African News Agency editor Lindiz van Zilla and Business Report executive editor shortly after arriving in Davos. Photo: Supplied

DAVOS – The World Economic Forum (WEF) 2019 Annual Meeting attracts more than 4 million readers every month. 

Prof Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairperson of WEF, wrote: “The world needs a new framework for global co-operation. After World War II, the international community came together to build a shared future. Now, it must do so again.” 

He goes further, stating: “This is a particularly timely reminder given the wave of discontent and divide pulsing through the global system.” 

In the aftermath of the financial crises, recovery had been slow in many places around the world, wages have stagnated, and jobs displaced. A substantial part of society has – understandably – became disaffected and embittered, not only with politics and politicians but also with globalization and the entire system.  

South Africa is well represented in Davos this year. 

Apart from the normal media executives, more than 10 Ministers will join President Cyril Ramaphosa and selected captains of industry to share the South African story, hopefully, a good news story. 

The world is currently not in a good space, but when you arrive in beautiful Davos, surrounded by majestic mountains covered in crystal white snow, directed by top security guards to your destination, and you take a few minutes to look around, you shall spot some familiar faces, such as Patrice Motsepi and Dr Iqbal Survé, Africans that attended the WEF for more than 10 consecutive years, Africans that tell the good news story, Africans that care for the prosperity of fellow Africans.

WEF is more, much more, than a talk shop. Billionaires gather here to seek solutions for many challenges, to share wealth not only in monetary terms but also in sharing a wealth of knowledge. 

There will be many debates about Globalization 4.0, focused on building a better world for working people this year. 

“Globalization is no longer assured as the world’s people circle the wagon. They’re looking for cover, looking for protection, getting ready to defend themselves from corporate and authoritarian power”, wrote Sharan Burrow, the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

Davos 2019 is about debate, it is about delegates joining insightful conversations and bringing together diverse perspectives on today’s most relevant issues; it is about discovery, where delegates and attendees expand thinking with powerful data visualisation, it is about collaboration and coming together to shape collective solutions, and about the WEF Davos experience.

“We are just at the beginning of Globalization 4.0 and are significantly underprepared for magnitudes of change that is required. We are still approaching issues of globalization with an outdated mindset. 

“Moreover, tinkering with our existing processes and institutions will not be enough. We need to redesign them so that we can capitalize on the abundance of new opportunities that await us, while also avoiding the kind of disruptions that we are witnessing today”, said Schwab.

BUSINESS REPORT