What is The World Economic Forum?

What is The World Economic Forum

In this episode, we are going to talk about The World Economic Forum, or in short WEF. In summary, The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. This is a non-profit organization that joins public and private companies in collaboration with certain agreed-upon goals. 

The WEF’s mission is stated as “committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.

The World Economic Forum hosts an annual meeting at the end of January in Davos in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland. The meeting brings together 3,000 business leaders, international political leaders, economists, celebrities, and journalists for up to five days to discuss global issues, across 500 sessions.

The organization also convenes six to eight regional meetings each year in locations across Africa, East Asia, Latin America, and India and holds two other annual meetings in China and the United Arab Emirates.

Besides meetings, the organization provides a platform for leaders from all stakeholder groups from around the world – business, government, and civil society – to collaborate on multiple projects and initiatives. It also produces a series of reports and engages its members in sector-specific initiatives [1].

Who is in Attendance

Donald Trump, President of the United States of America

Han Zheng, Vice-Premier of the People’s Republic of China

Angela Merkel, Federal Chancellor of Germany

Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy

H.R.H. The Prince of Wales; 

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain

Simonetta Sommaruga, President of the Swiss Confederation

Andrzej Duda, President of Poland

Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations

Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund

Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO)

Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary-General, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

David Beasley, Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)

Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)

Luca Visentini, General Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)

Micah White, Co-Creator, Occupy Wall Street

Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch

Greta Thunberg, Swedish climate activist

Deepika Padukone, Actress, and Founder, Live Love Laugh Foundation

will.i.am, Founder and CEO, I.AM.PLUS

Jin Xing, Choreographer, and Founder, Jin Xing Dance Theatre Shanghai

Yo-Yo Ma, Cellist and Co-Chair Annual Meeting 2020

Mary Beard, Professor, University of Cambridge

Rena Efendi, Photographer, National Geographic

Wanuri Kahiu, Filmmaker, AFROBUBBLEGUM.

2020 Global Risk Assessment 

Top Likelihood of Occurring 

  1. Extreme weather
  2. Climate action failure
  3. Natural disaster
  4. Biodiversity loss
  5. Human-made Environmental disasters
  6. Data fraud or theft
  7. Cyberattacks
  8. Water crises
  9. Global governance failure

Climate-related issues dominated all of the top-five long-term risks in terms of likelihood.

A new cold war is developing as countries—including China, Norway, Russia, and the United States— compete for fish, gas, and other natural resources; for the use of new shipping lanes; and to establish a strategic footprint in the region.

Russia and China have prioritized developing the Northern Sea Route, with the latter dubbing its initiative the “Polar Silk Road”. The U.S. Department of Defense released its Arctic strategy in July; that document did not mention climate change but did present a strategy in which the “end-state for the Arctic is a secure and stable region in which U.S. national security interests are safeguarded.”

More Complex Digital Frontiers

One such area is artificial intelligence (AI). According to the UN’s International Telecommunication Union, it will take “massive interdisciplinary collaboration” to unlock AI’s potential. But because AI can also bring significant risk, multilateral cooperation is needed to address challenges such as security, verification, “deep fake” videos, mass surveillance, and advanced weaponry.

Despite the need for a common set of global protocols, AI has become a new frontier for competitive geopolitics. In 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.”

China has strongly encouraged companies to invest in AI, making it a national security priority; AI is a pillar of its current five-year plan (2016–2020) for science and technology development and its “made in China 2025” industrial plan.

In the United States, the Defense Department’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center recently requested that its budget be tripled to US$268 million, citing the rapid development of AI capabilities by China and Russia as a reason for urgency.

2030 Predictions for the World

What will the future look like for the world? This is probably the question in everyone’s mind. Here are some of the future predictions that may happen in the next few years [2].

