40th Davos Meeting Challenges Decision-Makers to "Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild"

Geneva, Switzerland, (PresseBox) - .

40th anniversary of the Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos to draw 2,500 leaders from business, government and civil society

The Forum provides a platform for decision-makers representing all sectors of society to come together and address major issues on the global agenda

The theme of the Meeting is “Improve the State of the World: Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild”

For all information about the Annual Meeting, visit http://www.weforum.org/annualmeeting

The 40th anniversary of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is a defining moment for world leaders as they meet under the theme “Improve the State of the World: Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild”. During five days filled with hundreds of working sessions, over 2,500 leaders from more than 90 countries representing business, government, civil society, academia and culture will work together to address pressing challenges and future risks.

“Global multistakeholder cooperation lies at the heart of the Forum’s mission to improve the state of the world,” said Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. Speaking at a press conference at the World Economic Forum’s headquarters in Geneva, Professor Schwab said: “We have to rethink our values – we are living together in a global society with many different cultures. We have to redesign our processes – how do we deal with the issues and challenges on the global agenda. And finally, we have to rebuild our institutions.

“We have to look at the Meeting in the context of what’s happening in the world … and we see that, clearly, the present system of global cooperation is not working sufficiently. So we want to look at all issues on the global agenda in a systemic, integrated and strategic way, and we want to address in particular the issue of global cooperation. This is the reason why our Annual Meeting this year is tailored around the need to rethink, redesign and rebuild.”

The future of Haiti in the aftermath of its devastating earthquake will also be on the agenda: “We hope that we can present a major common effort to the world community showing true corporate global citizenship in Davos,” Professor Schwab said.

Over 1,400 top-level executives from the world’s leading companies will participate this year, drawn principally from the Forum’s Members – the 1,000 foremost companies from around the world and across economic sectors.(Download a list of selected business, public figure and NGO and labour leader participants.)

However, nearly half of participants will come from outside business, including over 30 heads of state or government, at least double that number of government ministers, over 100 heads or top officials from international organizations and NGOs, over 200 leading academics, and more than 200 media leaders.

Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, will deliver the opening address. Among world leaders participating are from Africa: Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of Tanzania, Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe and Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa; from the Americas: Felipe Calderón, President of Mexico, Stephen J. Harper, Prime Minister of Canada (Chair, 2010 G8 Summit), Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil and Álvaro Uribe, President of Colombia; from Asia: Lee Myung-Bak, President of the Republic of Korea (Chair, 2010 G20 Summit) and Li Keqiang, Executive Vice-Premier, State Council of the People’s Republic of China; and from Europe: José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain.

There will be over 30 social entrepreneurs present in Davos, and this year there will be almost as many labour leaders as central bankers participating, with over a dozen representatives from each category.

Participants in the Annual Meeting are invited by the Forum and its Members by function and role. Women represent around 15% of participants, a figure the Forum is committed to increasing despite an external barrier of significantly weaker representation of women in leadership positions around the world. Of Fortune 1,000 companies fewer than 2.5% are led by women; 15% of government ministers globally are women.

The United Kingdom Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams is among more than a dozen faith leaders in Davos, and he will lead the closing of the meeting with a discussion on “Being Responsible for the Future” alongside young people selected from the Global Changemaker programme of British Council.

The Annual Meeting 2010 programme will focus on six areas:

How to Create a Values Framework
How to Strengthen Economic and Social Welfare
How to Mitigate Global Risks and Address Systemic Failures
How to Ensure Sustainability
How to Enhance Security
How to Build Effective Institutions
The Annual Meeting 2010 Co-Chairs are:

Josef Ackermann, Chairman of the Management Board and the Group Executive Committee, Deutsche Bank, Germany; Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum
Melinda French Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA
Azim H. Premji, Chairman, Wipro, India
Peter Sands, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered, United Kingdom
Eric Schmidt, Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Executive Officer, Google, USA
Ronald A. Williams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Aetna, USA
Patricia A. Woertz, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), USA
All this work will continue beyond the Annual Meeting. WELCOM, a collaborative platform that integrates Web 2.0 technology, will enable leaders to build knowledge, share insights and reach out to key stakeholders as an online community throughout the year.

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