Nine centres worldwide recognised as IOC Research Centres for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health

Protecting athletes’ health and preventing injuries and illnesses in sport are top priorities for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its Medical Commission. Nine research centres from across the world have thus been named as IOC Research Centres for Prevention of Injury and Protection of Athlete Health.

These centres are:

  • Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention, Federation University Australia, Australia
  • Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, University of Calgary, Canada
  • Institute of Sports Medicine, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark
  • Yonsei University, Republic of Korea (South Korea)
  • Amsterdam Collaboration on Health & Safety in Sports, VU University and Academic Medical Centre, Netherlands
  • Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Norway
  • Aspetar, Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Qatar
  • Clinical Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Group, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • London’s Institute for Sports, Exercise and Health (ISEH) and National Centre for Sports Exercise and Medicine (NCSEM), United Kingdom

Over the next four years, these centres will be tasked with researching, developing and implementing effective preventive and treatment methods for sports-related injuries and illnesses. They will receive financial support from the IOC and join an international network of expert scientists and clinicians in sports-injury and disease-prevention research.

“We are delighted to have appointed nine highly qualified centres from the four corners of the world to assist us with our mission,” commented IOC Medical Commission Chair and Executive Board member Dr Uğur Erdener. “These centres have all demonstrated that they are at the forefront of research in sports medicine and are committed to our shared goal of using knowledge and resources to ensure the athletes’ well-being so that sportsmen and women can perform at their best level with minimal risks to their health.”  

The IOC Head of Scientific Activities, Lars Engebretsen, added: “While athletes were previously active until they were 25, today they compete until they are 40 to 45 at a very high level. An injury to one of them is a major issue, so treatment and prevention have become all the more important.”

Since 2009, the IOC, under the leadership of its Medical Commission, has supported and partnered with established research centres from around the world which have demonstrated clinical, educational, and research expertise in the fields of sports medicine and elite sports to promote the athletes’ health through the prevention of injury and illness.  

Collaborating closely with the newly-appointed nine research centres, the IOC aims to further promote and protect the health of athletes by:

  • Establishing long-term research programmes on injury and disease prevention (including underlying studies on epidemiology, risk factors, and mechanisms),
  • Fostering collaborative relationships with individuals, institutions and organisations to improve athletes’ health,
  • Implementing applied, ongoing and novel research and development within the framework and long-term strategy of the IOC,
  • Setting up knowledge translation mechanisms to share scientific research results with the field throughout the Olympic Movement and sports community and to convert these results into concrete actions to protect the health of the athletes.


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World’s Biggest Brainstorming Meeting on the Global Agenda Opens

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.


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India Summit Co-Chairs: Government Is Moving Forward with New Energy

New Delhi, India, 6 November 2014 – The new Indian government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is moving forward with policies and reforms aimed at putting the economy back on an 8%-plus growth trajectory, the Co-Chairs of the India Economic Summit concluded in the closing session of the meeting. “The policy-making is moving forward,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, Director-General of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). Added James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways in the United Arab Emirates: “There is effective leadership from the government and commercial sector. I leave convinced that there is a very clear roadmap moving forward.”

“The government came across as having new energy,” Anand Mahindra, Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra & Mahindra, told participants. “People sensed that there is a new agenda as well – a business-friendly agenda. This is a government that has business in its blood. It is ready to listen and knows what it has to do. Paralysis is not something you can use to describe it.” While there may be no “big-bang” reform programme, “there have been several incremental steps across the spectrum with the objective of doing business easier,” Banerjee observed.

There are many challenges ahead, the Co-Chairs warned. The government’s extensive agenda for action includes infrastructure, land, labour, trade facilitation, infrastructure – particularly the power sector, subsidies and the allocation of natural resources. It must also address social issues such as gender and the social norms that impede women from advancement and security. “Women in India are moving,” documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy of SOC Films in Pakistan, remarked. “But unless mindsets change, women will not be able to be equal partners in society.”

Over 700 business, government and civil society leaders, including five heads of state or government, participated in the summit, which was convened under the theme Redefining Public-Private Cooperation for a New Beginning. In the opening plenary, Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley stressed the government’s commitment to wide-ranging reforms. Restructuring measures will be carefully calibrated so that they really address India’s needs, Jaitley said. “We are quite satisfied with the beginning made, but there is a long journey ahead.”

Other ministers stressed the government’s determination to unblock bottlenecks that impede India from returning to the higher growth level that the economy had achieved before the global crisis. In a session on the infrastructure deficit, Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, reiterated the government’s pledge to build 30 kilometres of roads and highways a day within two years, up from the current rate of three kilometres a day.

In a session on India’s growth outlook, leading business figures expressed confidence in the Modi administration but called for patience to allow reforms to work through. “This government’s policy is continuously to make changes in all areas,” said Ajay S. Shriram, President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Chairman and Senior Managing Director of DCM Shriram. “It will take time. We are seeing results and the right direction.”

