state of energy transition efforts and identifies the gaps and enablers for transitioning energy and industrial systems
Clean Power and Electrification: Mobilizes the collective actions of a global alliance of business and government leaders to create and deliver the policy and business model frameworks needed for the massive deployment of clean electricity supply, transmission and electrification
Transforming Industrial Ecosystems: Builds multistakeholder coalitions to deliver net-zero industrial ecosystems through solutions focused on transitioning industrial clusters, accelerating clean hydrogen and clean power for industry and deploying low-carbon-emitting technologies and transition finance
Mobilizing Key Enablers for the Energy Transition: Develops action-oriented insights and coalitions focused on key enablers to accelerate the energy transition, such as scaling finance for clean energy in emerging economies, ensuring the availability of critical minerals, and spearheading advanced energy technology solutions
Global Future Council on the Future of Energy Transition: Provides visions and practical solutions for how the world can deliver on energy security, sustainability and affordability in a new global context
ASEAN Leaders for Just Energy Transitions: Strengthen the intra-regional and international cooperation required to accelerate the energy transition and decarbonization of South-East Asia
Energy Transition Index: Looks at countries’ energy systems performance and their readiness for an effective energy transition to help strengthen their commitment to climate action, detailed in the Fostering Effective Energy Transition reports
Financing the Transition to a Net-Zero Future: Mobilizes capital and enables demand signals in support of critical decarbonization technologies required to transition the global economy to net-zero emissions
Future of Capital Markets: Focuses on investor education, access to quality financial advice and private-market investments available to investors with the objective of reinforcing trust in the system
Longevity Economy: Financial Resilience for Every Generation: Designs tools and frameworks that build financial resilience in support of a more equitable and sustainable longer life
Technology, Innovation and Systemic Risk: Engages in the identification of emerging technology-driven risks to the financial system and in the development of effective mitigation approaches to ensure system integrity
Digital Currency Governance Consortium: Provides global perspectives in addressing key policy and governance issues related to digital assets
Crypto Impact and Sustainability Accelerator: Furthers research for integrated, inclusive and sustainable growth in the crypto ecosystem
Digital ID Initiative: Offers an in-depth analysis of the operational, governance, and legal and regulatory opportunities and challenges created by the technical innovations in this area, and develops a world-class network of experts at the intersection of web3 and ID
Green Building Principles: Provides a roadmap to deliver net-zero carbon buildings, helping to accelerate action from a broad range of industries with significant real-estate footprints
Women in Finance: Convenes senior female financial services executives to explore shifting industry priorities and identify action-oriented solutions
Chief Financial Officers Community: Convenes chief financial officers across sectors to accelerate corporate action and address pressing strategic issues
Global Future Councils: Offer foresight on the most important trends in finance, investing and asset stewardship identified by leading global experts
Venture Capital Community: Supports healthy entrepreneurship ecosystems by addressing shared challenges and opportunities facing the global venture capital industry
Artificial Intelligence for Agriculture Innovation (AI4AI): Advances the large-scale adoption of ag-tech solutions through public-private partnerships and strategies
Automotive in the Software-Driven Era: Facilitates public-private collaboration on autonomous and electric vehicles to improve safety, inclusivity, sustainability and system reliance
Building the Bioeconomy: Identifies strategic priorities and partnerships for business, science, and government to build an inclusive, prosperous, and sustainable bioeconomy
Data for Common Purpose Initiative: Drives forward data policies and platforms for common purposes to unlock opportunities for individuals, enterprises and society at large
Defining and Building the Metaverse: Creates frameworks to promote access, inclusion and sustainability within the metaverse, while mitigating potential harms
Digital Trust Framework: Defines shared goals and values that inform the concept of trust and set dimensions to evaluate it, such as cybersecurity, safety, fairness and privacy
Earth Observation Platform: Creates frameworks, strategies and partnerships to leverage geospatial data collection analytics for shared and sustainable prosperity
EDISON Alliance: Mobilizes a global movement of leaders to prioritize digital inclusion as foundational to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and make actionable commitments to close the digital divide
FireAId Global Coalition: Raises leadership awareness on wildfires and on harnessing the power of artificial intelligence technologies to improve the cost efficiency, effectiveness and capacity of wildfire mitigation efforts at scale (in partnership with the Centre for Nature and Climate)
FIRST Cancer Care: Accelerates technologies for preventive and curative cancer management in India’s healthcare system (led by the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution India)
Shaping the Space Economy: Unlocks the economic and societal opportunities of space while mitigating potential risks
Generative AI: Identifies and establishes pathways to ensure advanced artificial intelligence models are safe, robust, fair and equitable
Global Coalition for Digital Safety: Explores solutions to advance industry and regulatory progress in digital content safety
Medicine from the Sky: Leverages drone-based technologies for the effective delivery of medical supplies in remote regions (led by the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution India)
National Quantum Blueprint: Creates roadmaps to enable and accelerate the equitable development of quantum systems globally
