What is the 'Davos World Economic Forum'?

The Davos World Economic Forum brings together business leaders, investors, politicians and journalists from across the globe to discuss current global economic and social issues. It is the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and is held in January in the small ski town of Davos in Switzerland. It is one of the best-known events of its sort. The forum is among the most popular, well-attended and high-profile events globally and focuses on “shaping the global, regional and industry agendas.”

BREAKING DOWN 'Davos World Economic Forum'

The Davos World Economic Forum was first conceived in 1971 when Professor Klaus Schwab founded a nonprofit organization in Switzerland known as the European Management Forum. This was the start of a process which drew business leaders primarily from Europe and other places for an annual meeting in January each year at Davos. In 1974, political leaders were invited to Davos for the first time to attend the event. In 1987, the  European Management Forum changed its name to the World Economic Forum. At this time, the vision of the forum was broadened to include a platform for dialogue. The Davos Declaration signed by Greece and turkey in 1988 was a milestone for the Forum.

According to the WEF, the annual meeting “engages the most experienced and the most promising, all working together in the collaborative and collegial spirit of Davos.”

Davos World Economic Forum 2018

Each year's Forum has a theme, and the theme of the most recent forum held from January 23 to 26, 2018 was “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.” The fractures referred to Brexit, the Trump presidency, the rise of automation and artificial intelligence (AI), and the re-emergence of China. These subjects were highly visible on the conference agenda. The 2018 Davos World Economic Forum had record attendance and was the 47th Forum since its inception.

Advancing technology, particularly AI, and the impact that automation will have on jobs was a prominent item of discussion. The discussions at Davos concluded that although some jobs will undoubtedly disappear over time, there will still be many jobs for humans in the future; the work will just be quite different.

In an optimistic forecast, one technology company that attended Davos estimated that approximately 20 million jobs will be created in the next decade as AI and automation are integrated with human skills in future technology advancements.  Digital transformation of organizations was also encouraged to meet the growing digital environment. Despite the need for firms to embrace new digital technologies, the WEF found that only 7% of firms have done so, according to research by Forrester.

How the World Economic Forum Helps Commerce

An example of how the WEF helps businesses navigate the current and future commerce environment, companies host various sessions on the forum themes. For example, Cognizant, a technology company, hosted a lunch session and discussed how to leverage AI and automation. The session discussed jobs that the company believes will show significant employment growth as a result of AI.  

  1. Strong AI

    Strong AI is a type of machine intelligence that is equivalent ...
  2. Carding Forum

    A website dedicated to the sharing of stolen credit card numbers. ...
  3. Social Commerce

    A type of electronic commerce that employs social media to promote ...
  4. Crisis Management Coverage

    Insurance coverage designed to help a business limit the negative ...
  5. Futures Industry Association - ...

    An association of futures commission merchants, banks and trading ...
  6. NEX

    NEX is a separate board on the TSX Venture exchange for listed ...
Related Articles
  1. Tech

    Could Davos Meetings Impact the Price of Ethereum?

    Ethereum (ETH) dipped below $940 this week. Could the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos boost its price?
  2. Tech

    The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Rise of the Machines

    That guy from the Black Eyed Peas, a robot, and the prime minister of Canada walk into a ski chalet. What do they talk about? The answer: the "fourth industrial revolution."
  3. Investing

    UBS Chair Warns of ‘Massive’ Bitcoin Downfall

    Executives in the banking world continue to view bitcoin as a bubble ready to burst.
  4. Investing

    Donald Trump Looks to Steve Schwarzman for Economic Panel

    The president-elect has tapped the Blackstone Group CEO as chair of the President's Strategic and Policy Forum, designed to advise on economic matters.
  5. Insights

    Xi Jinping at Davos: 'No One Is a Winner in a Trade War'

    A Communist leader goes to Davos to lecture Western elites about the merits of international capitalism.
  6. Investing

    Salesforce Open to More Acquisitions (CRM)

    During a conversation at the World Economic Forum, Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff said his firm aims to double revenue. Are more acquisitions on tap?
  7. Investing

    Facebook and Google’s Days Are Numbered: Soros

    The tech giants, who "deliberately engineer addiction," would be tempted to "compromise themselves" to enter foreign markets where they have been banned.
  8. Investing

    Vanguard Chairman: Questions CEOs Should Answer When Meeting With Investors

    Vanguard's chairman signed a letter with nine other institutional investors listing questions company CEOs should address about the long term.
  9. Tech

    Do Humans Have The Capacity For Safe Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

    Artificial Intelligence has become more and more present in our daily lives, but how worried should we be about our ability to keep AI safe?
  10. Tech

    Investors Turn to Artificial Intelligence (GOOGL, FB)

    Since the Alan Turing developed the Turing Test, scientific researchers have worked to develop a computer with the ability to function like a human brain.
  1. What is the relationship between human capital and economic growth?

    Learn what human capital and economic growth are, how human capital is related to economic growth and see examples of the ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet its short-term obligations with its most liquid assets.
  2. Leverage

    Leverage results from using borrowed capital as a source of funding when investing to expand the firm's asset base and generate ...
  3. Financial Risk

    Financial risk is the possibility that shareholders will lose money when investing in a company if its cash flow fails to ...
  4. Enterprise Value (EV)

    Enterprise Value (EV) is a measure of a company's total value, often used as a more comprehensive alternative to equity market ...
  5. Relative Strength Index - RSI

    Relative Strength Indicator (RSI) is a technical momentum indicator that compares the magnitude of recent gains to recent ...
  6. Dividend

    A dividend is a distribution of a portion of a company's earnings, decided by the board of directors, to a class of its shareholders.
Trading Center