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Communiqué of the Twenty-Ninth Meeting of the IMFC

Chaired by Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore
and Minister for Finance

April 12, 2014 – Global activity continues to strengthen. However, the recovery is still fragile and downside risks remain. Creating a more dynamic, sustainable, balanced, and job-rich global economy remains our paramount collective goal. We will implement ambitious measures to sustain the recovery, proceed with structural reforms, place government debt on a sustainable track, promote financial stability, and reinforce cooperation to manage spillovers. We welcome the Managing Director’s Global Policy Agenda. Global economy. Activity in advanced economies picked up last year, notably in the United States and the United Kingdom. Growth in the euro area as a whole has turned positive but remains fragile. In many advanced economies, inflation remains below target and will likely remain subdued.

Growth in emerging market economies has moderated, but continues to account for the bulk of global growth, and is expected to strengthen gradually, with stronger external demand being partly offset by the dampening impact of more difficult financing conditions. Growth in low‑income countries has generally remained resilient. While the balance of risks has improved, downside risks remain to the global outlook, including notably renewed market volatility, very low inflation in some advanced economies, high levels of public debt, and geopolitical tensions. Unemployment is still stubbornly high in many countries.

Monetary normalization and spillovers. Monetary policy settings in major countries should continue to be carefully calibrated and clearly communicated, with cooperation among policymakers to help manage spillovers and spillbacks. Monetary policy in advanced economies should provide the necessary accommodation, with the eventual normalization being conditional on the outlook for price stability and economic growth.
Continued tapering of asset purchases by the Federal Reserve remains appropriate. The European Central Bank has maintained accommodative monetary conditions and should consider further action if low inflation becomes persistent. The euro area should, building on recent progress, complete its banking union.

Emerging markets and frontier low-income countries that do not face inflationary pressures and have credible policy frameworks and adequate policy space can use accommodative monetary policies in response to a growth slowdown. Those with high inflation should take appropriate measures, including tightening monetary policy. Those facing rising financial risks should strengthen regulation and supervision. Macroeconomic
policies need to be sound, and in that regard, exchange rates should be allowed to respond to changing fundamentals and to facilitate external adjustment. When dealing with macroeconomic or financial stability risks arising from large and volatile capital flows, the necessary macroeconomic policy adjustment could be supported by prudential measures and, as appropriate, capital flow management measures. Low-income countries should consolidate recent gains on reduction in inflation.

Ensuring robust, sustainable growth and reducing vulnerabilities. High unemployment, especially among the youth, and rising inequality should be addressed by removing structural impediments to inclusive growth. Ensuring sustainable public debts, enhancing the quality of public spending, promoting growth potential including through a stronger role of women and older workers in the economy, and guarding against financial risks in
the context of prolonged monetary accommodation remain priorities in all countries. Implementing concrete medium-term fiscal consolidation plans remains crucial in many advanced economies. Where country circumstances allow, medium-term fiscal plans should be implemented flexibly to take account of near-term economic conditions in order to support growth and job creation, while placing government debt on a sustainable track.
Emerging market economies with high public debt or financing needs should strengthen fiscal positions. Low-income countries should take advantage of their current resilience to rebuild policy space and maintain macroeconomic stability, while strengthening diversification and structural transformation to sustain growth momentum.

We recognize the challenges faced by Arab Countries in Transition (ACTs) and encourage them to step up the implementation of reforms for sustainable and job-rich growth. We welcome substantial donor support from the region and call on bilateral and multilateral partners to step up their contributions, as appropriate, in support of reforms. We look forward to the Fund’s continued work with ACTs, including tailored policy advice,
supported by financial and technical assistance. We encourage the Fund to continue strengthening its engagement with small states and low-income countries. We welcome the Fund’s engagement with states in a fragile situation. We look forward to drawing lessons on how to sustain the recent high growth in Africa and make it more inclusive. We welcome the Fund’s engagement with Ukraine as the authorities work to undertake
important reforms.

External rebalancing and policy coherence. We call on the Fund to continue to provide analysis and a forum for policy dialogue, concerted action, and cooperation, which will help enhance global growth prospects and reduce policy risks. Global imbalances have declined, for both structural and cyclical reasons, but rebalancing remains a key priority. Deficit countries should raise their national saving and competitiveness, and surplus
countries should boost domestic sources of growth or modify the composition of their growth. We reaffirm our commitment to refrain from competitive devaluations and all forms of protectionism.

Global financial reforms should be implemented promptly and consistently, and regulatory cooperation strengthened. Priorities include resolving the
too-big-to-fail problem and implementing effective cross-border resolution of systemically important firms, addressing potential financial stability risks emanating from shadow banking, and making derivative markets safer, underpinning financial stability and integration. Further progress is needed to improve data provision, close data gaps, enhance fiscal transparency, and fight cross-border tax evasion and tax avoidance, and
improve the transparency of beneficial ownership of companies and other legal arrangements, including trusts. We encourage the Fund to examine
these issues as part of its bilateral and multilateral surveillance, and to work in collaboration with other international institutions.