Top 10 Emerging Technologies Report: Helps professionals throughout sectors and industries anticipate exponential technologies, interpret their implications, and champion industry-shaping and society-serving applications
Chief Digital Officers: Design and deliver digital transformations in 100 companies representing 20 industries
Global Future Councils: Involve global experts producing strategic insights on artificial intelligence, autonomous mobility, data equity, metaverse, quantum technology, space, synthetic biology and technology policy
GovTech Network: Involves policy-makers, technology leaders and innovators at the forefront of the digital transformation of government
Innovator Communities: Involve 400 of the world’s most promising start-ups and scale-ups at the forefront of technological and business model innovation
Quantum Economy Network: Involves over 110 public and private organizations shaping the future of quantum technologies
Healthcare Digital Transformation: Drives collaboration across geographies, sectors and industries to shape holistic solutions through better access to health data and the use of breakthrough digital technologies (e.g. artificial intelligence and virtual reality) to improve outcomes, expand access and increase efficiency in healthcare
Climate and Health: Fosters engagement with and among Partners, in collaboration with the Centre for Nature and Climate, to address the climate crisis as a threat to human health through holistic, action-oriented system transformation
Emergency Preparedness: Harnesses public-private collaboration to rebalance the global manufacturing capacity of vaccines and expands pathogen genomic surveillance to better respond to pandemics and prevent future outbreaks from becoming full-blown pandemics
Healthy Workforces: Collectively shape measurable actions to address the challenges workers are facing globally and cultivate supportive and healthy workplaces for both mental and physical health
Global Health Equity Network: Aims to shape a healthier and more inclusive world by mobilizing executive leadership and commitment across sectors and geographies to prioritize health equity action in organizational strategy and purpose
Women’s Health Initiative: Engages leaders and communities through sustained, impactful dialogue to develop and amplify efforts that improve the health of women and girls
New Frontiers of Nutrition: Convenes leading-edge disruptors, private-sector companies and public partners to shape transformative solutions to elevate nutrition as a key enabler of societal resilience
Future of Personalized Well-being: Explores the personalized well-being landscape and how digital biology can be the game-changer needed to improve people’s quality of life and overall well-being
Chief Health Officers: Collaborate with a community of senior executives overseeing workforce health in partner organizations on advancing workforce well-being globally
Systems Strengthening: Aims to improve the sustainability and resilience of health and healthcare systems through the Partnership for Health System Sustainability and Resilience and the Global Coalition for Value in Healthcare
First Movers Coalition: Leverages the collective purchasing power of companies to send a clear demand signal to foster the expansion of critical technologies essential for the net-zero transition, and focuses on hard-to-abate sectors, e.g. aluminium, steel, concrete, trucking, aviation, shipping and chemicals, as well as carbon removal technologies
Climate Governance Initiative: Mobilizes and engages board members on climate action, reaching over 200,000 non-executive directors, and includes a Climate Governance community of experts to guide thought leadership and insights
1t.org: Supports forest conservation and land restoration by conserving, restoring and growing a trillion trees by 2030, having secured pledges from 81 companies and commitments to plant 7 billion trees in 65 countries, with regional chapters in the United States, the Sahel region, China and India
Tropical Forest Alliance: Works with the world’s largest agricultural commodity players and leading consumer goods companies to tackle tropical deforestation linked to the production of agricultural commodities, with a focus on Indonesia and Brazil
Ocean 20: Fosters action by leading global companies, G20 countries and civil society voices to make and realize commitments to blue food, blue carbon and a sustainable blue economy
Food Partnership Hubs: Support Food Innovation Hubs and build Food Action Alliances to make food systems more nutritious, resilient and environmentally sustainable
Water Resources Group: Provides water stewardship through a public-private partnership co-hosted with the World Bank, including accelerator programmes with over 1,000 partners, catalysing $1 billion in financing
Global Plastic Action Partnership: Tackles plastic waste and pollution, with national and subnational chapters in nine countries and over 300 organizations, and supports negotiations on the UN Treaty on plastic pollution
Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders: Shapes data-driven corporate climate leadership and engagements with policy-makers to deliver the transition to a net-zero economy
Chief Sustainability Leaders: Share insights and experiences among CSOs on sustainability trends and developments in diverse sectors and countries
Giving to Amplify Earth Action: Seeks to increase climate philanthropy and drive equitable climate and nature solutions through philanthropic, public- and private-sector partnerships
Champions for Nature: Uses a multistakeholder community of leaders’ experience and ambition to pave the way to a net-zero, nature-positive global economy by 2030
CEO Alliance on Food, Water and Health: Addresses the nexus of food–water–health, with a focus on healthy soils, transition finance for regenerative practices and the local production of sustainable and nutritious foods
Business for Climate Adaptation: Works to develop new approaches to engage businesses more actively in climate adaptation
Earth Decides: Works with scientists and thought leaders to translate research and scientific knowledge into actionable insights and strategy
Global Future Councils: Apply innovative thinking, data-driven approaches and a systems lens to nature and climate issues related to clean air, philanthropy for nature and climate, food and water security, responsible resource use, nature and security, net-zero living and sustainable tourism
