Arts and Culture

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

20-23 January 2016, Davos-Klosters, Switzerland

More than 40 cultural leaders are joining other leaders from business, government, international organizations, civil society, academia, and media to contribute to shaping the global agenda at the Annual Meeting 2016 in Davos.

The 22nd Annual Crystal Awards

Honouring artists who are improving the state of the world

The Crystal Awards celebrate the achievements of leading artists who have shown exemplary commitment to improving the state of the world. The award was introduced in 1995 at the initiative of the Forum’s late friend Lord Yehudi Menuhin. Awardees are selected by the World Arts Forum.

Yao Chen

Yao Chen

Actress

lives in Beijing

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio

Actor and Producer

lives in New York City

Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson

Artist

lives in Copenhagen and Berlin

will.i.am

will.i.am

Musician and Entrepreneur

lives in Los Angeles

Cultural Leaders

A community of more than 40 cultural leaders is participating in the Annual Meeting 2016 in Davos to contribute to shaping the global agenda.

Amale Andraos

Amale Andraos

Architect and Dean, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, lives in New York

Amale Andraos is a co-founder of WORKac, an architectural firm focused on projects that re-invent the relationship between urban and natural environments. Her projects include the Edible Schoolyard, the Centre de Conferences in Libreville, Gabon, and the New Holland Island Cultural Center in St. Petersburg.

Paola Antonelli

Paola Antonelli

Curator of Architecture & Design, Director of Research and Development, MoMA, lives in New York

Paola Antonelli’s work investigates design’s influence on everyday experiences, including overlooked objects and practices, and combining design, architecture, art, science, and technology. Paola’s most recent research focus is on the relationship between design and violence. She is a member of the World Economic Forum’s World Arts Forum.

Gabo Arora

Gabo Arora

Film-maker, lives in New York

Gabo Arora is a United Nations Senior Advisor and film-maker who created the UN’s first-ever virtual reality film series. Stories include Clouds over Sidra, which transports viewers to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan to meet Sidra, a young refugee from Syria, which has been presented at the World Economic Forum.

Nomintuya Baasankhuu

Nomintuya Baasankhuu

Arts Director, lives in Ulaanbaatar

Nomintuya Baasankhuu is the Deputy Director of the Arts Council of Mongolia, overseeing the organization’s largest program with a focus on arts and business partnerships, artists’ development, international artistic exchanges and music, dance, and film projects. She is a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum.

Carol Becker

Carol Becker

Dean of Faculty, Columbia School of the Arts, lives in New York

In her role as dean, Carol Becker has launched international programmes in screen and television writing, film production, literary translations and art practice for global leaders. In Davos, Carol will contribute thought-leadership on the education of artists, art and social responsibility, and the role of culture in cities.

Bono

Bono

Musician, lives in Dublin

Bono is the lead singer of Irish rock band U2 and the co-founder of ONE and (RED). ONE, with 7 million members, is an advocacy organization campaigning for government policy that saves lives and improves futures in the poorest parts of the world. (RED) works in partnership with the world’s most iconic brands to raise money and awareness for the fight against AIDS. He is a previous recipient of the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award.

Mauro Fiorese

Mauro Fiorese

Photographer, lives in Verona

Mauro Fiorese is a photographer and educator. His work has focused on the concept of imperfection, beginning with Corpolibero (“free body”), a photographic inquiry on the world of handicap. Mauro’s current project, Libra in Cancer, is a personal visual diary of his battle with lung cancer, which he will share in Davos.

Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel

Musician, lives in London

Peter Gabriel is a multi-award winning musician and innovator. He has a long history as a human rights activist, including with his organization, Witness, and was a pioneer in bringing world music to the West to foster diversity. He is a past recipient of the Forum’s Crystal Award.

John Green

John Green

Author, lives in Indianapolis

John Green is an author of young adult fiction whose novels, including Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars, have been published in more than a dozen languages and had film adaptations. He is one half of the wildly popular VlogBrothers Youtube channel. In Davos, John will share insights about the aspirations of the youth generation.

Michael Haefliger

Michael Haefliger

Director, Lucerne Festival, lives in Lucerne

As head of Lucerne Festival, Michael Haefliger has intensified the festival’s commitment to new music. He was the initiator of ARK NOVA, an inflatable, mobile concert hall created for the cultural reconstruction of the parts of Japan affected by the earthquake and tsunami of 2011. Michael is a member of the World Economic Forum’s World Arts Forum.

