The theme this year seeks to create “a shared future in a fractured world,” and if the forum is to meet that goal, the global development community will be a key partner. The international organization is known for driving public-private cooperation, in part through its annual gathering in this Swiss mountain town that includes donors, nongovernmental organizations, and social enterprises in its discussions. While many value Davos, there are always critics — from locals who hang protest signs out their windows to leaders who boycott the meeting — who say the elite gathering illustrates global disparities in wealth and power.
This year, Devex is focusing on what the annual meetings mean for development, and connecting the dots between an agenda with a strong focus on emerging technologies and the work our audience is doing in foreign aid, global health, and humanitarian response.
1. World leaders convene. The World Economic Forum meetings are drawing Angela Merkel of Germany, Emmanuel Macron of France, and Theresa May of the United Kingdom, all major bilateral donors we’ll be following closely. U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to close the meeting on Friday and speak about his America First agenda. Tomorrow Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will talk about the growth of India’s economy, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will discuss his priorities, including empowering women. You can watch those talks here and here.
2. Gender (im)balance. While male delegates still outnumber female delegates by four to one, all seven co-chairs for Davos 2018 are women. Tomorrow, we’ll hear from the co-chairs and Devex will be covering key conversations on women’s empowerment and women’s leadership throughout the week.
3. Tech for good. We’re also looking forward to sessions on how industries can shape the future of the digital economy, how new technologies can help refugees, and how to move toward better capitalism. We’ll be talking to Tim Brown, the CEO of IDEO, about the value of design thinking in addressing the challenges on the WEF agenda, and Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, about the organization’s work to increase access to immunization.
4. Shared happiness = shared prosperity. Finally, Devex is hosting an event about the role of health and well-being in catalyzing global development. Katja Iversen, president & CEO of Women Deliver, Jaak Peeters, head of Johnson & Johnson’s Global Public Health division, and Peter Sands, incoming executive director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria will participate.
Devex President and Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar gives his take on what the dealmaking at Davos means for the billions to trillions agenda. “Now that global development has entered an era of financial innovation, Davos has more relevance than ever,” he writes, pointing to the philanthropists, finance ministers, and leaders of development institutions who will dominate the development conversation this week.
We’ve also pulled together an NGO leader’s survival guide for Davos with advice from veterans of the annual meeting on how leaders in global health, international development, and humanitarian response can maximize their time at Davos.
The World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Risk Report found that environmental risks and cybersecurity threats top the list of concerns among survey responders. Here’s our analysis.
1. The humanitarian agenda. Peter Mauer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross — one of the world’s largest humanitarian networks — will speak at a press conference detailing the most pressing humanitarian issues in 2018. Here’s what he’s going to say.
2. #SharedFutures means collaboration. Fifteen U.N. agencies and international organizations (think: U.N. OCHA, the World Bank, IFRC) have teamed up to show their solidarity in achieving the SDGs under the theme Leave No One Behind: Partnering for Impact. Devex is on board, too. On Wednesday, tune in to a virtual reality event — co-hosted with the Global Humanitarian Lab and consortium — to learn how cross-sector collaboration can help us avoid disasters in the first place.
3. What Davos means for our community. On Thursday, Devex President & Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar will give his in-depth analysis of what Davos means for global development. Register here. (Not a member? Here’s how to change that.)
In Washington, the (large) Trump delegation was delayed after the U.S. federal government shutdown over the weekend. With a temporary funding bill in place, attention is turning back to Davos and how President Trump will approach the meetings. Speaking to Fortune, Ian Bremmer’s outlook for Trump at Davos isn’t great. The Financial Times‘ Gideon Rachman has a slightly more optimistic take — and theNew York Times opinion section offers this cartoon.
The New York Times also writes that champagne might flow more freely than last year: Populism Is Waning, Which Is Reason to Party in Davos.
Most CEOs think prosperity is about more than just GDP. Read the full report.
An Oxfam report is highlighting the inequality gap, noting that 42 people hold same wealth as the 3.7 billion poorest people, The Guardian reports. But Politico and the Huffington Post point out some of the controversies in Oxfam’s methodology. The Washington Post interviewed some critical voices who expressed concerns over the world’s growing inequality.
Meanwhile, Reuters has a rundown of the celebrity-laden Crystal Awards for human rights, including emotional A-list speeches from the likes of Cate Blanchett, Elton John, and Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan.