Stories & Reflections
Geneva, Switzerland, 16 January 2008 – The World Economic Forum today unveiled the programme for its Annual Meeting in Davos, including the key participants, themes and goals. The overarching theme of the meeting, which will take place from 23 to 27 January, is “The Power of Collaborative Innovation”.
Over the course of the five-day meeting, more than 2,500 participants from 88 countries will convene in Davos, Switzerland, including 27 heads of state or government, 113 cabinet ministers, along with religious leaders, media leaders and heads of non-governmental organizations. Around 60% of the participants are business leaders drawn principally from the Forum’s members – 1,000 of the foremost companies from around the world and across all economic sectors.
Speaking at a press conference at the World Economic Forum’s headquarters in Geneva, Founder and Executive Chairman Professor Klaus Schwab said: “The unique combination of the world’s top business and political leaders, together with the heads of the world’s most important NGOs, and religious, cultural and media leaders allows us to approach the problems that face the world in a systematic way and with an eye to tackling the major issues that face us all. The Annual Meeting gives all of us a chance to understand and shape the Global Agenda for the year ahead and beyond, serving global society by making sense of a rapidly changing world and harnessing collaborative innovation to the benefit of us all.”
The meeting’s programme will follow five conceptual pillars that are high on the global agenda in 2008. These range from “Economics and Finance: Addressing Economic Insecurity” to “Business: Competing while Collaborating” and from “Geopolitics: Aligning Interests across Divides” to “Science and Technology: Exploring Nature’s New Frontiers” as well as “Values and Society: Understanding Future Shifts”. The opening session of the Annual Meeting will address two of the key issues facing the world, climate change and terrorism and will also be addressed by the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.
Participants will also contribute to a special series of workshops, the Davos WorkSpace, included this year in the 235 official sessions. Additionally, there will be a Davos Brainstorming on the opening day, where participants will work together to identify the most pressing threat to growth and prioritize a plan of action. Also this year, in partnership with YouTube, the World Economic Forum has launched The Davos Question (http://www.youtube.com/thedavosquestion), with the aim of creating a global video conversation. Already, nearly one million viewers have taken part in the experiment with video contributions from CEOs, politicians and the wider public answering the question: “What key action do you think countries, companies or individuals should take to make the world a better place in 2008?”
All participants of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2008 can watch the responses to The Davos Question and are encouraged to reply directly to questions from the wider public in the first YouTube video booth set up for this purpose in the Congress Centre in Davos. Some of the best contributions will be used in key sessions in the programme.
Of the top 100 companies identified by the Financial Times, Fortune and Forbes, 74 will be represented at the Annual Meeting, with more than 1,370 executives at the level of CEO or chairman taking part this year.
Key Participants in the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2008
The Co-Chairs are: Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1997-2007); Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum James Dimon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, JPMorgan Chase & Co., USA K.V. Kamath, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, ICICI Bank, India Henry Kissinger, Chairman, Kissinger Associates, USA Indra K. Nooyi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo, USA David J. O’Reilly, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Chevron Corporation, USA Wang Jianzhou, Chief Executive, China Mobile Communications Corporation, People’s Republic of China
Among the business participants are Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries, India; José Sergio Gabrielli de Azevedo, President and Chief Executive Officer, Petroleo Brasileiro Petrobras, Brazil; Brenda C. Barnes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sara Lee Corporation, USA; Craig R. Barrett, Chairman of the Board, Intel Corporation, USA; Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Goldman Sachs, USA, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé, Switzerland; Cynthia Carroll, Chief Executive, Anglo American, United Kingdom; John T. Chambers, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Cisco, USA; Michael S. Dell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dell, USA; William H. Gates III, Chairman, Microsoft Corporation, USA; Carlos Ghosn, President and Chief Executive Officer, Renault, France & President and Chief Executive Officer, Nissan, Japan; E. Neville Isdell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company, USA; Jiang Jianqing, Chairman of the Board, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, People’s Republic of China; Abdallah S. Jum’ah, President and Chief Executive Officer, Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia; Lakshmi N. Mittal, President and Chief Executive Officer, ArcelorMittal, United Kingdom; Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, News Corporation, USA; David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Carlyle Group, USA; Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Blackstone Group, USA; George Soros, Chairman, Soros Fund Management, USA; Sir Howard Stringe r, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Sony Corporation, Japan; Martin J. Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer, American International Group (AIG), USA; Patricia A. Woertz, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), USA; Yang Yuanqing, Chairman of the Board, Lenovo, USA.