IMF surveillance and lending. We welcome the progress in implementing the Fund’s strengthened surveillance framework, including through the Financial Surveillance Strategy, pilot External Sector Report, Spillover Report, enhanced analysis of macro-financial linkages in Article IV consultations, and tailored advice on promoting inclusive growth and job creation. We underline the importance of regular consultations between
the Fund and all its members. We look forward to the upcoming Triennial Surveillance Review, and support further analysis of the implications of monetary normalization. We stress the importance of an adequate global financial safety net. The Fund should be prepared to provide financing, including on a precautionary basis, to support appropriate adjustments and reforms and help protect against risks. We reiterate the importance of a
follow-up crisis program review. We look forward to the completion of the comprehensive review of some key instruments (Flexible Credit Line, Precautionary and Liquidity Line, Rapid Financing Instrument), further consideration of the Fund’s lending policy in high debt situations, including work on sovereign debt, and the finalization of the review of the debt limits policy, combining flexibility and preservation of debt sustainability in the
approach to debt limits for low‑income countries.

Governance. We are deeply disappointed with the continued delay in progressing the IMF quota and governance reforms agreed to in 2010 and the 15th General Review of Quotas (GRQ) including a new quota formula. We reaffirm the importance of the IMF as a quota-based institution. The implementation of the 2010 reforms remains our highest priority and we urge the United States to ratify these reforms at the earliest opportunity. We are committed to maintaining a strong and adequately resourced IMF. If the 2010 reforms are not ratified by year-end, we will call on the IMF to build on its existing work and develop options for next steps and we will schedule a discussion of these options.

Next IMFC meeting. Our next meeting will be held in Washington, D.C. on October 10-11, 2014.

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Top 10 Emerging Technologies That Will Reshape the Future

  • Smarter drugs, super-light cars and computers operated by thought among 10 breakthroughs highlighted
  • The World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies is composed of top experts on new technologies around the world, representing both the academic and business world

Geneva, Switzerland, 26 February 2014 – From super-light cars to smarter drugs, the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies has identified the top 10 emerging technologies of 2014 that could reshape the society of the future.

Comprised of leading thinkers from academia and industry, the Council selected the innovations with input both from experts within the Network and after discussions with industry leaders gathered at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2014 in Davos-Klosters. Each innovation was selected for its potential to have a real and positive impact on the world.

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Pioneering healthcare solutions on show at inaugural Singapore International Healthcare Week

21st June 2013, Singapore – Sphere Conferences, the conference arm of media group Singapore Press Holdings, and SingHealth, Singapore’s largest academic healthcare cluster, today announced that they will jointly organise the country’s first global healthcare event – the Singapore International Healthcare Week (SIHW) – at the Marina Bay Sands from 19 to 21 August 2013.

The inaugural event is a new initiative by both organisations to provide a world-class learning and networking platform for healthcare leaders and administrators to exchange ideas, innovations and best practices.

This three-day event includes highly interactive congresses and a summit, covering a range of topics impacting the healthcare industry –

  • Singapore Healthcare Management Congress
  • Singapore Healthcare Enterprise Risk Management Congress
  • Singapore Healthcare Supply Chain Management Congress
  • Food Services in Healthcare Summit

There will be more than 80 plenary sessions, a poster competition and a large-scale exhibition, The Singapore International Healthcare Expo. The Expo will showcase more than 200 healthcare innovations and services ranging from medical equipment and supplies to information technology such as biometrics, data storage and RFID and food and nutrition services and security and surveillance systems.

The congresses will feature speakers from renowned and experienced healthcare professionals and industry experts such as –

  • Mr Chen Yu-Ray, Chairman, Chang Gung Steering Committee, Chang Gung Medical Foundation, Taiwan
  • Mr Kevin Sowers, President, Duke University Hospital, USA
  • Mr David Hunter, Vice President, Supply Chain Management, Providence Health & Services, USA
  • Ms Laurel Junk, Vice President, Supply Chain, Kaiser Permanente, USA
  • Ms Margaret Duguid, Pharmaceutical Advisor, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, Australia
  • A/Prof Low Cheng Ooi, Chief Medical Informatics Officer, Ministry Of Health, Singapore
  • Dr Chong Yoke Sin, Chief Executive Officer, Integrated Health Information Systems, Singapore

Mr Tan Jack Thian, Group Chief Operating Officer and Group Chief Procurement Officer at SingHealth, said: “With rising patient expectations and healthcare landscapes that are rapidly evolving, healthcare organisations in Asia face growing challenges in areas such as hospital management, supply chain and enterprise risk management. To overcome these challenges, it is critical for healthcare providers to continuously look for innovative practices for better care delivery, to embark on academic journeys and to form strong collaborations with like-minded partners locally and internationally. The Singapore International Healthcare Week is conceptualised and organised with these priorities in mind.”

“With Sphere Conferences as our co-organiser, participants can look forward to an even more robust and holistic programme with opportunities to share best practices and learn from leading organisations as well as to explore and develop new business relationships”, added Mr Tan.  

