World Economic Forum Will Virtually Open Davos To All In 2021

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Carlie Porterfield   Forbes U.S. Staff

world economic forum

Photo: Evangeline Shaw on Unsplash

The World Economic Forum meetings—more commonly known as “Davos," for the ski resort town in Switzerland where it’s held—are known for being an elite gathering of the world’s most powerful, but next year’s iteration of the annual event will have a virtual component that the WEF says can connect anyone to the talks at Davos.

KEY FACTS

- Next year’s Davos gathering will be more inclusive through what the WEF calls “twin summits,” with the traditional in-person gathering at a Swiss ski resort to be supplemented by a virtual online convention.

- The WEF will set up a virtual network of 420 hubs scattered throughout the world specifically to engage young people, according to a Wednesday statement.

- Those hubs will have an open house policy, according to the WEF, and will allow anyone who is interested to access the annual meeting to share their input, although it wasn’t immediately clear which talks will be made public and if any will remain closed.

- In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, protests around the world in response to George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis and climate change concerns, next year’s theme will be “The Great Reset," and examine how capitalism can help fix society’s inequalities, the WEF added.

- From the statement issued Wednesday, next year’s meeting appears to be heavily focused once again on the dangers of climate change—in January, teen activist Greta Thunberg made an appearance at Davos and gave a speech.

- The WEF also named the global health crisis created by the Covid-19 virus and “the evils of racism and discrimination,” as issues to be addressed.

CRUCIAL QUOTE

“The global health crisis has laid bare the unsustainability of our old system in terms of social cohesion, the lack of equal opportunities and inclusiveness,” said WEF founder and chairman Klaus Schwab in a statement Wednesday. "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, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed. In short, we need a 'Great Reset' of capitalism."

KEY BACKGROUND

The WEF brings together thousands of the world's most powerful people, like billionaires, celebrities, economists and world leaders, to discuss global issues over roughly a week each January. According to The Telegraph, 119 billionaires attended the talks at Davos this year. The meeting has been held for more than 50 years.

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Carlie Porterfield   Forbes U.S. Staff

I am a Texas native covering breaking news out of New York City. Previously, I was a Forbes intern in London. I am an alum of City, University of London and Texas State University.