  1. Products will become a service

    • There are people that do not own a car, don’t own a house, don’t own appliances or clothes, they don’t own anything. 
  2. Global price on carbon

    • China took the lead in 2017 with a market for trading the right to emit a tonne of CO2, setting the world on a path towards a single carbon price and a powerful incentive to ditch fossil fuels, predicts Jane Burston, Head of Climate and Environment at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory. Europe, meanwhile, found itself at the center of the trade-in of cheap, efficient solar panels, as prices for renewables fell sharply.
  3. Drop-in US dominance into a handful of powers

    • Instead of a single force, a handful of countries – the U.S., Russia, China, Germany, India, and Japan chief among them – show semi-imperial tendencies. However, at the same time, the role of the state is threatened by trends including the rise of cities and the spread of online identities.
  4. Less hospital care

    • The hospital as we know it will be changed, with fewer accidents due to self-driving cars and an increase in preventive and personalized medicine. Open organ surgeries and organ donors are out, and tiny robotic tubes and bio-printed organs are going to be developed.
  5. Less meat

    • Rather like our grandparents, the meat will be a treat rather than a staple, writes Tim Benton, Professor of Population Ecology at the University of Leeds, UK. It won’t be big agriculture or little artisan producers that win, but rather a combination of the two, with convenience food redesigned to be healthier and less harmful to the environment.
  6. Refugees will be CEOs and share the future

    • Highly educated Syrian refugees will be old enough to have an impact on the community by 2030, making the case for the economic integration of those who have been forced to flee the conflict. The world needs to be better prepared for populations on the move, writes Lorna Solis, Founder, and CEO of the NGO Blue Rose Compass, as climate change will have displaced 1 billion people.
  7. Western values will be tested

    • We forget the checks and balances that bolster our democracies at our peril, writes Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch.
  8. Moving closer to Mars

    • What’s more, once we get there, we’ll probably discover evidence of alien life, writes Ellen Stofan, Chief Scientist at NASA. Big science will help us to answer big questions about life on earth, as well as open up practical applications for space technology.

COVID-19: The Great Reset

The book has three main chapters, offering a panoramic overview of the future landscape. 

  • The first make an assessment of what the impact of the pandemic will be on five key macro-categories: the economic, societal, geopolitical, environmental, and technological factors. 
  • The second considers the effects in micro terms, on specific industries and companies.
  • The third hypothesis is about the nature of the possible consequences at the individual level.

“This is a chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts, to reimagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like extreme poverty, inequality, and climate change,” Trudeau said.

Simply put, will we put into motion the Great Reset? Resetting is an ambitious task, perhaps too ambitious, but we have no choice but to try our utmost to achieve it. 

It’s about making the world less divisive, less polluting, less destructive, more inclusive, more equitable, and fairer than we left it in the pre-pandemic era. Doing nothing, or too little, is to sleepwalk towards ever-more social inequality, economic imbalances, injustice, and environmental degradation.

Failing to act would equate to letting our world become meaner, more divided, more dangerous, more selfish, and simply unbearable for large segments of the globe’s population. To do nothing is not a viable option. 

Two points are pertinent to the Great Reset in this: 

  1. Our human actions and reactions are not rooted in statistical data but are determined instead by emotions and sentiments – narratives drive our behavior.
  2. As our human condition improves, our standards of living increase and so do our expectations for a better and fairer life.

Klauss belief: Transhumanism is a philosophical movement, the proponents of which advocate and predict the enhancement of the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies able to greatly enhance longevity, mood, and cognitive abilities.

Learn more about the World Economic Forum by clicking on the full episode here


0:00 – Intro
0:10 – Episode Intro
1:50 –  A globalized world
2:00 – WEF Mission
3:35 – The Annual Meeting
4:50 – 2020 Risk Assessment
8:50 – Products will become a service
13:42 – Less hospital care
17:15 – Less meat consumption
19:52 – Refugees will be CEOs
20:00 – Western values will be tested
27:05 – Moving closer to Mars
29:29 – The Covid-19 the Great Reset
31:40 – China’s AI
33:20 – Can robots replace us?
34:50 – “Emotion is more powerful than logic or numbers”
37:00 – The two points of the Great Reset
39:30 – Context matters
41:00 – A world that’s less decisive
41:50 – Enhancing the human condition
42:35 – Peace out!


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