Mr Chua Wee Phong, Chairman of Sphere Conferences, said: “We are delighted to work with SingHealth in developing our country’s healthcare sector. Over the years, this region has seen the emergence of a greying population and significant increase in healthcare awareness. We believe that SIHW is a timely development and presents healthcare professionals from around the world the opportunity to learn from the best in the field through exchange of insights and management strategies. Our collaboration in building this anchor event will further reinforce and elevate Singapore’s status as the leading medical and healthcare hub in the region.”

For more information on the Singapore International Healthcare Week, please contact Ms Karin Lee of Sphere Conferences at telephone: (65) 6848-6054 or email: More information can also be found on the official website at

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First time event is held outside Singapore

1st June 2013, Singapore – The next annual World Cities Summit (WCS) Mayors Forum will be held in Bilbao, Spain, from 13 to 15 June 2013. A flagship event under the World Cities Summit, this is the first time that the WCS Mayors Forum will be held outside Singapore.

Co-organised by Singapore‟s Centre for Liveable Cities and Urban Redevelopment Authority, the WCS Mayors Forum has become one of the most important and biggest platforms in the world for city leaders to come together to discuss urban issues.

The fourth edition is themed “Liveable and Sustainable Cities: Common Challenges, Shared Solutions”, where close to 100 city leaders, international organisations and urban solutions companies will converge in Bilbao to discuss common urban challenges and share best practices in building liveable and sustainable cities. The city leaders hail from all regions, including North America, Latin America, Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Oceania, will be sharing their leadership experience in tackling issues ranging from urban planning, economic resilience, to sustaining the urban environment and community engagement at the peer-to-peer forum.

The forum is hosted by the City of Bilbao, the inaugural Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Laureate in 2010 for its efforts in its urban regeneration over 25 years.

Singapore‟s Minister for National Development Mr Khaw Boon Wan is the Chairman of the forum, and he will be speaking at the Opening and Closing Plenaries on 13 and 14 June 2013. Minister Khaw will also be visiting key sites within the city and in the region to understand Bilbao‟s urban development and governance experience.

Mr Ibon Areso, Deputy Mayor of Bilbao, will share on Bilbao‟s „Guggenheim effect‟ of urban and economic rejuvenation, while Dr Liu Thai Ker, Chairman, Centre for Liveable Cities, will also present the Singapore‟s story of urban transformation to become the liveable and sustainable city that it is today. Other keynote speakers include HE Lisa Scaffidi, Lord Mayor of Perth, Australia; HE Soichiro Takashima, Mayor of Fukuoka City, Japan; Alderman Patricia de Lille, Executive Mayor of Cape Town, South Africa; HE Atty. Francis N. Tolentino, Chairman of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority; and Mr Xavier Trias, Mayor of Barcelona, Spain.

Mr Khoo Teng Chye, Executive Director of the Centre for Liveable Cities said: “This is the first time that we are hosting the World Cities Summit Mayors Forum in another country, which shows that the forum is gaining traction internationally and is garnering interest from city leaders from regions further afield. Based on feedback, we have also extended the duration of the Forum from one day to three days.

“As the inaugural Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Laureate, Bilbao has shown that urban regeneration can be a powerful social and economic driver to catalyse change, strengthen the urban fabric, inject vibrancy and improve the quality of life for its citizens. Having the forum in Bilbao will help facilitate a rich exchange of experience between city leaders in general and Asian and European city leaders in particular, on creating liveable and sustainable cities.”

New highlights to WCS Mayors Forum

In addition to Plenary Presentations, discussion sessions and networking events, this year‟s WCS Mayors Forum will comprise several new additions:

 Business Summit A Business Summit has been introduced for the first time, where urban solution providers and companies can articulate their ideas and strategies into real business solutions for implementation within cities. Speakers at this platform include Mr Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public & Government Affairs at Philips Lighting, Mr Choo Chiau Beng, CEO of Keppel Corporation, Mr Lee Tzu Yang, Chairman of Shell Companies Singapore, Mr Jeff Rhoda, General Manager of Global Government & Education at IBM, and Dr Francisco Rincon, Siemens One Manager / Corporate

Development Sustainable Cities, Siemens. The business leaders will share on successful implementation of integrated urban solutions in response to urban challenges faced in cities.

 WCS Young Leaders Meeting For the first time, an interest group of outstanding young leaders with established track records in urban development and governance fields will be participating in the forum discussions. They will network and exchange with their peers from diverse urban sectors and shape the agenda of future World Cities Summits. The group will also convene a discussion on the side-lines to discuss their proposed initiatives and work plan together. The discussion will be led by Singapore‟s Chief Negotiator for Climate Change, Ambassador Burhan Gafoor.

The WCS Mayors Forum will return to Singapore in June 2014, to be held in conjunction with the World Cities Summit (WCS) 2014, the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) and the CleanEnviro Singapore Summit (CESS).

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Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and Peruvian Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion co-host first Social Innovation Summit

Lima, Peru, 23 April 2013 – The World Economic Forum and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, in cooperation with the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion of Peru, will convene government ministers, investors, business leaders and social entrepreneurs to discuss how social innovation models can more effectively contribute to inclusive growth. Co-Chairs at the Summit include: Carolina Trivelli Avila, Minister for Development and Social Inclusion, Peru; Bruce Mac Master, Director of the Department of Social Prosperity, Colombia;Alvaro Rodriguez Arregui, Co-founder and Managing Partner IGNIA Partners, Mexico; and Julie Katzman, Executive Vice-President, Inter-American Development Bank, USA.

