The World Economic Forum and the 'polycrisis' that saturates its agenda


In its 54th edition, the World Economic Forum, which brings together more than 60 heads of State and Government and almost 1,000 companies from around the world, faces a panorama that seems even more complicated than a year ago. Geopolitical tensions, wars, environmental crises, technological trends and the risks of misinformation will be the main topics that world leaders will discuss from Davos, Switzerland, from Monday, January 15 to Friday, January 19.

In Davos, although diplomats from the world's main countries will have to reach key solutions to chart a more stable future, the truth is that according to a survey carried out by the same World Economic Forum (WEF), 54% of participants foresee global catastrophes in the next two years with an even darker outlook for the next decade.

And the event agenda includes a long list to discuss: the conflict between Israel and Hamas, the war between Russia and Ukraine, the weak global economy, disinformation due to the advance of artificial intelligence and interruptions in global trade due to the tension in the Red Sea, just to mention the most important ones.

Confidence in peace and security has eroded since 2016 and cooperation has "collapsed" since 2020, Forum President Borge Brende said at a briefing this week.

"In Davos, we will make sure we bring together the right people to see how we can put an end to this very challenging world, look for opportunities to cooperate," Brende said.

Global risks of the next 10 years

With this panorama and trying to estimate other possible scourges, the WEF highlighted four structural axes to define global risks within 10 years: the first, climate change, which in the medium and long term threatens large extreme climate events and which, In turn, it will push the most vulnerable populations to mass migration or worsening poverty levels.

Secondly, the so-called "demographic bifurcation" was established as the phenomenon that addresses social polarization and the consequences that this may cause in global development.

The third of the axes warns about the possible threat that technological acceleration and the changes it poses for an increasingly interconnected and globalized world may bring.

At this point, artificial intelligence particularly stands out, which with leaps and bounds seems to go faster than it can be controlled and poses risks for the increase in misinformation and lack of verification in cyberspace.

The fourth and last of the risks of the next decade focuses on geostrategic changes, something that involves the evolution of geopolitical power in countries like the United States and its role in the main conflicts and tensions in the world.

A luxurious event with the main world personalities

The ostentatious meeting in one of the countries with the highest cost of living in the world has been criticized on several occasions for being the place where high-profile figures talk about big ideas, but make little progress in finding solutions to the problems. challenges.

This is not to mention how every year millionaire executives arrive at the event on private planes that release large tons of emissions into the environment.

Report from Davos: World leaders seek to reduce political divisions

This year's meeting is expected to be attended by the likes of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron. , the Secretary General of the UN, António Guterres, or the newcomer to the Presidency of Argentina, Javier Milei.

Other important figures, such as US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, will come to the table to discuss ideas and plans that will govern the global agenda in public sessions close to the main agenda of the Forum.

By: Juan Pablo Lucumí
Font: France 24 (Con AP)