An Interview with WEF Founder & Executive Chairman Prof Klaus Schwab

KATE ROBERTS: You have brought some of the most influential people together through the World Economic Forum, and about seven years ago you formed the Young Global Leaders. Why did you decide to start the Young Global Leaders and Global Shapers programs?

Prof. KLAUS SCHWAB: Fifty percent of the global population is less than 27 years old. It was very interesting that when I created the Young Global Leaders, it was difficult to find people who were already in very responsible positions below the age of 40. That has changed dramatically, which shows the age of leaders is coming down. Our Young Global Leaders are usually between 30 and 40, and we have to capture the energy and the spirit of those who are between 20 and 30. That was the reason for the creation of the Global Shapers.

KR: Much of your work in philanthropy focuses on social entrepreneurship. How can the Global Shapers become social entrepreneurs within your definition of the term?

KS: Social entrepreneurship has to be seen in a much wider way today. What we need to do is engineer society to move from a basis of self-interest toward a basis of serving society. What we want to do with the Global Shapers is to stimulate young leaders to be much more engaged into society on the local level, but through the Forum also on a global level.

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What’s different at Davos

The following post is by Karl Hofmann, President and CEO of PSI, and originally appears in the Washington Post Davos Blog.

There were two promising agendas discussed at this year’s World Economic Forum, where global finance and business leaders rub elbows every January, with some social entrepreneurs and NGOs like mine thrown in the mix.

First, the population taboo was broken.

At panel discussions around the planet’s 7 billion population threshold and environmental sustainability questions, participants are slowly but steadily finding ways to talk about an issue that for too long has been considered off-limits in gatherings like this.

Meeting the unmet need for modern contraception on the part of women around the world is understood to be important, vitally important, to the trajectory the world’s population takes during the next several decades.

Are we heading toward 8 billion by mid-century? Or 10.5 billion? Not only is that difference significant, it is also something we can do things about. Demography is not destiny, necessarily. Nor is a planet with more than 10 billion inhabitants inevitable.

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Kate Roberts: Thoughts on Young Leaders and Private-Public Partnerships

While at at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, PSI’s Kate Roberts took some time to make a pair of videos on topics that she believes to be important.  In the first, she shares her vision of how public-private partnerships can bring about more effective change in the world. In the second video, Kate is inspired by the young leaders who are taking part in the Global Shapers program.

Check out the videos!

Public-Private Partnerships

Key quote: “Use private sector strategies to build markets and to deliver healthcare and behavior change communications to those people who really need it the most”

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Davos ‘dates’: The power of partnership for global health

The following post is by Kate Roberts, Vice President – Corporate Marketing, Communications and Advocacy, and originally appears on the Washington Post Davos blog.

The 2012 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland has concluded.  Today, I returned to Washington, put away my snow boots, and began the process of sorting through hundreds of business cards.  It was an exhausting week, but I landed at Dulles energized by the collaborative ideas and commitments generated at this year’s Forum – particularly with regards to global health.

Davos is a bit like corporate speed dating. As a representative for my global health nonprofit, PSI, I sat down for numerous 30 minute “dates” with corporate leaders from around the world. Like any first date, each was an opportunity to evaluate if/how a partnership would work – Do we have similar or complementary interests? Are our values the same? We both came to the table interested in increasing our bottom lines.  For organizations like PSI, that line is measured by health impact and lives saved.  For corporations, the bottom line is opening new markets, developing a new consumer base, and being a good global neighbor.

At the end, it was profoundly clear that we could achieve both goals by working together.

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Does PSI Kate Roberts Have Moves Like Jagger?

Unfortunately, we won’t know for sure the answer to that question. Kate did have the chance to dance with the Rolling Stones front man while at Davos. Alas, there is no video evidence of the two doing the “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”

Check out Kate’s Davos Diary above where she shares her favorite moment of the week. We have more videos and reflections to share from Kate and CEO Karl Hofmann over the next two days.  Stay tuned!

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Listen Up, Davos: Global Health Is Good for Business

The following post is by PSI Ambassador Mandy Moore and originally appears on the Huffington Post

It’s around 25°F in Davos, Switzerland today. Thousands of world leaders have arrived for the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting. These powerful men and women will spend the next five days setting a course for 2012.

As an ambassador for the global health organization PSI and a member of the WEF Global Shapers, I am really following what’s going on there, primarily because it includes a significant number of young leaders who will add their ideas on strengthening the global economy.

I am really hoping that the leaders of the world’s most powerful companies walk away understanding the economic importance of global health. And that they make improving global health part of their business plans.

I can’t fathom that 2 to 3 billion people live in poverty — many in the developing world, where access to basic health care is limited. I recently read that the poorest two-thirds of the world’s population has a US $5 trillion purchasing power. So, with simple investments in the delivery of basic health products and services, people struggling to survive can become more active consumers and producers.

New markets for goods (including American products) will develop, economies will become more vibrant and profits will rise. Most importantly, mothers will be healthier and children will regularly attend school. It really is a win-win.

The U.S. Congress understands this.

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World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers on Empowering Young Global Leaders

Impact Magazine asked six of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers, including Mandy Moore and Howard Buffett, to give us their thoughts on their experiences empowering youth. The Forum, which is happening this week in Davos, formed the Global Shaper Community to harness the power of young leaders in their 20s. Watch the video and check out what they have to say.

Read the interviews in the 8th issue of Impact Magazine, focused on the Power of Youth:

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Working Together on Global Health

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What to expect at the World Economic Forum 2012 annual meeting

The following post is by PSI’s Kate Roberts, Vice President – Corporate Marketing, Communications and Advocacy. It originally appears on the Washington Post. On Jan. 25, more than 3,000 leaders from the most powerful companies and organizations around the globe will descend on Davos, Switzerland, to shape the global agenda for 2012 and chart the course of

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“Wait, My Snow Boots Are at Coat Check”: The REAL Survival Guide to Davos

The following post is by PSI’s Kate Roberts, Vice President – Corporate Marketing, Communications and Advocacy. This originally appears on the Huffington Post.

At the 1984 Winter Olympics, Jayne Torvill proved to the world that a British gal could navigate her way across ice — and the global stage — with grace and balance.

I pray that I won’t squander her legacy this week.

I’ve just arrived in blistery Davos, Switzerland for the annual World Economic Forum, under 3 feet of snow. On Wednesday, this tranquil mountain hamlet will welcome three thousand movers and shakers from around the world to set a course for 2012. It’s an unparalleled opportunity for companies, governments and NGOs to work together and respond to economic, health and environmental challenges that affect us all.

This year, I am particularly excited to hear the ideas from the 200 Young Global Shapers and Young Global Leaders that the Forum has invited to join the discussion. Most of the world is facing a bleak future when it comes to jobs, education, housing and health. The voices of the under 30 and 40 are crucial to charting the course of future prosperity.

With my golden ticket in hand — and my fellow lady powerhouses in tow — I have spent the last week brainstorming how to make the most of this opportunity. Working for the global health organization PSI (Population Services International), a non-profit, my time and resources need to be well spent.

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