Summit participants will focus on how social innovation and social entrepreneurship can be encouraged most effectively and what the appropriate role of government should be. Much of the day’s discussions will draw on the Policy Guide to Scaling Social Innovationa comprehensive report resulting from nearly a year of research. The Policy Guide – a collaborative effort between the Schwab Foundation for Social EntrepreneurshipInSight at Pacific Community Ventures, theInitiative for Responsible Investment at Harvard University, and the SK Group – presents a framework for policy action, drawing from 14 case studies of policy tools and initiatives currently being implemented by governments around the world.

In addition, the Policy Guide profiles twenty social innovation models from the Schwab Foundation network, tackling pervasive challenges in health, education, employment, rural development, and urban development. The profiles describe how successful social enterprises achieve outsized social impact and provide governments, intermediaries and budding social entrepreneurs with a wealth of ideas on how to generate social impact in specific issue areas.

“The fact that there is so much policy experimentation under way around the world indicates just how much progress there has been over the past two or three years,” said Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation. “Many governments are truly beginning to recognize the potential of social entrepreneurship and are constructively engaging with all of the relevant stakeholders to deliver on the sector’s promise.”

Convened under the theme Developing an Action Plan to Advance Social Innovation, the Social Innovation Summit lays out an ambitious agenda to advance social innovation policy frameworks in Latin America and on the international stage. Several ministers from the region engaged in multilateral discussions with their counterparts from Peru and Colombia about what policy experiments are showing the most promise and why.

“A new institutional setting is emerging across Latin America, with several countries creating ministries in recent years that are explicitly mandated to create the right conditions to achieve growth with social inclusion in democracy,” said Carolina Trivelli Avila, Minister for Development and Social Inclusion, Peru. “This represents a fundamental shift in the way government views its role – away from being the exclusive institution tasked with improving public welfare and more towards catalysing the relevant actors and markets and incentivizing collaborative efforts, especially with the private sector.”

This collaborative approach to creating social value is underscored by the announcement today of the launch of Innovate to Include, a national taskforce chaired by Minister Trivelli and mandated to promote social innovation in Peru. Founding members of the taskforce will be present at a signing ceremony at the close of the Social Innovation Summit, including the Inter-American Development Bank, the National Confederation of Private Business Association of Peru, and the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion.

“What we are trying to do is to create an environment that is conducive to more and better social innovation,” explained Minister Trivelli. “This will generate positive effects on the quality of life of those Peruvians who live in a condition of extreme exclusion. The task force will engage the best talent and institutions across both public and private sectors to think, design, and implement solutions to the most pressing issues in Peru. The task force will be responsible for preparing the design of the Social Innovation Fund, which will identify problems and opportunities that require an innovative and sustainable solution and will provide technical and financial assistance to such solutions. It will also collect experiences and best practices both in the locally and internationally to foster social innovation in Peru.”

“We are delighted that Peru is demonstrating regional leadership on social innovation,” said David Aikman, Senior Director, World Economic Forum and Head, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. “They are proving that governments can – and are – taking real, credible action to accelerate the development of this nascent sector.” 


source: Michèle Mischler, Associate Director Public Affairs, WEC

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The Global Financial Sector—Transforming the Landscape

Speech By Christine Lagarde
Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
Frankfurt Finance Summit, March 19, 201

Bonjour! Guten Tag ! Good day. It is a pleasure to be back in Germany and to be a part of this year’s Frankfurt Finance Summit. I would like to thank Dr. Lutz Raettig, the Chairman of the Board of Frankfurt Main Finance, for inviting me to participate.

Let me also thank Jens Weidmann for his very kind words of introduction. It is indeed an honor to speak today about financial sector reform, here in Frankfurt—for centuries the center of commerce and finance in the heart of Europe.

This year’s Summit examines “how regulation and crisis management will change the world’s financial landscape”. This is exactly what we are all working towards: a new financial landscape.

History shows that financial crises often alter the financial sector landscape. The terrain that emerges usually features restructured balance sheets, a stronger regulatory framework, and often a different population of banks. We can point to examples such as those in the Nordic and Asian countries after crises in the 1990s.

But there are also examples where there was little fundamental change, or where improvements weakened over time as the architecture failed to keep up with innovation. Take the United States ─ barely 20 years had elapsed between the resolution of the Savings and Loan crisis and the sub-prime debacle. While these were vastly different crises, as were their spillovers (unfortunately), real estate lending and the failure of regulation and supervision were common denominators. The industry did not learn the right lesson.

Here we are, more than five years into this crisis; has the “landscape” been transformed? In other words, have we built a stronger system?

Not yet. We have made progress, but there is more to do

Our job today as policymakers and regulators is to bring about change that is more effective and permanent; that results in a robust set of banks and also reduces the frequency and severity of systemic busts.

