World Economic Forum has said that a more human-centred globalisation is critical for shared prosperity and sustainable future This was the consensus of a roster of young panellists in the opening plenary of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.
Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum welcoming participants in his opening remarks, after a video presentation showcasing the polarities of globalisation, from megacities to refugee camps, classrooms to space said “we want to be future-oriented, and not just absorbed by crisis management. Globalisation is a fact,” underlined Schwab, but is distinct from globalism, the philosophy with which we promote globalisation. “The World Economic Forum has never stood for unfettered globalism. We feel that Globalisation 4.0 has to be more human-centred,” as well as more inclusive and sustainable.
He stressed the role of young social entrepreneurs and leaders in effecting this attitudinal change: “With half of the population below 27-years old, we have to listen to the young people.” Six millennial Co-Chairs are shaping the discussion at this year’s Annual Meeting and shared their stories and insight as Global Shapers on stage. Basima Abdulrahman started the first green building company in Iraq, designing structures to meet sustainability standards despite the dangers and destruction of ISIS. “I decided to go back to Iraq and do something positive and impactful,” said the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of KESK Green Building Consulting, calling on participants to “think collectively” beyond personal benefits, race and region.
“People are feeling that they are getting behind,” warned Juan David Aristizabal, President and Co-Founder of Colombian education non-profit Los Zúper, “and I think we can solve that. Machines are fast, but humans are creative; machines can tell us about the past, but as humans we can build the future.” Noura Berrouba, Member of the Governing Body of the European Youth Parliament, challenged participants to imagine those outside the walls of Davos. “These are not threats; these are not problems,” she said. “These are change agents and opportunities, and if we want to create a world where we tackle our common challenges, we need to work with the people outside of these halls. It’s time to be uncomfortable, and bold,” she closed.