Davos, Part One: As It Happens

Davos, Part One: As It Happens
23 May 2022 Marina Hercka
In Press

A new week in May and all eyes on Davos.

We’ve got a theme (History at a Turning Point: Government Policies and Business Strategies) and a stunning line-up of speakers and addresses. After plenty of COVID-related postponement, the forum comes at a fitting time, when political, economic, and climate instability reigns. Leaders gather this week to theorise on solutions to these challenges, following a significant day of opening speeches, including by WEF Chairman Klaus Schwab and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Plenty of questions arose in the years before 2020 about the relevance of such conferences, but there’s a sense of urgency and togetherness this year. We’ve all come to value in-person interaction over the past few years, and the WEF’s solution-driven sessions may make this the most consequential assembly at Davos yet.

What’s Coming

The War in Ukraine

No surprise here: the crisis in Ukraine dominates the opening of the summit, and rightly so. After Zelenskyy’s inspiring address, delivered remotely, a panel formed for Spirit of Resilience: Ukrainian Voices. At times difficult to listen to but equally productive, the session focused on strategic aid in the interest of the Ukrainian people and their survival, as well as further development. It was the first of many sessions addressing the effect of the war on Ukraine, the world, and future economic stability.

One to Watch: Return to War, May 25th

Climate Change

Promising to be a principal feature of this year’s WEF and many WEF conferences to come, the preservation of natural resources has been a hot topic for years. Business and political leaders will discuss how more efficient policy and innovative thinking will change our trajectory for the better. Staying on Course for Nature Action opened the discussions on the topic on Monday morning, focusing on ‘global actions should government and business prioritise to accelerate nature-positive progress’.

One to Watch: Accelerating Corporate Investment in Nature, May 24th

Economic Downturn

Hand in hand with the two issues covered previously, the global economy is suffering, and professionals at Davos are attempting to find multifaceted solutions to fires of all sizes everywhere. Inflation in the UK, and other regions in Europe, has skyrocketed, and gas and energy prices are threatening budgets all over the world. But the summit tackles economic topics more widely than that, covering innovation in and outside of current and potential crises: Unlocking the Social Economy did just that on Monday morning, aiming to drive more investment into sustainable businesses with a social purpose.

One to Watch: The Biggest Trade Deal in the World, May 26th

This, of course, is not everything: the lasting effects of COVID will be a discussion point in all Healthcare sessions, and jobs and reskilling feature heavily later this week. Advisory professionals will join and lead some of these panels, and we look forward to gathering insights from their lively discussions, arriving at some very much needed conclusions.

Next week, we’ll recap the conference and highlight some pivotal moments at Davos. Follow along on LinkedIn and Twitter with #wef22.

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