I would like to focus today on what we believe is needed to bring this about. Each is a necessary, but on its own, not sufficient condition for successful transformation.

1) Global regulatory reform─how close are we to a solid set of rules?

2) Balance sheet repair and banking union ─necessary and worthwhile

1. Global Regulation: Reform and Reinforce

Policymakers and regulators around the world and in Europe have laid out a comprehensive reform agenda. Many long nights were spent burning the midnight oil to negotiate agreements on regulation. I participated in just a few of those “nuits blanches”. I can tell you, what Otto Von Bismarck said is true: “Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.”

But the sausage-making did happen, and has produced some historic achievements. Agreements on global bank capital and liquidity regimes, and FSB standards on Effective Banking Supervision and Resolution Regimes are major steps forward. Here in Europe, deeper policy commitments have greatly reduced near-term stability risks.

My main concern is that progress is uneven. This risks un-doing some of our achievements.

The pace of implementation has been adjusted intentionally to support banks on the mend, but delays also reflect difficulties in agreeing on the way forward, and pushback from industry averse to changing outmoded and dangerous business models.

Let me address some of the key regulatory issues, beginning with bank capital and liquidity:

Capital and liquidity

Much has been done both on capital rules and liquidity standards as well as setting capital surcharges for globally systemically important banks.

We are, however, worried about uneven implementation of these rules, particularly the delay of Basel III in major jurisdictions. Different rates of implementation could contribute to dilution of overall minimum standards. These delays affect longer term business decisions, straining credit markets and spilling over to the real economy.

The IMF is also worried about national differences in the calculation of the riskiness of assets—the very basis for determining the capital needs of all banks, and the success of the new rules. Recent studies by the U.K. authorities, the Basel Committee, and the European Banking Authority have found a wide variation in bank risk weights with similar risk profiles. In an interconnected world, the lowest common denominator is connected to all.


Progress with accounting standards is also mixed. For example, on this same issue of risk measurement, the two main accounting bodies, the International Accounting Standards Board and U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board, have not reached agreement on a common approach for asset impairment, that is, whether to base it on expected or incurred losses.

This is not just an academic exercise. As you know, it materially affects the assessment of asset quality and valuation, which of course informs investors and regulators about an institution’s financial strength.

Too big to fail and resolution

What about resolution and the big banks? The FSB led the initial progress, and the United States and the United Kingdom recently moved forward on coordinating contingency plans when winding down failing cross border banks.

But some banks are still considered “too-important-to-fail,” due to their size, complexity, and interconnectedness. This is unacceptable.

The IMF estimates the implicit subsidy available to big banks in terms of lower borrowing costs at about 0.8 percentage points. Others have used this to derive a dollar figure for the five largest banks in the U.S. of about $64 billion, roughly equivalent to their typical annual profits — a gift from the taxpayer. While this may be a simplistic approach, it highlights the social dimension of the issue.

Pressure to address the moral hazard from this problem and facilitate resolution has fostered the development of regional initiatives to legislate banking activities or ring-fence operations, such as the Liikanen, Vickers and Volcker proposals, and the soon-to-be legislated German and French reforms. While well-intentioned, these separate plans could undermine common goals of harmonizing global standards if they are not well coordinated.

The bottom line is that we have yet to fix “too-big-to-fail”.

We need to forge ahead on three fronts to address the root cause of this problem: (1) regulation, like systemic surcharges; (2) intensive supervision; and (3) frameworks for orderly failure and resolution, nationally and across borders.

In the coming months, jurisdictions need to spell out plans to resolve each systemic institution, regardless of its size, inter-connectedness and complexity. In addition to cross-border collaboration arrangements, this requires an ability to impose discipline on the managers, shareholders and junior debt holders of large failed banks, using bridge banks or other resolution tools to preserve the liquidity of borrowers, depositors and other counterparties.

Over the counter derivatives

Progress on reform of derivative markets is too slow. We all agree that wider use of clearing houses—central counterparties—will raise transparency of over-the-counter markets and make the system safer. However, no authorities have met the deadlines to implement reforms.

First, available data shows that the increase in the value of centrally cleared contracts has been modest. For example, as of September 2012, only 10 percent of all credit default swaps were contracted through central counterparties. Second, data is limited, and almost nonexistent for commodity, equity and foreign exchange asset classes. This is a problem we need to address.

Recent headlines suggest that banks’ internal risk management systems are not keeping up with derivative innovation. For example, the loss by JP Morgan Chase of over $6 billion in the so-called London Whale case demonstrates the daunting complexity of assessing risks in these big institutions, and the glaring failure of risk managers and policymakers in this area.

Shadow banking

Back in 2009, when I was with the G-20 Finance Ministers, we made the point that regulation needed to cover “all markets, all products, and all operators”

On shadow banking, however, I am afraid there is not much progress to report. This is worrisome since regulators were largely in the dark before the crisis hit and since then, I suspect that funds have been migrating to new unregulated activities. For example, we have anecdotal evidence—because there is noofficial data—that trading is moving to unregulated hedge funds.