Future of Growth Consortium: Champions a new multidimensional framework and agenda for resilient, inclusive and sustainable growth
Markets of Tomorrow Accelerators: Identify the strategic markets that will drive future economic transformation through national-level multistakeholder partnerships, underpinned by the Markets of Tomorrow framework, and provide insights and dialogues on the economic outlook, industrial policy, taxation, inflation and other relevant topics
Jobs Consortium: Champions investment in “good jobs” for economic recovery and productive employment through the Jobs Accelerators, national-level multistakeholder partnerships mobilizing this agenda
Future of Jobs Report: Explores how jobs and skills of the future will evolve over the next five years, contextualized within economic cycles, technology adoption and other drivers of change
Good Work Alliance: Promotes building a healthy, resilient and equitable future of work, underpinned by the Good Work Framework
Refugee Employment and Employability Alliance: Enables employers to provide refugees with labour market integration support
Reskilling Revolution: Aims to provide 1 billion people with better education, skills and learning by 2030 through the Skills Accelerators, national-level multistakeholder partnerships mobilizing this agenda and addressing skills gaps for the future of work
Future Skills Alliance: Enables individuals with the help of skills and learning providers to enter and remain in the labour market, underpinned by a global skills taxonomy
Education 4.0 Alliance: Transforms learning in the age of artificial intelligence, underpinned by the Education 4.0 framework, learning taxonomy, school Lighthouses and national Education Accelerators
Global Parity Consortium: Takes holistic action to accelerate diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and beyond, supported by a Lighthouses programme
Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Works towards ensuring racial justice in business, building equitable workplaces for professionals with under-represented racial and ethnic identities, setting a global standard for workplace equality and disability inclusion, and accelerating LGBTQI+ inclusion
Accelerating Gender Parity: Benchmarks countries on their progress towards gender parity, detailed in the Global Gender Gap Reports, with the Gender Parity Accelerators driving national-level multistakeholder partnerships to reshape gender parity for the future
Accelerating an Equitable and Just Transition: Builds a vision, tools and coalitions for an equitable, fair and inclusive green transition, with a focus on quality jobs and job transitions
Global Risks Report: Tracks global risks perceptions in five categories: economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological, guided by an Advisory Board and global survey
Chief Economists Community: Provides inputs into the Chief Economists Outlook quarterly report from chief economists of over 50 leading public and private organizations
Chief Human Resources Officers Community: Amplifies insights on the emerging trends on the future of work and mobilizes action on initiatives that promote high-quality jobs
Chief Learning Officers Community: Exchanges and drives action on skills and learning in the workplace stemming from organizations’ business representatives responsible for learning content and delivery
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officers Community: Exchanges and drives strategic progress on diversity, equity and inclusion stemming from the expertise of chief diversity and inclusion officers from over 125 companies in various industries
Chief Risk Officers Community: Examines topics of risk assessment and preparedness and informs the upcoming Chief Risk Officers Outlook
Global Country Accelerators Network: Shapes more prosperous and inclusive economies and societies in five impact areas – education, gender parity, jobs, markets of tomorrow and skills – through a network of over 30 national public-private collaboration platforms
Global Future Councils: Involve global experts producing strategic insights on growth, job creation, the care economy, the economics of equitable transition, and complex risks
Informal Gathering of World Economic Leaders (IGWEL): Advances progress on global challenges through private dialogues at the highest level
Diplomacy Dialogues: Support official diplomatic processes and foster discussions on addressing regional and global fault-lines in meetings of decision-makers and stakeholders
Country Strategy Dialogues: Gather heads of state/senior ministers and business executives in interactive meetings to advance discussions on avenues for growth
Regional Roundtable Dialogues: Advance discussions on critical issues (energy transition, growth agendas) in key economies
Humanitarian and Resilience Investing Initiative: Helps direct capital to financially sustainable opportunities in frontier markets
Resilience Consortium: Delivers a pro-growth, holistic resilience agenda globally, including by showcasing key best practices (Lighthouse case studies)
European Green Deal CEO Action Group: Helps advance Europe’s green and digital transitions
Forum Friends of the AfCFTA Coalition: Brings together over 60 leaders from the public and private sectors, in a formal collaboration with the AfCFTA secretariat, to support the implementation of the AfCFTA agreement
Green Trade and Investment Steering Group: Develops scenarios for climate competitiveness, supports national strategies for a fair transition, guides climate foreign direct investment and facilitates circular trade
Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation: Supports governments in developing and least-developed countries in implementing the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement
Global Future Councils: Deliver insight into how leaders can revitalize or rebuild mechanisms of cooperation to advance shared priorities in emerging trade and investment issues and in the field of geopolitics
Inclusive Trade: Works to ensure trade benefits all sections of society and to mitigate trade harms to workers and underserved groups
Japan Energy Transition Initiative: Supports Japan’s energy transition and facilitates regional collaboration to accelerate the net-zero transformation
