Scores of influential individuals to convene in Davos for yearly Global Economic Summit.
Over 60 leaders from around the world will attend the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, starting on Monday. They will be joined by numerous business executives and activists to address major global issues over the course of five days.
The summit is being criticized for being a gathering of the extremely wealthy and for not addressing the issue of increasing global inequality.
The challenges discussed at Davos seem overwhelming. In the short term, there are escalating conflicts in multiple regions and Houthi assaults on shipping in the Red Sea. On a larger scale, there are concerns about climate change reaching catastrophic levels, a struggling global economy, and worries about the negative effects of artificial intelligence.
In the 2024 edition of its Global Risks Report, released on Wednesday, summit organizers emphasized that misinformation and disinformation pose the greatest immediate threat.
“The potential consequences for global elections in the upcoming two years are substantial, and this could potentially raise doubts about the legitimacy of elected governments. This could, in turn, endanger democratic procedures and result in increased social division, protests, labor strikes, or even violence within a country,” stated Carolina Klint, co-author of the report from risk consultancy firm Marsh McLennan, during a press conference in London on Wednesday.
According to the report, extreme weather events and climate change were identified as the primary long-term risks for the next 10 years.
Saadia Zahidi, the managing director of the economic forum, acknowledged that the outlook is currently bleak. However, she emphasized that it is not a definitive or absolute forecast for the future. Zahidi believes that we have the power to shape our own future and that decision-makers of various stakeholders play a crucial role in bringing about positive change.
The Davos conference occurs amidst two significant conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza.
Some of the people expected to arrive at the Alpine ski resort include Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Chinese Premier Li Qiang, and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The attendance at the event will include United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Hundreds of the most influential chief executives, such as Sam Altman from OpenAI and Satya Nadella from Microsoft, will be joining the political leaders.
According to critics, the net worth of the wealthiest individuals in the world has grown, while billions of people have seen a decrease in their financial status over the last ten years. Unfortunately, Davos is unlikely to make any significant changes to this trend.
Nabil Ahmed of Oxfam International stated that people all over the world are facing immense challenges, while a small group at the forefront are making significant progress. Some of these individuals will be attending the Davos conference.
According to Ahmed, this is a designated area for communication and significant conversations, where even political and business figures can be held responsible. Organizations like Oxfam participate in this space. However, it is not a democratic international space where decisions are made with transparency and accountability.
The organizers of the summit emphasize the importance of gathering politicians and business figures to address the various challenges faced by the world.