Among the heads of state or government participating in the Annual Meeting: Valdas Adamkus, President of Lithuania; Fakhruddin Ahmed, Chief Adviser (Prime Minister) of Bangladesh; Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan; Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia; Jan Peter Balkenende, Prime Minister of the Netherlands; Sali Berisha, Prime Minister of Albania; Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Pascal Couchepin, President of the Swiss Confederation and Federal Councillor of Home Affairs; Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority; Franí§ois Fillon, Prime Minister of France; Alfred Gusenbauer, Federal Chancellor of Austria; Ferenc Gyurcsany, Prime Minister of Hungary; Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan; Lee Hsien-Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore; Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, President of the Philippines; Shimon Peres, President of Israel; H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum; Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark; Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar; Alvaro Uribe Velez, President of Colombia; Abdoulaye Wade, President of Senegal; Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, President of Nigeria; Viktor A. Yushchenko, President of Ukraine. Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, will also be there, as well as seven European Commissioners and six cabinet members from the United States.
The Annual Meeting will also see substantial delegations from the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), including Celso Amorim, Minister of Foreign Relations of Brazil; Aleksey Kudrin, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation; Palaniappan Chidambaram, Minister of Finance of India; and Zeng Peiyan, Vice-Premier of the People’s Republic of China.
Among the other participants are heads of international organizations including Pascal Lamy, Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO), Geneva; Margaret Chan, Director-General, World Health Organization (WHO), Geneva; Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director, International Energy Agency (IEA), Paris; Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Geneva; Peter Piot, Executive Director, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and Undersecretary-General, United Nations, Geneva; Ann M. Veneman, Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), New York; Josette Sheeran, Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Rome; Lars H. Thunell, Executive Vice-President and Chief Executive Officer, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Washington DC; Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Washington DC; Jean-Claude Trichet, President, European Central Bank, Frankfurt; Robert B. Zoellick, President, World Bank, Washington DC; Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations, New York; Achim Steiner, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Nairobi.
NGOs and labour leaders and academics include Irene Khan, Secretary-General, Amnesty International; Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch; Barbara Stocking, Director, Oxfam Great Britain; Hany El Banna, President, Islamic Relief; Gerd Leipold, International Executive Director, Greenpeace International; Markku Niskala, Secretary-General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); Guy Ryder, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC); Susan Hockfield, President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Pei Minxin, Senior Associate and Director, China Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Michael E. Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, Harvard Business School.
Personalities from the cultural world contributing to the debates in Davos will include musicians Peter B. Gabriel, Musician, Real World, United Kingdom; Yo-Yo Ma, Cellist, USA; Paulo Coelho, Author, Brazil; Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Writer/Director, Donnersmarck Film, USA; Anant Singh, Film Producer, Videovision Entertainment, South Africa; Emma Thompson, Actress, United Kingdom; and Benjamin Zander, Conductor, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, USA. Religious leaders and the Forum’s community of Young Global Leaders will also be represented.
In addition, representatives of the world’s media will participate in the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, with 10% of participants drawn from media organizations around the world. Media representatives will have access to every session at the Annual Meeting.
Notes to Editors
Everything about the Annual Meeting 2008
Press Kit for the Annual Meeting
Programme of the Annual Meeting
Summaries of key sessions
High-resolution photos of the Annual Meeting , free of charge: (Login: world, Password: forum)
The Annual Meeting on the Forum Blog
Key Davos snippets on Twitter
Live Webcasts of Annual Meeting sessions
Davos debates on YouTube
The Davos Conversation
Video responses to The Davos Question
The World Economic Forum Group on Facebook
For further questions, e-mail
The Davos Universe on Netvibes