Why You Should Know About The World Economic Forum
January 26, 2013 Leave a comment
“Capitalism, in its current form, no longer fits the world around us. A global transformation is urgently needed and it must start with reinstating a global sense of social responsibility.” -Klaus Schwab
This past week over 2500 of the most important business, political, religious, academic and other leaders in the world gathered for the annual World Economic Forum (WEF). The World Economic Forum is an international non-profit organization that addresses important issues, some of which include economic growth, environmental sustainability, financial systems, health, humanity, ecosystems, gender equality, social development and more.
I would be fascinated to attend this event someday and have put it on my bucket list of things to do before I die. In today’s business environment, it is more important than ever to be informed about issues that affect and influence economies, our environment, human rights, etc. I believe anyone who works in strategy or management would benefit by paying attention to the many issues being discussed at the World Economic Forum and use the rich research issues, reports and studies it produces.
The purpose of the forum is to engage people from all walks of life to one location and discuss issues on their minds, what is important now and what the future looks like for our planet. They engage in a process to exchange ideas and experiences, discuss partnerships, solutions, etc.
I learned about the World Economic Forum last year while taking a Global Systems class in pursuit of my Executive MBA at The University of St. Thomas. We had an assignment to seek out one of the most influential people on the globe and as a result, I came across a man by the name of Klaus Schwab. Schwab is the founder of The World Economic Forum and a fascinating German economist and philanthropist who holds compelling and passionate beliefs about social entrepreneurship. I watched an interview he did with Charlie Rose where he acknowledges that economic and political powers are shifting and shared concern about the ability for governments, politicians and world leaders to keep pace with complexity of changing issues.
Schwab’s commitment as an advocate for social entrepreneurship is compelling. Social entrepreneurship is a grass-roots concept which holds the idea of creating better conditions that give all people across the board access to opportunities they might not otherwise have.. He is dedicated to encouraging others to become what he refers to as “global shapers,” and he is also a firm believer in service. Klaus Schwab says that we should move society away from self-interest and towards serving others on the local level and globally. I couldn’t agree more.
In 1971 he founded the European Management Forum with the intention of bringing European Business minds together to learn how they could leverage business practices from the United States. The initial gathering consisted of about 450 people. Within a few years prominent political figures began attending and the organization was renamed “The World Economic Forum.” This forum “publishes a comprehensive series of reports that examine an array of global issues it seeks to address with stakeholders as part of its mission of improving the state of the world.”  In addition to individual members, today, the organization is made up of over 1000 high-profile member companies most of which are Fortune 1000.
If you want to remain relevant, it would be worth your time to take a look at their website to learn more. I am confident it can help us all be better leaders. Please, share your thoughts about it below and thanks again for visiting my blog.