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Business - Written by on Wednesday, January 28, 2009 14:11 - 1 Comment

Don Tapscott
Ambitious goals for this year’s World Economic Forum

I’m attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The founder and executive chairman of the Forum, Klaus Schwab, gave a brief but powerful opening address about the challenges confronting our world.  “People have labelled [the economic] crisis as the worst ever and in many other catastrophic terms. Here we do not want to hear about such statements again, even if they are true. We want to concentrate on how we can move out of this crisis and how we can shape the post-crisis world in a constructive manner…. Gathered here are many of the world’s most influential leaders. We cannot sidestep our responsibility to work together to rebuild shattered economies and institutions.”

He outlined five objectives for the Forum.  I’ve summarized them below but I encourage everyone to read the full speech, which is a quick read.

First, we will support governments, and particularly the G20, in their efforts to address the systemic risks in the financial systems to stabilize and relaunch the economy. We have worked together with the respective governments to make sure that all relevant issues are integrated into our discussions and that we can create here – midway between the G20 Summits in Washington last November and in London next April – a true global multistakeholder partnership supporting bold but necessary actions and policy changes.

The second objective for our Meeting is to make sure that we look at our world in a holistic, systemic way. The financial and economic crisis is not the only issue that needs a global multistakeholder response.

The third objective of this Annual Meeting is to start a year-long process to help design the systems and institutions that the world needs to really cooperate and to confront global challenges in a much more proactive way.

The fourth objective of this Annual Meeting is to better shape the ethical value base for business, highlighting a clear differentiation between industrial and service companies that provide true value to society and those that make money through paper transactions and speculation. Profit is a major driver of business, but it is clear that it cannot be profit at all costs and that self-indulgence cannot replace reasonable competitive remuneration.

The fifth and final objective of this Annual Meeting is to reconstruct the global economy. Yes, we are in the midst of an enormous challenge but we are also at the threshold of many promising breakthrough technologies, as the strong presence of our Technology Pioneers demonstrates. Today, a great opportunity exists to generate a new wave of economic growth based on technologies, products and services directly meeting societal needs in eco-efficiency, in healthcare, in transportation, in people empowerment and many more.


1 Comment

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Jul 13, 2009 13:45

Hey guys,

I just joined this forum and wanted to introduce myself. I look forward to learning and contributing.


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Don Tapscott and Anthony D. William's latest collaboration, Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet. Learn more.

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