25th January 2015 – Special Edition – World Economic Forum 2015

Flickr_-_World_Economic_Forum_-_World_Economic_Forum_Annual_Meeting_Davos_200725th January 2015

WITADA’s Weekly Top 10: SPECIAL EDITION – The World Economic Forum 2015


The World Economic Forum   has just concluded in Davos Switzerland. This annual forum is designed to bring together a range of world leaders in areas such as business, government, academia and the not for profit sectors, to discuss key social, political and economic issues. There are four program pillars the provide the context for the 4 days – crisis and cooperation, growth and stability, innovation and industry and society and security.


In this Special Edition of WITADA we explore some of the main themes to arise in the Forum this year. The program has been huge and many of the sessions look both interesting and important however many of the speeches and session transcripts are not yet available on the web so keep a look out in the next few days.


1. The Guardian has published a complete guide to the Forum and it has some very helpful general information as well as specific details about this year’s Forum.


2. The UN has called on those present at the Forum to do more for children who are affected by poverty, disease and violence.  UNICEF is promoting the Agenda for Every Child which outlines 7 priority areas – end violence against children; put ending child poverty at the core of global poverty eradication; end preventable child and maternal deaths; pay more attention to adolescence, the second decade of life; leverage the growing data revolution to support the rights of every child; improve investments in all children, especially the most vulnerable and marginalised; break the cycle of chronic crisis that affect children.


3. Emma Watson, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, gave a speech at Davos on gender equality. She has some concrete ideas, mostly through her HeForShe campaign and her new initiative Impact 10x10x10.


4. This link takes you to the key sessions that focused on women and girls and the idea of ending poverty through parity.


5. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations gave an address at the Plenary session of the Forum where he urged world leaders to continue to focus on key social issues such as gender equality, climate change and development issues. He said that 2015 should be a year of global action.


6. The Huffington Post has run a story about the youngest participant at the Forum – Alain Nteff, from Central Africa, who is the founder of Gifted Mom which is an app that provides different programs to mothers and pregnant women. The WEF named him a Global Shaper for 2015.


7. This session focuses on conflict resolution and the innovative approaches to rebuilding trust when there has been conflict.

8. Bill and Melinda Gates spoke at the Forum about their work to develop a vaccine and more effective drugs to treat HIV by 2030.


9. Key moments from the 2015 Forum are summarised in this article. It’s an excellent summary of the main events of the week.


10. And finally just returning to our first story and the article from The Guardian. As with many events such as this, one needs to pause to reflect on the usefulness of such meetings particularly when:
– only 17% of those present are women
– of the 2,500 present, 791 are from the US, 283 are from UK, with the smallest number of delegates from Latin American and Africa
– around 1,700 private jets have landed at Swiss airports for the Forum
– the Forum is funded by 1,000 of the world’s biggest companies who pay large subscription fees to be WEF members and to attend the Forum
– in 2011 the price of attending the Forum was estimated to be $71,000 and last year that fee rose by 20% for elite members.
– and does anything ever come of these meetings – maybe, but no one is really sure if it is worth the cost.


Don’t forget that tomorrow we are publishing our Special Edition on ‘Australia Day’. It’s packed full of insights and opinions about the contested nature of this day. We have articles from Chris Sarra, Dick Smith, and Henry Reynolds – as well as some great Indigenous music and a terrific film from John Pilger.


Look forward to catching up with you tomorrow.