Tokyo (SCCIJ) – This year’s World Economic Forum, to be held 21-24 January in Davos, Switzerland, will convene under the theme “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.” The 50th annual WEF will bring together 3,000 participants from around the world, among them U.S. President Donald Trump, who will deliver the opening address, and Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. The conference aims to provide a concrete meaning to “stakeholder capitalism,” and to assist governments and international institutions in tracking progress towards the climate policy goals. It also wants to facilitate discussions on technology and trade governance.
Worrying risk report
As usual ahead of its gathering in Davos, the organizers released its annual “Global Risk Report.” For this, they asked 750 experts from business and science about the state of the world. 78% said they expect “economic confrontations” and “domestic political polarization” to increase in 2020. From this judgement, the WEF concluded that business and government leaders must focus urgently on working together to tackle shared risks.
“People are revolting against the economic ‘elites’ they believe have betrayed them,” said Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman at the World Economic Forum. Our efforts to keep global warming limited to 1.5°C are falling dangerously short. “With the world at such critical crossroads, this year, we must develop a ‘Davos Manifesto 2020’ to reimagine the purpose and scorecards for companies and governments,” he added.
The Forum’s first meeting in 1971 was established to further the idea put forward by Professor Klaus Schwab that business should serve all stakeholders – customers, employees, communities, as well as shareholders. It was reaffirmed in 1973 in the “Davos Manifesto.” This document has shaped the work of the Forum ever since. In a major update, this year’s meeting will see the publication of a universal “ESG scorecard” by the Forum’s International Business Council. ESG is the abbreviation of “Environmental Social and Governance” and refers to the three key factors when measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of an investment in a business or company.
More sustainable meeting
The program for the annual forum will prioritize several vital key areas. Among them, the WEF will search for answers how to mobilize businesses to respond to the risks of climate change and ensure that measures to protect biodiversity reach forest floors and ocean beds. Also, it will look for solutions how to remove the long-term debt burden. Another important discussion will focus on how to create a global consensus on deployment of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies and avoid a ‘technology war.’
According to the organizers, the 2020 Davos meeting will be among the most sustainable international summits ever held. Awarded the IS0 20121 standard for sustainable events in 2018, it is entirely carbon neutral through reducing, calculating, and offsetting event-related emissions. Several initiatives put in place to achieve this goal. One is using locally-sourced food suppliers and introducing alternative sources of protein to reduce meat consumption. Another is sourcing 100% renewable electricity, and reducing or eliminating the use of materials that cannot easily be recycled or re-used, such as carpets.
Text: SCCIJ with materials of WEF