Leaders for a Sustainable MENA: Champions pathways for climate-resilient growth in the MENA region by accelerating corporate climate ambition and scaling the roll-out of low-carbon technologies
Champions for ASEAN’s Economic Future: Works to deepen collaboration between leaders from the public and private sectors and help further regional integration
Trade and Investment Leadership Group: Sets the mandate for the trade and investment community to help navigate commercial geopolitics, increase the quantity and quality of foreign investment, ease global commerce through simplification, apply new trade technologies, build sustainable value chains and ensure inclusive outcomes from trade
Trade, Investment and Development Agencies CEO Group: Shares best practice on linking regional priorities and action to international trade and investment developments
Digital Trade, TradeTech and Payments Group: Catalyses the use of emerging technologies to improve trade outcomes, advises on digital economy policies and explores international digital payment and finance dynamics
Labour and Indigenous Peoples Working Groups: Convene inclusive dialogue and research among communities to advance regulatory and business approaches that support improved trade outcomes for all
Work Stream on Trade Shocks and Geopolitical Tensions: Delivers insights that help business and governments navigate trade shocks and geopolitical tensions
World Investment for Development Alliance: Convenes leading international investment organizations to collaborate on priorities including investment facilitation
G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance: Unites business leaders, innovators and experts with city networks representing over 200,000 local governments to ease adoption of beneficial technologies
Global Partnership for Local Investment: Mobilizes public-private collaboration and investment in local communities to increase prosperity for 100 million people across 100 cities by 2030
Davos Baukultur Alliance: Advances shared global principles on design, planning and construction to improve the quality of living environments and accommodate the 2.5 billion new urban residents expected in the coming decades
Global New Mobility Coalition: Accelerates the transition to shared, electric, connected and autonomous mobility to reduce emissions, improve health and mobility, and generate new business opportunities
Alliance for Urban Innovation: Connects innovators and entrepreneurs to new markets and opportunities through a global network of urban test beds that are rethinking and redefining the benefits and possibilities of urban living
Global Commission on Nature Positive Cities: Examines pioneering state-of-the-art urban interventions by city leaders, business executives and international experts that simultaneously benefit people, the planet and the economy
Global Future Council on Cities: Advances promising solutions from leading mayors, business leaders and civil society representatives to address the global urban affordability crisis
Council on the Connected World: Works with cross-sector and cross-industry leaders around the globe to strengthen the governance and continued innovation of connected technologies
During the 2022-2023 fiscal year, the World Economic Forum experienced strong partnership growth, despite geopolitical and pandemic-related challenges. The Forum increased its
partnerships by almost 8%, with the partnership base rising to a record high of 845. This reflected the addition of more than 160 new partnerships and the strong retention of existing partnerships.
These results were principally driven by the addition of more than 80 companies that signed Associate Partnerships, many of which were Global Innovators that expanded their engagement.
Growth also stemmed from engagement renewals by companies able to resume their partnership with the Forum as the COVID-19 situation became more manageable. The Strategic Partner community maintained solid engagement with 120 Partners, as of 30 June 2023.
For the first time since 2020, the World Economic Forum was able to deliver all its flagship events in person, including the
Annual Meeting, Growth Summit, Industry Strategy Meeting, Annual Meeting of the New Champions and Sustainable Development Impact Meetings. These provided the opportunity for Partners to gather in person and served as accelerators of the Forum’s initiatives.
On a sectoral basis, partnership growth in the clusters of Mobility and Energy was notable, growing 17% and 20%, respectively.
The improved diversification helped broaden the issues with which the Forum engages. New companies that joined the Forum as Partners in this reporting period included several high-profile Fortune 500 companies.
Regionally, Asia-Pacific, China and Latin America proved significant drivers of growth, with a rise in partnerships of at least 14% in each region, reflected in the record numbers of business leaders participating in the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023.
As the partnership base continued to grow, engagement deepened. The release of new features of the Engagement 360 and Engagement Tracker tools helped the Forum and its Partners better manage engagement and understand the most relevant opportunities to engage. Partners will have greater opportunities to be involved in an even larger number of initiatives and communities as the model evolves.
Complementing the partnership base, the Forum maintained a robust community of approximately 400 Global Innovators and Technology Pioneers. These members help the Forum and its Partners stay abreast of the latest emerging technologies and those innovations that are pivotal to industry transformation.
For example, the Technology Pioneers revealed how to equip workforces efficiently by leveraging emerging technologies and helped the Forum explore the risks and benefits of applying these technologies in the financial sector. Similarly, the Global Innovators supplied valuable insights related to the platforms’ work, launching the Global Collaboration Village, a metaverse platform that helps Partners and policy-makers understand the technological and business potential of virtual reality.
Complementing the engagement of business partners, the Forum works with and integrates a wide range of other stakeholders.
