Davos Insider: 5 Themes for the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019

November 29, 2018

The World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos is a highly anticipated gathering of top leaders in government, business and civil society.

On a global stage, these leaders examine our world’s most pressing challenges and collaborate to drive positive change. Their discussions help shape the political, social and economic agendas for the year ahead.

Not surprisingly, the Meeting commands a huge media presence and attracts many voices vying for attention. As communications professionals who have extensive firsthand experience in Davos, we can say the voices that stand out are those authentically demonstrating how their organization and expertise intersect with the key themes of the Meeting.

This year, expect these five themes to dominate the conversation…

davos wef 2019 trends

1. Geopolitical Shifts will remain a focal point as leaders examine the implications of Brexit, China’s continued rise, changing trade policy and international relations, and increasingly fractured domestic political landscapes the world over.

2. The Fourth Industrial Revolution: A concept first introduced by the World Economic Forum at its Annual Meeting in 2016, the Fourth Industrial Revolution recognizes how new technologies are creating wholesale changes across all industries at a speed and scale faster than any in history. This year’s meeting will continue to explore how we can unlock its potential in areas including health, infrastructure, energy, and more; and what we must do to harness its power when it comes to how emerging technologies like AI, gene editing and blockchain will continue to disrupt and reshape nearly every industry.

3. Risk Resiliency: In the face of cyber security threats, national disasters, increasing inequality, and continued health epidemics, building risk resiliency will be a connecting theme. Leaders will examine the innovations and ideas that can help us manage these threats at local, national and global levels.

4. Human Capital and the Future of Work: With the presence of AI in the workplace gaining momentum, life expectancies continuing to increase and technology simultaneously driving connectedness and distance between colleagues—how must we redefine the workplace in order to create a sustainable and thriving workforce for future generations?

5. Climate Change: Anticipate another year of heightened dialogue as recent reports from the United Nations and the U.S. government paint a somber picture of its potential impact. Will the private sector be asked to take on an even larger role under the pressure of increasingly purpose-driven consumers?

If you or your organization are attending this year’s Meeting, Ketchum’s team of Davos Insiders bring more than a decade of in-house and on-the-ground experience with the World Economic Forum and can help you anticipate, prepare and activate against the themes above in a way that authentically connects them to your business’s mission and messaging. To learn how we can help your organization lend a voice to the discussions and navigate the ins and outs of the Annual Meeting, contact our Davos Insider team at Davos@Ketchum.com.

Laura Clementi is an expert in corporate reputation, philanthropy and cause marketing who spent two years serving as Ketchum’s secondee to the World Economic Forum. There, she was fully embedded on the communications team, developing programs for the Forum’s global and regional events, including the Annual Meeting in Davos.
CONTACT: LAURA.CLEMENTI@KETCHUM.COM

James Hardy is based in Ketchum’s London office where he helps blue-chip clients navigate the World Economic Forum before, during and after the event. James’ areas of expertise include media relations, message development, crisis and issues and leadership communications.
CONTACT: JAMES.HARDY@KETCHUM.COM