The World Economic Forum today kicked off the WEF’s Davos Agenda 2022, which for the second year in a row is being held virtually due to the pandemic’s stickiness. While the summit looks different from years past, it remains the first global platform in 2022 where key heads of state, executives, and leaders from civil society and international organizations will be able to gather and reflect on the “State of the World.” That state remains incredibly challenging, and leaders will work toward solutions to exacerbated global divisions, vaccine inequities, a stalled economic recovery, and other longer-term challenges which are less directly connected to COVID-19.
For years, Diplomatic Courier has been a presence at Davos for these meetings, hosting sideline convenings of multi-sectoral experts to discuss the state of the world and solutions to daunting challenges. While we were unable to host a convening on the sidelines this year for obvious reasons, Diplomatic Courier nevertheless brought together an array of experts to discuss critical challenges and potential solutions in our annual Davos Dialogue bookazine publication. Davos week remains an important opportunity to contemplate the State of the World and so, virtual or in-person, Diplomatic Courier remains committed to providing a platform for that contemplation.
In our call for papers to Diplomatic Courier’s network of experts, we identified twelve themes for contributors to engage with. This edition of Davos Dialogue enjoys thoughtful contributions across a wide swath of these themes, but three in particular stand out. One of these is the future of education, which in 2022 is a key theme for both Diplomatic Courier and World in 2050. UNICEF Senior Advisor and Sage Foundation founder Naza Alakija talks about how disruptive and exponential technologies have the potential to expand connectivity and bolster gender equality throughout world’s education systems. Diplomatic Courier founder Ana Rold and correspondent Whitney DeVries, meanwhile, give a 10,000-feet view the future of personalized education, the promise of Ed-Tech, and how leaders across a variety of sectors have been discussing these challenges.
Another key theme in this bookazine edition is resilience. Global Head, Inclusive Economic Growth at Abt Associates Nicole Goldin reminds us that the need for resilience in the face of disaster has long been acknowledged, but we still failed the most vulnerable during the pandemic. This, she says, highlights the need to revise and reorient how we approach resilience to be more inclusive and sustainable to meet future challenges. Connie Gonzalez and Srujana Penumetcha of CIPE’s Center for Women’s Economic Empowerment, meanwhile, examined how women entrepreneurs were disproportionately hurt by the pandemic, and how women’s business associations responded—in many cases very successfully—to these challenges with an eye toward greater inclusivity in economic systems to help foster more resilience for women entrepreneurs.
A third theme, and one which underpins how we meet every challenge, is how we invest in solutions. Bayer VP and Global Head of Public Affairs and Sustainability Daniella Foster tackles shortcoming in the recently very trendy ESG investing space, where she warns that too much attention is being paid to the “E” in ESG and not enough to the “S,” or social investing. She argues that social investing not only helps to meet the UN SDGs, but that these social issues are highly interrelated with climate change. GEC Risk Advisory founder Andrea Bonime-Blanc, finally, examines the failures of shareholder capitalism and state capitalism in meeting the challenges of 2020. Stakeholder capitalism, she tells us, has the potential to privilege a longer-term mindset to create better sustainable and resilient value creation.