It collaborates with universities and academic experts and assimilates Global Future Councils, expert bodies across topics, in its work, managed through the Centre for the New Economy and Society. The Forum engages governments, international organizations and civil society in its activities, including in its initiatives and events, throughout the year, managed through the Centre for Regions, Trade and Geopolitics. It also involves media leaders and media organizations in its events and workshops and in relevant cases in its initiatives and expert councils, coordinated through the Global Communications Group.
International Business Council
The International Business Council (IBC) is a cross-industry, cross-regional group of 130 leading CEOs working to facilitate in-depth peer exchanges and drive collective action on world issues.
Since 2019, the community has steered progress on aligning corporate values and strategies with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Considering the proliferation of voluntary standards of measurement, the IBC has promoted the adoption of the common metrics it created that allow consistent and comparable measurement of a business’s effects on its wider group of stakeholders. During the 2022- 2023 period, over 180 Forum Partner companies committed to embedding these metrics into their reporting materials, with more than 150 already reporting them, sending a strong signal to international capital markets and stakeholders that global issuers are advocating for worldwide alignment of sustainability disclosures. The Forum signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation and the International Sustainability Standards Board to provide private-sector input and expertise into the development of international sustainability standards to accelerate adoption.
Chaired by Ana Botín, Group Executive Chair, Banco Santander, Spain since January 2023, the IBC has taken on the additional challenge of helping to accelerate the global energy transition by raising awareness of business leaders and policy-makers on the leadership case for energy demand management as a key lever for growth and decarbonization.
The Forum is a platform where leaders gather to manage existing challenges and discuss global, industry and regional agendas. To support these dialogues, the Forum’s centres and multistakeholder communities need a trusted environment and engaging content.
The Global Programming Group (GPG) sits at the heart of the Forum’s institutional events and is responsible for their architecture, design, programmes and delivery. As such, the GPG is committed to cooperating with colleagues throughout the organization to unlock the richness of the work of the 10 centres and to give voice to it as part of an integrated framework of in-person and virtual gatherings.
With the pandemic receding, in-person events resumed their importance on the agenda. Over the year, the GPG led and delivered several events, including three global meetings: the 53rd World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, 14th Annual Meeting of the New Champions and the Sustainable Development Impact Meetings. In addition, the team provided strategic guidance and support for other Forum events, such as the Industry Strategy Meeting, the Forum’s live programming at COP27 and Business 20 (B20) and the inaugural Growth Summit.
The Global Communications Group is the central Forum team dedicated to sharing the work of the Forum with the public, the media and the Forum’s key stakeholders and constituents. The team helps the Forum’s centres, events, Partners and constituents share insights and amplify solutions to a global audience through its expert storytellers, publishers and content creators.
Through its public engagement channels, the Global Communications Group develops written, audio and visual content, as well as live production, to share the latest developments from events, the findings of key knowledge products, and solutions from longer-term initiatives. Key communication formats include the Agenda for written content; both social videos and longer form videos; the Radio Davos podcast; and newsletters, each providing analysis and opinions in an increasingly fragmented information space. The team is also responsible for coordinating the engagement of media leaders and media organizations in the Forum’s work.
This year, the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 attracted the largest global audience in the event’s history, with 2.5 million people watching its sessions online and many more following it on social media, registering 34 million views. Key developments at the event were communicated in real time with audiences around the world and across multiple formats. Also this year, the Forum released a new explainer series and award- winning documentaries. The Radio Davos podcast achieved 1 million downloads.
The Forum also continued to be a prominent social media publisher on LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter, with almost 30 million followers across these sites. Social media posts attracted 750 million views on these platforms during the reporting year, covering areas from emerging technologies to healthcare, and geopolitics to the future of work.
The Forum’s work was also widely covered in global news media on issues like digital inclusion, the climate crisis, the future of jobs and Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies. Along with daily mentions in publications, including Reuters, Bloomberg and the AP, the Forum saw considerable increases in coverage in China, India, Japan and the United States.
Co-designed sessions with several outlets, including CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg and Time, also supported further reach of the Forum’s work.
The Forum develops cutting-edge digital products to advance its mission and drive impact. Its goal is to provide the digital operating system for multistakeholder collaboration. The digital products provide the organizations and individuals who engage
with the Forum a seamless and efficient way to gain knowledge and strategic insights, develop and nurture connections, and drive collective action. They also provide the opportunity for anyone interested in the organization to learn about its work, engage where applicable and potentially become Partners or digital members.
The Forum’s core applications deliver world-class digital solutions for events and virtual interaction, initiatives and community engagement, intelligence and horizon scanning, and open innovation and solutions sourcing.
During the period, the Forum developed a new mobile app for events (Forum Live) and significantly improved the overall user experience and integration of the digital ecosystem. It also developed a solution to increase engagement and outreach for the most ambitious multistakeholder initiatives – Forum Spaces. Significant external initiatives also adopted this service that is based on leading-edge technology.
