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Global issue 20

Arena Economics 24 January 2015, is expected to be attended by more than 2,200 delegates and 500 journalists. Since the very first meeting was held more than four decades ago, the WEF’s commitment to “improving the state of the world” has been reflected in the theme and design of the event, and this year is no exception. The 45th WEF Annual Meeting has the theme ‘the new global context’, which will look at the global climate of change emerging across political, economic, social and technological spheres, and address how these changes could bring an end to the present era of economic integration and international partnership. The meeting, colloquially known as ‘Davos’, has been held in the eastern Alps of Switzerland since 1971 ‘The new global context’ has come into play in events held by the WEF in the past, including at the 2012 World Economic Forum on Latin America in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico which focused on ‘regional transformation in a new global context’. The meeting took place during a time of great global uncertainty, an era from which we are now gradually emerging, and gave regional and global leaders the opportunity to discuss the challenges facing Latin America in planning for a sustainable future, economic recovery and regional transformation. So what can we expect for attendees of this winter’s most anticipated event? This year’s annual meeting will serve as a platform for leaders to develop the necessary insights, ideas and partnerships to respond to the aforementioned ‘new global context’, and pave the way for future decision-making. Dialogues taking place throughout the event will map the key transformations facing the world in 2015. The meeting will play host to more than 250 talks and assemblies researched and designed in collaboration with the WEF’s Global Agenda Councils. This winter’s event will be attended by a multitude of regional and international representatives, with delegates expected to include the CEOs of 1,000 of the world’s largest businesses, national leaders and heads of top international organisations. WEF members’ attention was focused on economics closer to home in October when organisations belonging to the WEF’s strategic partnership were notified of a 20 per cent hike in their annual meeting membership – the first increase since the partnerships were formed in 2005. Strategic partnership is the highest level of WEF membership and allows subscribers to send five people to the Annual Meeting in Davos, as well as facilitating the participation of delegates at other regional meetings, including the annual WEF meeting in China. In a letter sent out to subscribers of the partnerships, the WEF stated that the annual fees would be raised from SFr500,000 (US$523,000) to a whopping SFr600,000 from July 2015. Despite partnerships allowing for attendance at other events, it is likely that some partners will see the increase as an added cost for Davos attendance, which, when allowing for accommodation and transport, already racks up quite a bill. However, with the increase not due to come in until later in the year, it’s as likely as ever that all the big faces of global politics and business will be found in Davos this January. Skiers will once again have to make room for thousands of extra visitors as statesmen and women the world over descend upon the slopes for a lively four-night spell in Davos. www.global global f i rst quar ter 2015 -br ief ing.org l 53 © World Economic Forum / swiss-image.ch / Photo Andy Mettler © World Economic Forum / swiss-image.ch / Photo Christof Sonderegger © World Economic Forum / swiss-image.ch / Photo Andy Mettler The new global context The theme of the 45th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting reflects the need for greater understanding by global leaders and businesses of the short- and long-term implications of seven key trends and developments: n The combined impact of deepening geopolitical fault-lines, decreasing multilateral co-operation and increasing strategic competition n Normalisation of monetary policy through the reduction of quantitative easing and a rise in interest rates n Erosion of trust in public- and private-sector institutions, and the deteriorating global dialogue between governments and businesses n Scientific and technological advances n Difficulties in improving the management and governance of critical global concerns, including natural resources and cyberspace n Repercussions on businesses, society and the environment of unabated climate change, youth unemployment and income inequality n Generational shifts from societies sharing common values to those that are primarily interest-driven


Global issue 20
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