Status: 22.05.2022 2:43 p.m
The World Economic Forum in Davos begins on Sunday evening. What are the chances that the WEF will live up to its claim to find solutions to global problems such as the pandemic and the climate crisis?
A turning point in Davos – and a premiere in many respects: After a two and a half year break from the pandemic, the world elite gathered for the first time in May. Instead of a snowy mountain landscape, according to the weather forecast, plenty of spring rain will form the backdrop for the meeting of the World Economic Forum, or WEF for short.
ARD studio Geneva
And it will be significantly smaller than last time. Around 2,200 international leaders from politics, business and society are expected in Davos from Sunday – almost a third fewer than in January 2020.
On the other hand, the expectations of Klaus Schwab, the founder of the WEF Foundation, are greater than ever: “Under the motto ‘History at a turning point’, this year’s annual meeting will be the most up-to-date and important since the World Economic Forum was founded more than 50 years ago.”
Selenskyj switched on
A turning point also on the list of speakers: as recently as last January, China’s President Xi Jinping was able to open a virtual WEF event. The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj will join the meeting in Davos on Monday.
“The first thing that comes to mind is the war in Ukraine,” says Schwab. “Russia’s attack will go down in history as the collapse of the world order after WWII and the Cold War.”
War in Ukraine big topic
A turning point in Davos also means: no guests from Russia, neither from business nor from politics, according to WEF President Börge Brende. “Instead, a large delegation from Ukraine will travel to Davos, including several members of parliament and the mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko.”
The war in Ukraine will be the dominant topic at the WEF: “On the one hand, try to improve the difficult situation at the moment, maybe improve something, but then also work towards reconstruction in Ukraine,” says Alois Zwinggi, Executive Director of the WEF Foundation in Cologne near Geneva.
But the other red-hot global issues, the pandemic and man-made climate change, he emphasizes, are also “key issues” for the World Economic Forum this year.
Around 1,000 multinational companies and corporations with sales in the billions are members of the WEF. It was globalization that made the Lake Geneva organization great.
But now global business has stalled. Supply chain problems, protectionism and nationalism – confrontation instead of cooperation paralyzing world trade and globalization. Whether this new reality, deglobalization, is paralyzing or possibly spurring on the World Economic Forum, that is also what will be discussed in Davos this week.
In any case, according to WEF Director Zwinggi, the challenge is enormous: “I think the strength of our organization is that we have been creating the platform for more than 50 years where the private sector and the public sector can meet.”
Deglobalization is effectively there and you have to look it in the eye. “How will companies and governments position themselves in the future? Which strategies, which approaches are needed in a deglobalizing world? You have to face it.”
WEF 22: turning point in Davos – WEF in multiple signsr crises
Kathrin Hondl, ARD Geneva, May 22, 2022 7:13 a.m