The Forum reached the milestone of more than 1 million registered users on Strategic Intelligence, the digital knowledge platform combining analysis from its broad community of experts
with artificial intelligence to provide insights on trends and strategic developments in over 300 topic areas. This service is available to the general public and provides the basis for the Forum’s Digital Membership programme. The period also saw the first exclusive virtual programme for digital members at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023. This marks key progress in broadening efforts to develop a fully virtual digital members’ community.
UpLink, the Forum’s open-innovation platform, continued to connect people- and planet-focused entrepreneurs with the experts, resources and funding they need to expand their operations and maximize their impact. Innovations sourced through a competition framework, called “innovation challenges”, helped identify high- quality submissions from entrepreneurial start-ups worldwide.
With its more than 60,000 registered users, the UpLink platform held almost 50 innovation challenges, contributing more than 5,300 solutions. In addition, UpLink’s community of Top Innovators, comprised of over 400 pioneering start-ups, raised almost $1 billion in combined funding since engaging with the platform.
The UpLink team continued to experiment with new content formats and, with its partners at the Global Plastic Action Partnership, published its first short documentary, Back to Zero, in 2022, which received a Webby Award, the premium honour for online content. UpLink’s newsletter reached an audience of almost 50,000 people.
During this reporting period, despite a challenging economic and geopolitical environment, Partnership and Membership revenue remained high at CHF 264 million, representing a 5% year-on- year increase, reflecting the high retention level of Partners and the growth associated with new Partners joining the Forum’s communities. The Forum had 845 partnerships at the end of fiscal year 2022-2023, marking an 8% year-on-year increase, while the retention rate among existing Partners rose from 85% to 88%, year-on-year.
Grants come predominantly from public institutions and foundations and continued to greatly accelerate the impact of the Forum’s initiatives. Direct funding increased by CHF 2.2 million over the period and amounted to roughly 12% of total revenue.
This year, the Forum reported progress related to environmental, social and corporate governance for the third year, in line with the Stakeholder Metrics. The metrics provide information on four pillars of the Forum’s reporting on its sustainable value creation: governance, the planet, people and prosperity.
During the period, the sustainability strategy was revisited to align it with the organization’s mission, the global operations of its locations and the events organized during the year. The Forum’s ISO 20121 certification on sustainable event management was also audited and confirmed during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023.
With a keen focus on sustainability and ethical investing, the Forum focused on integrating environmental, social and governance considerations into its investment strategies. It set ambitious targets for its investment portfolio to be compliant with Articles 8 and 9 of the European Union’s Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation.
These articles promote environmental and social characteristics in investment decisions and the consideration of sustainability risks: the Forum has set a target of 90% compliance. This proactive approach not only demonstrated that the Forum is committed to sustainable investing, but also positioned the organization as a leader in driving positive change in the financial industry.
In early 2023, the Forum completed the remodelling of the Cologny, Geneva headquarters to adapt to the future of the workplace. The objective was to rethink how to best use the space, how to interact more effectively using state-of-the-art technology (with a dedicated room to showcase the Global Collaboration Village in the metaverse) and how to increase capacity for meetings. Adjacent to the headquarters, Villa Mundi was opened to serve as a multifunctional space. These remodelled spaces, designed sustainably, will provide Forum communities with improved convening areas to better foster collaboration and create impact.
The World Economic Forum’s focus has been on creating an inclusive, healthy and rewarding work environment in which people can thrive and grow. Since 2022, people development activities have focused on enhancing professional experiences, giving employees the opportunity to tailor their career journeys and providing the organization with a pool of agile talent.
Additionally, the Forum developed a robust catalogue of learning and development opportunities to increase in-house skills and capabilities and to align with the changing world of work.
The Management Excellence Programme equips managers with skills and tools to effectively lead their teams, achieve results and create a feedback culture focused on performance and well- being. Since its launch, the programme has supported the career development of more than 40% of managers at the Forum.
Launched during this reporting period, the 12-month Advanced Leadership Programme sees executive leaders enhance their strategic and implementation abilities, and develop their capabilities to shape and lead complex systems.
The number of places on the Certified Learning Programmes doubled during the fiscal year, while the Coaching Programme was opened to all employees wishing to apply. These offer development goals in areas like shaping strategy and enhancing people management skills.
The Global Learning Award allowance continued to give people the opportunity to invest in learning based on individual plans.
The ongoing application-based Team Custom Skills programme gave successful teams access to development programmes tailored to their specific needs.
The Internal Temporary Assignments programme continued to incentivize employees to spend 20%-40% of their time with another team, expanding their skill sets and networks, and developing a global mindset. Additionally, several employees took part in the Mentoring Programme.
The Forum also took the opportunity to embed well- being and inclusion mechanisms into its practices and processes, and continued to expand access to learning and development. Initiatives such as the Coaching Programme and a 360-feedback tool were made available to individuals, strengthening a culture of feedback and supporting tailored actions. Now in its second year, the Early Careers Programme continued to help the Forum develop a diverse, inclusive talent pipeline. To date, 50% of the programme’s participants have found longer-term employment opportunities within the organization.
