The 49th World Economic Forum
annual meeting

What do we know about the 2019 World Economic Forum?

Capital at risk. All financial investments involve an element of risk. Therefore, the value of the investment and the income from it will vary and the initial investment amount cannot be guaranteed.

Article content from the World Economic Forum website. The opinions expressed are those of the World Economic Forum as at 7 January 2019.

When does it take place?

22-25 January 2019

Who attends the Forum?

Over 3,000 leaders from business, government, international organizations, civil society, academia, media and the arts.

Notable 2018 attendees

Theresa May (Prime Minister of the UK)
Donald Trump (President of the United States)
Angela Merkel (Federal Chancellor of German)
Paolo Gentiloni (Former Prime Minister of Italy)
Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister of Canada)
Narendra Modi (President of India)
Emmanuel Macron (President of France)
Michel Temer (Former President of Brazil)
Jean-Claude Juncker (President of the European Commission)
Mauricio Macri (President of Argentina)
Christine Lagarde (Managing Director, International Monetary Fund - IMF)
Antonio Guterres (Secretary-General of the United Nations)
Jim Yong Kim (President of the World Bank)
King Felipe VI (King of Spain)
King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein (King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan)

Confirmed 2019 attendees

Representing the pinnacle of accomplishment across government, business, civil society and academia, the co-chairs of the Annual Meeting 2019 are:

Political leaders
Ueli Maurer (President of the Swiss Confederation 2019)
Shinzo Abe (Prime Minister of Japan)
Jair Bolsonaro (President of Brazil)
Angela Merkel (Federal Chancellor of Germany)
Wang Qishan (Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China)
Giuseppe Conte (Prime Minister of Italy)
Pedro Sanchez (Prime Minister of Spain)
Barham Salih (President of Iraq)
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani (President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan)
Sebastian Kurz (Federal Chancellor of Austria)
Ivan Duque (President of Colombia)
Abiy Ahmed (Prime Minster of Ethiopia)
Leo Varadkar (Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland)
Benjamin Netanyahu (Prime Minister of Israel)
Faiez Al Serrag (Prime Minister of Libya)
Mark Rutte (Prime Minister of the Netherlands)
Jacinda Ardern (Prime Minister of New Zealand)
Erna Solberg (Prime Minister of Norway)
Rami Hamdallah (Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority)
Martin Alberto Vizcarra Cornejo (President of Peru)
Paul Kagame (President of Rwanda)
Cyril M. Ramaphosa (Prime Minister of South Africa)
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (President of Uganda)
Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Prime Minister of Vietnam)
Emmerson Mnangagwa (President of Zimbabwe)


Prince William, Duke of Cambridge

Crystal Award winners

Recognised for harnessing culture to promote positive change

Sir David Attenborough (Broadcaster and natural historian)
Marin Alsop (Conductor)
Haifaa Al-Mansour (Film director)

Leaders from civil society

Yasunobu Aihara (General SecretaryJapanese Trade Union Confederation)
Sharan Burrow (General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation)
Winnie Byanyima (Executive Director, Oxfam International)
Jennifer Morgan (Executive Director, Greenpeace International)
Denis Mukwege (Founder, Panzi Foundation, 2018 Nobel Peace Laureate)
Kenneth Roth (Executive Director, Human Rights Watch)
Marco Lambertini (Director-General, WWF International)
Delia Ferreira Rubio (Chair, Transparency International)
Maria Ressa (Chief Executive Officer and Executive Editor,
Debbie Stothard (Secretary-General International Federation for Human Rights)
Luca Visentini (General Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation)
Co-Chairs of the Annual Meeting 2019
Basima Abdulrahman (Founder and Chief Executive Officer, KESK Green Building Consulting)
Juan David Aristizabal (Founder, Los Zúper)
Noura Berrouba (Member of the Governing Body, European Youth Parliament)
Jim Yong Kim (President, World Bank)
Julia Luscombe (Director, Strategic Initiatives, Feeding America)
Mohammed Hassan Mohamud (Zonal Chairman, Kakuma Refugee Camp)
Satya Nadella (Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft)
Akira Sakano (Chair, Board of Directors, Zero Waste Academy Japan)

Meet the co-chairs

What is the theme of Davos 2019?

Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Shaping the global, regional and industry agendas at the beginning of 2019 will take place in a context of unprecedented uncertainty, fragility and controversy. In a world preoccupied by crisis management at a moment of transformative change we will use the spirit of Davos to build the future in a constructive, collaborative way.

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“Transformation” best describes the geopolitical, economic and environmental outlook globally. We are shifting from a world order based on common values to a “multiconceptual” world shaped by competing narratives seeking to create a new global architecture. We live in a world with new planetary boundaries for its development. We are entering into a Fourth Industrial Revolution shaped by advanced technologies from the physical, digital and biological worlds that combine to create innovations at a speed and scale unparalleled in human history. Collectively, these transformations are changing how individuals, governments and companies relate to each other and the world at large. In short, we are fast approaching a new phase of global cooperation: Globalization 4.0.

But, will the arrival of Globalization 4.0 result in our acknowledging these changes and working together to create new opportunities for humankind? Or will globalization suffer from multiple geopolitical, economic and environmental crises that strain multilateral institutions and hinder efforts to collaborate towards a shared future? Progress in either instance will require a platform that can act as an honest broker among the competing and increasingly conflicting values and ambitions of nations, industries and societies.

More on BlackRock’s Megatrends

As the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation, the World Economic Forum will focus its convening power, community engagement, insight generation and platform technology to shape a new framework for global cooperation. The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting will focus on the strategic ramifications of Globalization 4.0 and its future impact on global cooperation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The programme in Davos will aim to foster systems leadership and global stewardship while recognizing the actuality of a more complex, “multiconceptual” world. In this regard, the development of the forthcoming Annual Meeting will be based on five working principles:

  1. Dialogue is critical and must be multistakeholder-based
  2. Globalization must be responsible and responsive to regional and national concerns
  3. International coordination must be improved in the absence of multilateral cooperation
  4. Addressing the biggest global challenges requires the collaborative efforts of business, government and civil society
  5. Global growth must be inclusive and sustainable

Read the Davos Brief from the BlackRock Investment Institute