Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 9 November 2014 – The World Economic Forum Summit on the Global Agenda, the world’s biggest brainstorming meeting, bringing together more than 1,000 experts from 80 countries on the most pressing global challenges, opened today.
“There are so many fundamental issues that we have to face,” Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum told participants in the opening session. “But we don’t face only challenges. The new world offers many opportunities for advancing human progress to a higher level. Transformation is the spirit you all represent – it is not rejecting innovation but embracing it.”
The 7th Summit on the Global Agenda is organized by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with the Government of the United Arab Emirates and Government of Dubai.
Welcoming participants, Summit Co-Chair Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates, said that, at a time of great volatility in the world, the Summit allowed the members of the Forum’s 86 Global Agenda Councils “to open new horizons between countries, peoples and cultures and to provide solutions to the challenges facing the world today.” Added fellow Summit Co-Chair Sami Dhaen Al Qamzi, Director-General, Department of Economic Development of the Government of Dubai: “Hosting this Summit is a clear message that we are committed to facing all the global challenges and building new and innovative partnerships.”
To acknowledge the outstanding work of the Global Agenda Councils, the World Economic Forum’s brain trust of business, government and civil society thought leaders, the Forum launched the Global Agenda Council Vision Awards at the opening session. Covering the Council term from 2012 to 2014, the awards recognize Councils for breakthrough and forward-looking ideas that focus on major challenges on the global, regional and industry agendas; vision, pragmatism and leadership; the execution of plans according to a set time horizon; and the participation of stakeholder communities in their implementation.
For the inaugural awards, the Forum selected Councils in two categories. Winning the prize for developing breakthrough ideas were the Global Agenda Council on the Intellectual Property System, which improved access of people at the bottom of the pyramid to the intellectual property system, and the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Government, which deepened understanding of how technology is transforming government and politics.
For shaping high-impact collaborative cross-council ideas, the Forum recognized the Global Agenda Council on Emerging Multinationals and the Global Agenda Council on Youth Unemployment, which together developed a landmark methodology of mentorship and apprenticeship to help youth acquire the hard and soft skills that companies need. The other winners in this category were the Global Agenda Council on Africa and the Global Agenda Council on New Models of Travel and Tourism, which collaborated to develop initiatives that underscored the importance of travel and tourism to job creation and growth, and demonstrated the clear link between them.