WEF 2023: Day One Focuses On Economic Growth Along With Sustainability
Annual Meeting of World Economic Forum scheduled for 16th to 20th January 2023, kick-started on Monday. Themed at ‘Cooperation in Fragmented World’, the meeting saw participation from 2,700 world leaders from over 130 countries. This Five-day long event also welcomed dozens of business tycoons, industrialists, politicians and bureaucrats from India.
The day one started with WEF’s Chief Economist outlook focussed on coping up with global recession. Around 67 per cent of the chief economists agreed on the fact that the world is likely to see a recession in 2023. Out of those, 18 per cent considered it extremely likely.
Economists also consented on the overall perception that growth will slow down for both The US and Europe. In contrast to the US, where 91 per cent of chief economists forecast poor growth current year, the entire group anticipated very weak growth in Europe. This indicates a decline in recent months (at the time of the previous study, the equivalent numbers for Europe and the US were 86 and 64 per cent, respectively).
In China, there is a sharp division in respondents' growth estimates between those who anticipate weak or rapid growth. Growth is anticipated to increase as a result of recent efforts to relax the nation's rigorous zero-COVID policy, but it is unclear how disruptive these changes will be in terms of their effects on people's health.
“With two-thirds of chief economists expecting a world-wide recession this year, the global economy is in a precarious position. The current high inflation, low growth, high debt and high fragmentation environment reduces incentives for the investments needed to get back to growth and raise living standards for the world’s most vulnerable,” said Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum.
“Leaders must look beyond today’s crises to invest in food and energy innovation, education and skills development, and in job-creating, high-potential markets of tomorrow. There is no time to lose.” She added.
More broadly, the chief economists expect the global landscape to remain challenging for businesses – 100% of respondents expect global geopolitical trends to continue redrawing the map of global economic activity along new geopolitical fissures and fault lines. This wider economic shift will likely reverberate through trade, investment, labour and technology flows, creating myriad challenges and opportunities for business.
The First Day of Davos 2023 also witnessed ‘The Crystal Award’ ceremony. The Crystal Award, now in its 29th year, recognises outstanding artists and cultural figures whose significant contributions to society have positively impacted the status of the globe and who best exemplify the "spirit of Davos" of openness and cooperation.
Each year, the World Economic Forum gives the Crystal Awards in Davos. The 2023 Crystal Award recipients are Maya Lin, an architect, Renée Fleming, a soprano, actor, filmmaker, and humanitarian Idris Elba, and actress, model, and humanitarian Sabrina Elba on the occasion of the 29th Annual Crystal Award.
Maya Lin will receive the 2023 Crystal Award in recognition of her tremendous creative skill in fusing science, art, and architecture as well as her outstanding leadership in promoting the environment and nature. Through her critically renowned architectural and artistic creations, Lin has carved out a remarkable interdisciplinary career that emphasises sustainable design and a closer bond with the natural world.
Renée Fleming received the 2023 Crystal Award for her advocacy of music's influence on culture, community, and health. She is a well-known supporter of studies that combine the arts, health, and neuroscience. She began the first continuing partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) (NEA).
The 2023 Crystal Award was also given to Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre Elba for their leadership in addressing food security, climate change, and environmental preservation.
Idris Elba, an actor, director and philanthropist, and Sabrina Dhowre Elba, a model, actress and humanitarian, were named UN Goodwill Ambassadors for IFAD in April 2020. They concentrate on issues pertaining to food security, climate change, and environmental preservation in their capacity as IFAD Goodwill Ambassadors. The couple recently travelled to a project in Sierra Leone that is backed by IFAD, where they met farmers who got help with rice farming and rural financing during the Ebola catastrophe.
As Climate change is a reality that must not be ignored, an open forum themed at ‘In Harmony with Nature’ was also a part of Davos 2023 Day one. The forum was focussed on climate changes, Current lifestyles and organisational practices that are needed to change to restore the health of the planet and protect the wellbeing of current and future generations.