WEF | Davos 2022 – what just happened? 9 things to know

  • Our Annual Meeting in Davos 2022 has come to a close.
  • From Ukraine to the economy, technology, health, and food and energy crises, here are 9 things to know.

Davos 2022 was a meeting of many firsts. Our first Annual Meeting in the Alpine spring, the first physical one since the outbreak of COVID-19, the first since the invasion of Ukraine, and the first meeting of global climate leaders since COP26.

If you’ve missed anything, here are 9 quick takeaways.

1. The war in Ukraine

We heard in countless sessions about the ongoing impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba both thanked the international community for their support – but called for more.

We also heard from voices across Ukrainian society and the Klitschko brothers.

European unity was underscored by Ursula von der LeyenJens Stoltenberg and Pedro Sánchez, who all issued calls for continued cooperation.

Olaf Scholz‘s message? We can’t allow Russia to win this war. And on Thursday, political leaders from across Europe came together. Henry Kissinger advised, “diplomatic negotiations must be sensitive, informed and unilaterally strive for peace.”

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H.H. Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of Qatar, also said his country was ready to help find a peaceful solution to the war.https://www.youtube.com/embed/FduSNH7uv4g?enablejsapi=1&wmode=transparent

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2. The economy

Economics experts also discussed the global economy, with David M. Rubenstein explaining the link between recession and bananas (yes, bananas).

On Wednesday, Gita Gopinath said the war had been a ‘major setback’ to the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic but Kristalina Georgieva reminded us that the world has dealt with “unthinkable crisis after unthinkable crisis” and yet we remain resilient. “The next chapter must focus on building resilient people – backed up by education, health and social protection”, she said.

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We also talked about debtinflationwages and global trade – including Israeli Isaac Herzog telling us about the trade advantages of the Abraham Accords.

3. The future of globalization?

It was a question that was hot on the lips of many as we gathered in Davos this year. So what was said?

We might be looking at the regionalization of globalization, according to two experts.

And on Wednesday, we asked if it was dead.

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4. Two crises: Food and energy

Food and energy security and two crises linked to the war in Ukraine were also high on the agenda this week.

Fatih Birol told us on Monday that it was the first truly global energy crisis, while on Wednesday Dmytro Kuleba warned that we face a multi-year food crisis if things don’t change.

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5. Climate change and the environment

Linked, of course, to energy is the environment. Birol told us that we shouldn’t need to choose between a climate and energy crisis.

John Kerry, Bill Gates, Brad Smith, Mikael Damberg, Marc Benioff and Ruth Porat joined us to launch an expansion of the First Movers Coalition, Frans Timmerman said the Mediterranean could be the centre of the world’s new energy supply, while Elizabeth Wathuti made an emotional appeal to global leaders.

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2022
John Kerry, Bill Gates, Brad Smith, Mikael Damberg, Marc Benioff and Ruth Porat joined us to launch an expansion of the First Movers Coalition at Davos 2022.Image: World Economic Forum / Mattias N

It’ll all need paying for, of course. Mark Carney told us: “We need an energy transformation on the scale of the industrial revolution at the speed of the digital transformation. And therefore we need a revolution in finance.”

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6.The role of business and entrepreneurs

From the First Movers Coalition to environmental capitalism, the role of technology and ESG, we heard from leaders from across the business world on what they’re doing.

UpLink – the Forum’s open innovation platform – launched their 2021-2022 impact report, while we also showcased the impact of the Forum’s wider work.

And Pfizer committed to providing all its current and future patent-protected medicines on a not-for-profit basis to 45 lower-income countries.

7. Health matters

Pfizer’s announcement wasn’t the only time we touched on health this week.

The ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was central to many discussions and we also talked about how to prepare for the next pandemic, and how to address mental health and health equity.

8. The future of work

For many, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about fundamental shifts for the working lives of many. So what next?

We looked at skills, at the potential for a four-day week, at hybrid work and we tackled the issues of diversity and inclusion.

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9. Technology and the metaverse

Technology underpinned so many conversations this week.

Whether it’s the internet becoming a bit ‘less flat’ or the leapfrogging opportunity for the global south.

We also focused on the metaverse: Check out the sessions on Making the Metaverse and its possibilities.

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2022
Technology underpinned so many conversations at Davos 2022.Image: Ipsos

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Written by

Gayle Markovitz, Business Editor, World Economic Forum

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Source: Davos 2022 – what just happened? 9 things to know | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)

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