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Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum (WEF) is an international non-profit organization composed of prominent political, business, civic and academic leaders. Every year, the organization hosts the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, a mountain resort in the Swiss Alps. While Davos is the venue for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, most people simply refer to the meeting itself as “Davos.”
If you’re even remotely familiar with the World Economic Forum, you probably also know that it’s notoriously difficult to attend the conference. So, who actually gets to attend Davos? This article addresses that question and everything else you need to know about the conference.
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What exactly is Davos?
The annual meeting in Davos brings together world leaders to discuss a variety of global problems and possible solutions to those problems. Participants will address critical issues including asset management, climate change, gender equality, mental health, venture capital and much, much more. These global issues are discussed through sessions, speeches, lectures, special speeches and impact panels. According to the official World Economic Forum website, Davos’ main goal is for leaders to collaborate while “sharing insights, gain new perspectives, and build problem-solving communities and initiatives.”
The theme for the upcoming Davos 2022 is “Working together, restoring trust”. This year’s Davos agenda consists of critical topics, including “building a better future for work, accelerating stakeholder capitalism, and harnessing the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” Although the conference is usually held in January, this year’s event was moved to May 22 to May 26.
Can anyone attend Davos?
No, not everyone can attend the conference. Davos is an invitation-only event. The World Economic Forum itself is funded by the organization’s (approximately) 1,000 members. The membership list consists of the largest international companies, and the CEOs of those companies are among those invited to Davos.
In addition to the members of the organization, invitations to Davos are also given to prominent politicians, civil society representatives, world leaders, business leaders, religious leaders, academic leaders, journalists, investors and celebrities. The event usually attracts about 3,000 visitors every year. Davos is free for all WEF members, but individuals invited as company representatives Reportedly pay approximately $28,000 USD to participate. Past non-members of Davos have included former US President Donald Trump, Swedish environmentalist Greta Thunberg, singer Elton John and actress Cate Blanchett.
Although Davos is a very exclusive event, World Economic Forum urges the annual meeting is not secret. More than 1,000 media representatives will attend the conference to cover it, and the World Economic Forum website also confirms that more than 150 sessions will be livestreamed online. There is also a special website to report the biggest highlights of the event. The WEF will also post much of the action from Davos on Twitter (@wef and @davos). You can also follow the action via the official meeting hashtag #wef22 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. In addition, WEF’s official YouTube channel will post the live streamed sessions and videos.
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Why is Davos so important?
The importance of Davos lies primarily in the fact that the conference provides a platform for leaders around the world to address pressing global issues and work together to generate ideas and solutions to improve the state of the world at large.
The World Economic Forum states in its mission statement, “We believe progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life who have the drive and influence to create positive change.” Davos is an opportunity for thousands of voices and perspectives to come together to dissect how to actually make progress each year. Davos is also an opportunity for participants and attendees to capture the attention of world leaders. In addition, the issues and topics that emerge in Davos are incredibly diverse and have sparked conversations on everything from capitalism, the environment and mental health to art, culture and much more.
Past meetings in Davos have provided evidence of this progress and also of the importance of the conference. For example, after the 2019 conference, the WEF, the World Bank and the Red Cross teamed up to invest in fragile economies using private sector capital raised at the conference. After another previous Davos meeting, a charitable organization known as The Wellcom Trust pledged $260 million over five years for mental health research, specifically research aimed at a better understanding of depression and anxiety.
In addition to focusing on “building a better future for work”, Davos will also focus this year on pandemic recovery and climate change. So even though it’s not possible for just any reason everybody To attend Davos, the public still has plenty of opportunity to keep up with the discussion on these important topics mentioned above via social media highlights. And although Davos is only held once a year, its impact is extraordinary as it brings to light the world’s most pressing problems as leaders collaborate on solutions. Keep your eyes and ears open from May 22 to May 26 to see what comes out of Davos 2022.
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