Alongside the support the Forum offers to its employees, it also recognizes the importance of reinforcing a shared sense of purpose. The Forum continued its assistance to global humanitarian efforts this year, doubling employee donations to the relief efforts in Syria and Turkey after the earthquakes there.
The Beijing office’s mission is to promote public-private cooperation and innovation to shape a shared future for China and the world.
Despite the challenging global and domestic environment during the 2022-2023 period, the office supported Chinese Partners and constituents seeking to share perspectives at global events, hosted 36 platform activities and initiatives, and published 12 reports.
Engagement rose over the course of the year; the Forum invited 76 Chinese public figures to share their perspective at events, and the number of Chinese companies that joined the Forum increased significantly, a growth of more than 30% year-on-year.
In July 2022, Premier Li Keqiang (2013-2023) spoke to more than 300 CEOs and chairpersons of Forum Partner companies from over 50 countries at the World Economic Forum Special Virtual Dialogue with Global Business Leaders. Premier Li spoke about China–US relations, climate goals, manufacturing development and consumption policy.
The New Champion Dialogues were hosted virtually in July 2022, attracting more than 1,400 public- and private-sector participants for a series of high-level global conversations.
Walking Davos, which began in 2020, continued its “pulse-taking” events in different parts of the country. Over 120 high-level China- based executives from multinational companies met with senior officials to gain insights during events in Beijing and Hainan.
The office implemented multiple Forum initiatives in the Greater China region, including related to advanced manufacturing, as 50 of the 132 plants in the Forum’s Global Lighthouse Network are based in China. Virtual and in-person factory visits were held in 14 of them to exchange best-practice ideas.
With regard to nature and climate initiatives, the government pledged to work with the Forum to conserve and plant 70 billion trees by 2030. The Forum’s Accelerating Clean Hydrogen Initiative convened Chinese stakeholders to exchange insights, and contributed Chinese best practices to the global Coal to Renewables Toolkit. The Transitioning Industrial Clusters Towards Net Zero initiative welcomed two Chinese clusters.
In the financial sector, the Financing the Transition to a Net Zero Future project explored the potential of transition finance in China. Chinese Real Estate Investment Trusts Development was initiated to support supply-side structural reform in the financial sector, and the Future of Asset Management initiative highlighted the outlook for China’s pensions industry.
World Economic Forum Japan aims to continue strengthening the engagement of key Japanese stakeholders and, in the face of complex geo-economic and geopolitical dynamics, create more meaningful insights, interaction and impact.
During the period, the Japan office developed several regional initiatives, the most high profile of which included the Japan Energy Transition Initiative. The office convened the public- and private-sector stakeholders to discuss Japan’s path for sustainable and effective energy transition.
As part of this work, the office used the Forum’s System Value framework to assess the impact of political, social, economic and technological choices on Japan’s net-zero target; identified end-to-end hydrogen supply chain case studies and analysed investment barriers in each part of the value chain; and determined the industry’s progress on the net-zero transition process, offering a comparative analysis with the global average and best practices.
The Japan office continued to develop the Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator programme in the country. With Cabinet Office participation and co-chairs from Japanese business, the accelerator pursued efforts to boost women’s economic empowerment. The discussions also supported efforts to tackle the declining birth rate and ageing workforce.
Japan hosted the G7 in May 2023, during which the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Japan was invited to organize side events at ministerial meetings on smart cities, agile governance and digital transformation.
The World Economic Forum LLC has engaged US stakeholders in shaping global, regional and industry agendas since 2006. The New York office manages relationships with Forum Partners and city and national government that support the Forum’s mission to drive relevant and sustainable change through multistakeholder dialogue and public-private cooperation.
Reflecting a return to business as usual after the pandemic, the New York office was involved in several Forum and international initiatives and meetings, including the Sustainable Development Impact Meetings, held in September 2022. In November 2022, the Forum’s Centre for Financial and Monetary Systems hosted the Forum on the Silver Economy 2022 in partnership with the Global Coalition on Aging. The event addressed issues ranging from financial well-being to workplace innovations, health system transformations, investing in the longevity economy and boosting financial resilience.
In March, the New York office held meetings alongside the UN 2023 Water Conference, convening CEOs, senior business executives, policy-makers and innovators. Seven sessions brought nearly 150 participants together to promote systemic strategies for multistakeholder action.
The teams based in New York and San Francisco continued their work on global and local initiatives spanning a range of topics.
They particularly focused on the areas of consumer, financial services and health in New York and urban transformation and Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies in San Francisco. For example, the New York team, as part of the Consumers Beyond Waste initiative, developed a framework for standardized reuse measurement, enabling companies to measure progress on reuse in a harmonized way, and the New Frontiers of Nutrition initiative established a diverse community of more than 100 stakeholders to identify strategies to increase the widespread availability, access and adoption of nutritious food.
The Forum of Young Global Leaders (YGLs) is a community of outstanding individuals addressing the world’s most pressing problems. The Foundation carries out a rigorous annual selection process to identify, select and induct people under the age of 40 who lead their countries, serve their communities or launch groundbreaking initiatives to inspire new ways of driving social change. The community comprises over 1,400 members and alumni from more than 120 countries.
The Forum of Young Global Leaders welcomed nearly 100 YGLs as part of the Class of 2023. Their profiles ranged from journalists uncovering significant political and human rights issues to entrepreneurs transforming the way people work with technology. The class comprised game-changers, disruptors and visionaries from business, civil society, academia and government, exemplifying the consciousness and vision needed in the world today.
Post-pandemic, the Forum of Young Global Leaders held its first in-person events: the YGL Annual Summit in September, which brought together more than 300 YGLs, and the Alumni Gathering in October, which attracted 180 alumni. The convenings reinvigorated the community’s dedication to their collective goal and, as a result, YGLs made 122 new commitments towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals that support the Foundation’s new impact model.
Following these commitments, selected members participated in a meeting held in collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center. This provided members with an opportunity to boost their projects. Among those launched during the period were:
The Global Shapers Community network of 15,000 inspiring young leaders are creating positive action in more than 150 countries and territories. Throughout capital cities, rural areas and refugee camps, members are united in the common belief that young people working together can create change in their communities and the world.
This year, the Global Shapers Community celebrated a milestone, surpassing the goal of 500 city-based Hubs and, in doing so, expanding its reach and impact to new geographies. A Hub incubator saw a record number of 90 new Hubs open. New ideas and skills inspired founding teams to take joint action.
In each city, Global Shapers worked with local stakeholders to deliver projects aimed at addressing pressing local needs. Projects were wide-ranging and included responding to disasters, fighting climate change, accelerating reskilling, safeguarding digital safety, shaping the metaverse and promoting mental health. Members implemented more than 500 grassroots solutions this year. Since 2011, Hub projects have reached over 2 million beneficiaries and engaged more than 12 million people worldwide.
Projects were showcased on 2-4 September at the Global Shapers Annual Summit 2022, which was held in collaboration with the Forum of Young Global Leaders. A total of 500 young change-makers participated in this year’s gathering, which focused on accelerating values-based leadership for positive social change. Global Shapers emphasized the need for leadership to be linked to purpose, inclusivity, empathy and action, and committed to upholding these values in their current and future leadership roles.
Environmental justice was of great concern to the community members. With support from The Climate Reality Project, Global Shapers raised awareness of the disproportionate impacts of climate change on front-line and fence-line communities. In 2022, the community marked five years of partnership with the project. More than 90 Global Shapers attended COP27 to influence the negotiations, advance just climate solutions and advocate for the interests of future generations.
On a global scale, community members also came together at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023.
Together, young innovators, activists and entrepreneurs shared science-based messages and collaborated with world leaders. Members engaged with top executives, advocating for meaningful economic opportunities for youth and more equity for leadership positions, especially in boardrooms and public offices.
The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship is a global platform that advances the world’s leading models of sustainable social innovation. In January 2023, the Foundation celebrated its 25th anniversary.
This Foundation supports and helps advance social innovators in their work to create a more sustainable, equitable and just world. It provides a platform to share their stories and amplify their work, highlighting the most impactful models of social innovation to top decision-makers in business and government.
Since its creation, the Schwab Foundation has curated a community of more than 450 of the world’s leading social innovators in 190 countries. The Foundation includes these change-makers in Forum initiatives and meetings, supports peer exchange between community members and develops learning journeys worldwide. It also provides its members with access to exclusive insights and leadership programmes.
From crowdsourcing knowledge about tackling deforestation in the Amazon, to finding hidden talent and overcoming racial bias in the US workforce, to reintegrating women healthcare providers in Pakistan’s health system, and mobilizing working women in the informal economy to secure livelihoods in 24 countries, the 2023 Schwab Foundation Social Innovation Awards recognized outstanding founders, business leaders, government reformers and collective change-orchestrators. A new category was added in 2023 – the Collective Social Innovation Award – to recognize and highlight examples of collective approaches that are innovating the process of how change happens.
The Global Alliance for Social Entrepreneurship, a coalition hosted by the Schwab Foundation at the World Economic Forum, continued to mobilize the ecosystem in support of social entrepreneurs. The alliance consists of more than 100 members from business, the public sector, academia and civil society, an increase of 20% this year. With the increasing recognition of the value of social entrepreneurs and their perspectives in the various World Economic Forum communities, the alliance maintained a synergetic relationship between the Forum and its Partners through engagement and collaboration, helping to achieve their goals and increasing the profile of social innovation on the global stage.
In June 2023, 150 social innovators and 50 ecosystem leaders and partners from the alliance gathered at Forum offices in Geneva for the Schwab Foundation and Global Alliance Annual Summit 2023.
In 2022, the Schwab Foundation released a report entitled Unlocking the Social Economy, which presented a strong case for the global support of this economy and was a valuable resource in building awareness of the sector. In April 2023, the UN General Assembly adopted the world’s first resolution on promoting the social and solidarity economy for sustainable development.