While “Guidance” on the monitoring and regulation of money market funds has been published, there is little consensus on actual implementation. There is other work in the pipeline at the FSB, but we need to see more concrete progress.


Compensation? This has been in the headlines lately, particularly in Europe. Mark Carney stressed recently that “an important lesson from the crisis was that compensation schemes encouraged individuals to take on too much long-term risk and tail risk”.

From a financial stability perspective, the level and structure of compensation must align incentives with risk profiles, and ultimately with performance. The common goal here is to make sure that the structure of compensation curbs incentives for excessive risk taking.

The financial sector has a duty to live up to the highest ethical standards. To that end, the FSB forged consensus on compensation practices some time ago. We fully support these principles and encourage all jurisdictions to implement them.

Impact in Europe

Together with Outright Monetary Transactions and other liquidity support from the ECB, these reforms have helped to calm markets, particularly in Europe. Borrowers, however, particularly small business and households, have not yet felt the impact, and rates of lending to the real economy have not yet incorporated this framework of stronger discipline, nor the path towards banking union.

Some financial systems are still facing pressure and negative feedback loops between sovereigns and the real economy continue.

To fix this, troubled banks need to be recapitalized or wound down. This brings me to the second aspect of a new landscape—balance sheets.

2. Balance Sheet Repair and Banking Union – Necessary and Worthwhile

Balance Sheet Repair: The Missing Link in the Quest for Recovery

It is possible that delays in agreement on regulatory reforms reduced the drive to deal with needed balance sheet repair and bank resolution. Or has insufficient balance sheet repair acted as a brake on reform progress?

Either way, we need to move beyond this chicken and egg question and tackle both balance sheet repair and regulatory reform simultaneously. Further progress on the regulatory reform agenda is essential, but to get credit flowing in support of a recovery, banks have to be in a financial position to respond.

Again we can point to some progress: U.S. and European banks have substantially increased their capital ratios. During 2007-2012, the number of credit institutions in Europe declined by about 5 percent (20 banks were resolved and 60 banks have undergone deep restructuring).1

But more needs to be done. Many banks are still shackled by the leftover effects of the crisis. This is the weak link in the chain of recovery.

We still see fragmentation in funding conditions—a direct result of concerns about the quality of bank assets—which is impairing the credit transmission to the real economy. In addition, peripheral euro area banking systems remain relatively weak, with capital buffers still low relative to impaired assets.

These banks are less able to absorb losses, which worsens the drag on new lending. This chokes off credit to viable firms and reinforces weaknesses in corporate sectors, perpetuating “zombie” companies as well as zombie banks.

There is a way out of this adverse spiral: clean up balance sheets and use a common backstop—the European Stability Mechanism (ESM)— for systemic cases. Enhanced disclosure and credible asset quality reviews will help restore confidence and banks should be urged to deleverage by raising equity and cutting business lines that are no longer viable.

Country authorities and the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) should undertake selective asset quality reviews.

For direct recapitalization by the ESM, modalities and governance arrangements should be established as soon as possible.

Banking Union in Europe—Necessary and Worthwhile

Of course this is part of the bigger picture─full banking union in Europe. What exactly do we mean by “banking union”? We mean a single supervisory and regulatory framework, a single resolution mechanism and resolution authority, and a common safety net that includes deposit insurance and lender of last resort capabilities.

This integrated oversight framework is the logical extension of an integrated banking system, but it also plays a central role in the global process of transformation. In many ways it represents a microcosm of the aims of the global regulatory reform agenda.

Banking union will move responsibility for supervision and potential financial support to a shared level which would help contain systemic risks and curb moral hazard. This would remove destructive incentives for deposit flight and fragmentation, and weaken the vicious loop of rising sovereign and bank borrowing costs.

The IMF recently released two important papers on these issues, including last week the inaugural Financial System Stability Assessment for the European Union. And I would encourage you to take a look at them.

Let me first recognize the considerable progress on banking union so far: agreement on the Single Supervisory Mechanism; proposals by the EC to harmonize regulations on capital (CRR─the Capital Requirements Regulation, and CRD-IV, the Fourth Capital Requirements Directive), on resolution regimes, and for national deposit insurance schemes; agreement to draw on the ESM to recapitalize banks, with ECB supervision; and finally, commitment to a Single Resolution Mechanism with backstop arrangements to recoup taxpayer support over time.

“To do” list

Policymakers need to plow ahead with their “to do” list. Recent agreements are major steps towards a new landscape, but follow through will be critical. This means swift adoption of the various directives, and ensuring that they are in full compliance with global accords, namely Basel III and the FSB “Key Attributes”.

Other priorities include endowing the single supervisor with requisite resources and authority; implementing the common resolution and safety nets with a coherent, credible backstop; and setting up the resolution authority and insurance fund with access to common backstops.

Full embrace of this Union-wide architecture is needed to ensure durable financial stability, but also to sustain the currency union and the single market for financial services in Europe. This includes severing the link between weak sovereigns and future banking sector risks, otherwise, the impact of new rules and institutions on economic growth, and on the citizens of Europe, will be limited.

