Economic uncertainty was on the minds of many of those who made their way to Davos, Switzerland for the 54th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) which kicked off on Monday, January 15th.

Indeed, over 50% of the chief economists in attendance submitted economic outlooks reflecting the potential weakening of the global economy this year. At the same time, the majority of attendees remarked that geoeconomic fragmentation due to political conflict in several regions is bound to accelerate at a rapid pace.

A Ray of Light

Despite this grim prognosis, the organizers of this year’s Davos Forum brought together global leaders for a week geared towards boosting economic cooperation through the cultivation of working partnerships via meaningful dialogue. 

Indeed, this year’s theme Rebuilding Trust reflects the need to assure the world that it is possible to work together through pressing issues without the need for violence and armed conflict. By way of explanation, WEF founder and executive chair Klaus Schwab remarked that there is a need to rebuild trust between nations given the widening socio-economic divides. He likewise declared that nations need to think beyond mere crisis mitigation and, instead, resolve the true causes behind pressing issues.

Throughout this week, the WEF will hold discussions regarding four priority areas. The achievement of security and socio-economic cooperation in a world torn apart by aggression and greed is one key topic; the creation of new business and career opportunities in an evolving global economy is another. The use of artificial intelligence and related technologies to boost both society and the global economy is the third; while the fourth involves the creation of long-term strategies meant to address climate change, the energy crisis, and the conservation of natural resources.

Several proposals regarding climate and nature action, the shift to renewable energy, disruptive innovations in technology, health, global security, and economic growth from different countries are expected to be presented in the course of the Forum.