Global business and political leaders gather in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 23-26 at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting on international politics, economics, and social issues. Davos’ theme this year is “creating a shared future in a fractured world.”
RFBF President Brian Grim will join 2,500 heads of state, CEOs, business leaders and policymakers seeking to resolve some of the world’s most pressing problems such as inequality, climate change and poverty. Grim will speak on how faith to address these issues.
Grim has worked with the World Economic Forum in various capacities, including a speaker at Davos (2018), chair of WEF’s global agenda council on the role of faith (2016), and a member of the same council (2014-16). Check out the research from the Faith Council.
The Council’s report on The Role of Faith in Systematic Global Challenges is part of a “toolkit” developed by members of the Council, which seeks to increase “religious literacy” – including awareness and understanding of the positive impact of the role of faith in various sectors – in our complex world.
Meeting Overview, by the World Economic Forum
“At the close of the 20th century, the presumption was that greater economic interdependence among countries, buttressed by liberal democratic institutions, would ensure peace and stability well into the new century. The global context today has changed dramatically: geostrategic fissures have re-emerged on multiple fronts with wide-ranging political, economic and social consequences. Realpolitik is no longer just a relic of the Cold War. Economic prosperity and social cohesion are not one and the same. The global commons cannot protect or heal itself.
Politically, governance is being transformed by new and contending strategic narratives. Such narratives have emerged in response to national, regional and global divides, but many of them are bereft of the innovation, inspiration and idealism essential for transformational change.
Economically, policies are being formulated to preserve the singular benefits of global integration while limiting its shared obligations. Yet, such policy prescriptions are fragmented, biased or uninformed when considered in the context of sustainable development, inclusive growth and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Socially, citizens yearn for responsive leadership that addresses local and national concerns; yet, a shared identity and collective purpose remain elusive despite living in an age of social networks. All the while, the social contract between states and their citizens continues to erode. Changing the situation on the ground requires more responsive governance, but this cannot absolve governments of their regional and global responsibilities.
The fractures that have emerged politically, economically and socially must not foster intolerance, indecision and inaction. The 48th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting therefore aims to rededicate leaders from all walks of life to developing a shared narrative to improve the state of the world. The programme, initiatives and projects of the meeting are focused on Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.
By coming together at the start of the year, we can shape the future by joining this unparalleled global effort in co-design, co-creation and collaboration. The Annual Meeting in Davos remains a global platform unmatched in engaging leaders from business, government, international organizations, academia and civil society in peer-to-peer working sessions. The programme’s depth and breadth make it a true summit of summits.”
Role of Religion
Rising income inequality contributes to social and political unrest, threatening our economic future and general wellbeing. While it is clear that social problems will increase if economic growth benefits a small minority, there is very little concrete analysis of how different sectors of society contribute to the goal of inclusive growth. The need for better analysis is reflected in the World Economic Forum’s new programme to benchmark progress toward economic growth and social inclusion.
Why is the faith factor important to consider? First, because religious adherence is on the rise, as is clearly seen in recent research on religious demographics. Second, because religion is often ignored.
Stay tuned for more from Brian Grim as Davos nears …