Conclusion: enlightened stewards of the financial system

Let me conclude: I asked earlier if the financial landscape been transformed? I would say not yet. I believe that we are making progress, but it is mostly in the wiring and the plumbing—essential elements of a solid structure, but under the surface. The structure is still half-built and not safe.

Weak banks are still a drag on growth. Balance sheet repair needs to be tackled at the same time as regulatory reform, in a mutually reinforcing manner. Finishing the business in both areas is necessary to reap the fruits of hard-won gains in regulatory reform and to restore the full functioning of the financial sector so that it can do its job of intermediating funds to borrowers and support growth.

I am an optimist, drawing inspiration from Martin Luther, who said “Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.”

…. But I am also a realist. Immanuel Kant, one of the greatest German philosophers, said that “using reason without applying it to experience only leads to theoretical illusions”. The free exercise of reason by the individual was a theme of the Enlightenment.

Hopefully, we are moving toward an “Enlightened” era in global finance and regulation, one based on experience and reason.

Posted in 2013, Christine Lagarde, Frankfurt Finance Summit, IMF, Speech | Leave a comment

The World Economic Forum Announces Young Global Leaders Class of 2013

  • 199 young leaders from 70 countries have been honoured by the World Economic Forum for their professional accomplishments and commitment to society.
  • The Young Global Leaders (YGL) Class of 2013 is composed of honourees from all sectors of society, with 50% from business and 50% from arts and culture, academia, civil society, government, media and non-profits; 42% are women.
  • The YGLs will join and co-create a community of insight and action that is committed to improving the state of the world.

Geneva, Switzerland, 12 March 2013 – The World Economic Forum announced today the Young Global Leaders (YGL) Class of 2013. These individuals have been recognized for their professional achievements and commitment to society.

The 199 YGLs come from 70 countries and all sectors of society (arts and culture, academia, business, civil society, media, politics and social entrepreneurship). The honourees come from East Asia (45), Europe (49), Latin America (16), the Middle East and North Africa (12), North America (40), South Asia (18), and sub-Saharan Africa (19).

This year’s class includes:

  • Martin Aspillaga (Peru), whose private equity firm Salkantay Partners focuses on economic development by small-scale operators and investors
  • William James Adams (aka, the US singer and recording artist, whose Foundation transforms lives through education, inspiration and opportunity
  • Miranda A. Ballentine (USA), who is leading Wal-Mart’s efforts to be supplied 100% by renewable energy, to create zero waste and to sell products that sustain the world’s resources and environment
  • Rachel Botsman (Australia), whose theory on collaborative consumption was one of Timemagazine’s “10 Ideas That Will Change The World”
  • Chelsea Clinton (USA), Board Member, Clinton Foundation and special correspondent for NBC News
  • Tara Fela-Durotoye (Nigeria), an entrepreneur who is building a globally respected make-up and skincare company of African origin
  • Dorcas Gachari (Kenya), an open-source e-government software entrepreneur who also mentors women engineers across Africa
  • Gian Tu Trung (Vietnam), an education activist
  • Tawakkol Karman (Yemen), the journalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner
  • Kim Dong Kwan (Korea), the Chief Strategy Officer of solar energy group Hanwha Solar
  • Winston Ma Wenyan (China), Managing Director and Deputy Chief Representative of the China Investment Corporation
  • Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (Pakistan-Canada), the Emmy and Oscar award-winning Pakistani-Canadian journalist and documentary film-maker (video)
  • Mark Pollock (Ireland), the athlete and adventurer who became the first blind man to reach the South Pole
  • Nate Silver (USA), the statistician who calculated Barack Obama had a 90.9% chance of winning the 2012 presidential election and crunched polling data to successfully predict the result in 50 out of 50 states
  • Shivinder Mohan Singh (India), Managing Director of Fortis Healthcare, one of Asia’s largest hospital and healthcare organizations
  • Florence Verzelen (France), who became the first woman to head GDF Suez’s Qatar operations, overseeing all oil exploration and production
  • Akhilesh Singh Yadav (India), the youngest person to hold the office of Chief Minister of the state of Uttar Pradesh

Drawn from a pool of several thousand candidates, the 2013 YGLs were chosen by a committee, chaired by H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The selection was based on the proven track record of the individual, his or her leadership experience, ability to overcome adversity and commitment to society.

Becoming part of the YGL community is described by its members as a transformational experience. YGLs join as individuals, who are successful in their own field of expertise, but become part of a broader collective community that works to tackle a range of world issues.

“The Forum of Young Global Leaders provides a unique effort to engage the younger generation into the management of global affairs, working together and being integrated into the larger Forum community. The Young Global Leaders have an exceptional opportunity to improve the state of the world,” Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum.

The 2013 honourees will become part of the broader Forum of Young Global Leaders community that is currently composed of 756 outstanding individuals. The YGLs convene at an annual summit, which will be held this year in Yangon, Myanmar, on 2-5 June. The programme will include meetings with Myanmar government representatives, the business community and civil society, first-hand experience of working with, and learning from, local organizations and communities, along with workshops and cross-mentorship initiatives.


Posted in 2013, World Economic Forum | Leave a comment