World Economic Forum

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The World Economic Forum is, according to the organization's web site, "an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world. The Forum provides a collaborative framework for the world's leaders to address global issues, engaging particularly its corporate members in global citizenship."

History and Achievements

  • See rest of article for timeline.

"The World Economic Forum's origins stem from Klaus Schwab's initiative to bring together Europe's chief executives for an informal gathering in the Swiss mountain town of Davos in 1970. These chief executives formally met in January 1971 to discuss a coherent strategy for European business to face challenges in the international marketplace. He secured the patronage of the Commission of the European Communities, as well as the encouragement of Europe's industry associations.

"Over the course of three decades, the World Economic Forum has grown from those humble beginnings to a unique, member-based institution comprised of the 1,000 foremost corporations worldwide, providing a platform for dialogue and serving as a catalyst for action. This has led to achievements in various areas including: peace building, health, development and corporate citizenship."

Strategic Partners

Event Partners

The main annual event of the World Economic Forum is the January meeting of the rich and powerful in Davos, Switzerland. Individuals pay up to $US50,000 for membership of this elite group, and up to half-a-million for premium corporate memberships. The list of attendees essentially consists of the CEOs of listed companies, central bankers, politicians and a few invited top celebrities who provide some entertainment. The average age is 52 and 4/5ths are men.

They discuss free trade, free markets, low taxes, deregulation, privatisation, ways to straight-jacket governments, and the need for higher executive salaries to provide the necessary motivation. What they don't discuss is even more revealing: more equitable societies, higher taxes on those who can afford them, protection for employee superannuation, higher investment in public education, affordable housing, and the like.

Not discussed, but assumed, are questions of globalisation, the need for international or bilateral trade agreements, and the certainty that Frederich von Hayek and Ludwig von Mises now sit at the right and left hand of God.[1]


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Resources and articles

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  1. "Super-rich gather to tell us how to live", by Jessica Irvine, Sydney Morning Herald, Jan 16 2017