World Economic Forum (WEF) - Agenda and Important Developments

World Economic Forum (WEF) is a non-profit organisation that was founded in January 1971. WEF is based in Cologny-Geneva, Switzerland, and was formed with an initiative to improve the states of the world. This organisation was formerly known as the European Management Forum. 

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World Economic Forum – Davos Dialogue – Latest update

  1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the World Economic Forum’s Davos Dialogue on 28th January 2021 via video conferencing.
    • The Davos Dialogue agenda marked the launch of the World Economic Forum’s Great Reset Initiative in the post COVID world.
The Great Reset Initiative of World Economic Forum-

  1. The Great Reset Initiative is based on the assessment that the world economy is in deep trouble.
    • The situation has been made a lot worse by many factors, including the pandemic’s devastating effects on global society, the unfolding technological revolution, and the consequences of climate change.
  2. The agenda of the initiative are –
    • The world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions.
    • Every country must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed. In short there should be a ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism.
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Background of WEF

Formerly known as the European Management Forum, the World Economic Forum (WEF) was founded by Klaus Schwab in the year 1971. The organisation changed its name to the World Economic Forum in the year 1987 with a vision to provide a platform for resolving international conflicts. During the year 1971, Klaus Schwab invited 444 executives from Western European firms to attend the first European Management Symposium that was held in the Davos Congress Centre.

This meeting was held under the European Commission and European industrial associations to introduce the European firms to American management practices. Later, Klaus Schwab founded the World Economic Fund as a nonprofit organization and conducted the annual meetings each January to draw European business leaders to Davos.

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This annual meeting gave the political leaders a platform to promote their interests. Recently, in the year 2019, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro attended the annual meeting at Davos and addressed the economic policies of Brazil. He assured that Brazil will be the protector of the rainforest and also a resource for food production and export. Environmental concerns like extreme weather events and the failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation were among the top-ranking global risks expressed by WEF attendees.

To know more about the World Economic Forum (WEF) refer to the table given below:

World Economic Forum (WEF)
Year of Formation 1971
Founder of WEF Klaus Schwab
WEF Headquarters  Cologny, Switzerland
Purpose of Formation International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation

Structure of the World Economic Forum (WEF)

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is headquartered in Cologny, Switzerland, and also has its offices in New York, Beijing and Tokyo. As per the Swiss Host-State Act, WEF was designated as an NGO with ‘other international body’ status by the Swiss Federal Government.  A new centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution was announced by the WEF on October 10, 2016, which will provide a platform for interaction, insight, and impact on the scientific and technological changes that will soon change the way we live, work, and relate to one another.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is also funded by 1,000 member companies that are global enterprises having more than five billion dollars in turnover. These enterprises have a leading role to play and rank among the top companies within their industry and/or country. 

Initiatives under the World Economic Forum (WEF)

Some of the initiatives that were taken as a part of the World Economic Forum (WEF) are discussed below: 

  1. A global initiative for epidemics was launched at WEF in Davos on 19 January 2017. This initiative was named Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), which aims to secure vaccine supplies for global emergencies and pandemics and to research new vaccines for tropical diseases. 
  2. Also in the year 2017, WEF launched the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) for the Earth Initiative which is a collaboration between WEF, Stanford University, and PwC. The initiative is funded through the Mava Foundation and in 2018, WEF announced that one project within this initiative was to be the Earth BioGenome Project with an aim to sequence the genomes of every organism on Earth. 

World Economic Forum (WEF) 2020 – Agenda of the 50th Annual Meeting

The 4 major global issues that were on the agenda of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2020 were

  1. To understand how to govern the new technologies that will drive the 4th Industrial Revolution.
  2. How to tackle the challenges arising from environmental and climate changes.
  3. As new political, economic, and societal priorities change trade and consumption patterns, this Forum will try to understand how industries can transform to achieve more sustainable business models.
  4. How to adapt to the demographic, social, and technological trends reshaping education, employment, and entrepreneurship.

World Economic Forum (WEF) 2020 – 50th Annual Meeting (Important Conclusions/Developments)

The 50th Annual Meeting of World Economic Forum (WEF) 2020 was held in Davos, Switzerland. Some of the important observations and conclusions made at the 50th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum 2020 are given below.

  1. To develop Vaccines against Coronavirus, 3 programs were announced by the  Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)
  2. To mobilize $ 500 million for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) in emerging markets. To achieve this, SDG-500, a new multi-stakeholder partnership was launched
  3. A new multi-stakeholder effort aimed at supporting efforts to grow, conserve and restore 1 trillion trees by the end of the decade was announced.
  4. It was observed that Vietnam and Indonesia are the new bright spots in the emerging world.
  5. The National Business Council, incorporating 140 of the world’s largest companies, agreed to support efforts to develop a core set of common metrics and disclosures that could be used to measure private sector progress against key environmental, social and governance goals
  6. Initiatives to promote entrepreneurship in Africa
  7. Introduction of a Reskilling Revolution 
  8. Work with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to promote inclusive and sustainable growth globally.

World Economic Forum (WEF):- Download PDF Here

For more articles and exam-related preparation materials for UPSC 2021, refer to the links given in the table below:

Relevant Links

IAS Salary Static GK
World Trade Organisation (WTO) – India and WTO Inclusive Development Index (IDI) – Ranking Index Developed by World Economic Forum (WEF)
International Organisations and their Headquarters – A Comprehensive List US-India Preferential Trade: Rajya Sabha TV (RSTV) – The Big Picture
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) International Monetary Fund (IMF) – Complete Details
United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) – Changed to WTO
World Food Programme (WFP) United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)

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