David Hertz

David Hertz

Chef, lives in Sâo Paulo

Culinary professor and social entrepreneur David Hertz is the founder of Gastromotiva, a social entreprise working in the low-income areas of São Paulo. Gastromotiva provides culinary training for youth and enables students to develop sustainable gastronomic businesses within their communities. David is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

Tim Jones

Tim Jones

CEO, Artscape, lives in Toronto

Tim Jones’ Artscape has grown from a Toronto-based affordable space provider into an international leader in building creative communities. In Davos, he will share insights about “creative placemaking”, an approach to leverage the power of art, culture, and creativity to catalyze transformation of places. Tim is a social entrepreneur by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.

Drue Kataoka

Drue Kataoka

Artist, lives in Silicon Valley

Drue Kataoka’s avant-garde creations make use of elements such as Asian brush painting, mirrors, stainless steel sculpture, brainwaves, time dilation, hospital beds, alpine snow water and storm recordings. In Davos, Drue presents TouchOurFuture.org, an interactive mobile-based art work aimed at raising awareness of maternal and infant mortality. She is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.

Zoe Keating

Zoe Keating

Cellist, lives in Northern California

Celebrated cellist Zoe Keating is a one-woman orchestra. She uses a cello and a foot-controlled laptop to record layer upon layer of cello, creating intricate, haunting and compelling music. She is also known for her DIY approach, releasing her music online without the help of a record label. Zoe will perform the Closing Concert. She is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.

Sarah Kenderdine

Sarah Kenderdine

Artist and Professor, lives in Sydney

Sarah Kenderdine is a pioneer in interactive and immersive experiences of cultural heritage. She collaborated with the Forum in China this past September to present Pure Land: Inside the Mogao Grottoes at Dunhuang which took participants into an immersive digital representation of the famous caves. In Davos Sarah will share insights on latest developments in digital preservation of cultural heritage.

Richard Kurin

Richard Kurin

Acting Provost, Under-Secretary for Museums & Research, Smithsonian Institution, lives in Washington DC

Richard Kurin is responsible for the oversight of all of the Smithsonian’s national museums with projects in 145 nations. He led the effort to save heritage damaged and endangered by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Other projects have ranged from working with Syrian nationals to protect heritage under onslaught to enabling Egyptian conservators to rescue bomb-damaged Islamic treasures.

Yo-Yo Ma

Yo-Yo Ma

Cellist and Artistic Director, Silkroad, lives in Boston

Yo-Yo Ma’s multi-faceted career is testament to his continual search for new ways to communicate. His work with the multi-cultural Silk Road Ensemble seeks to create meaningful change at the intersections of the arts, education and business. In Davos, he performs the Opening Concert with an assembled group of world- class musicians and will conduct a workshop on intercultural dialogue. He is a previous recipient of the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award. Yo-Yo is joined for the opening concert and workshop by Sergio and Odair Assad (Brazil), Sandeep Das (India), Johnny Gandelsman (USA), Cristina Pato (Spain), Kathryn Stott (UK) and Wu Tong (China).

Nyarri Nyarri Morgan

Nyarri Nyarri Morgan

Artist and Indigenous Leader, lives in Pilbara Desert

Nyarri Nyarri Morgan is an Aboriginal elder and artist from the western Australian desert, where his ancestors have lived for thousands of years. He is featured in Collisions, Lynette Wallworth’s virtual reality film being premiered in Davos and in which he shares ancestral wisdom for caring for our planet for future generations. In coming to Davos he will travel for the first time outside of his country. He will be accompanied by his wife and grandson.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Filmmaker, lives in Karachi

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is an Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker. Her films cover topics of refugees, women's advocacy groups and human rights defenders. In Davos, Sharmeen will show excerpts from some of her recent works on culture and conflict. She is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and a previous recipient of the Forum’s Crystal Award.

Neri Oxman

Neri Oxman

Architect and Designer, lives in Boston

As head of the Mediated Matter research group at the MIT Media Lab, Neri leads the search for ways in which digital fabrication technologies interact with natural environments and the biological world. She will share insights on the approach she termed "Material Ecology," spanning biology, computation, materials and digital fabrication.

Mehmet Özdoğan

Mehmet Özdoğan

Archaeologist and Professor, lives in Istanbul

Mehmet Özdoğan is professor emeritus at Istanbul University’s department of Philosophy and Prehistoric Archaeology. He is currently leading the historic archaeological expedition at Gobeklitepe in Turkey, and in Davos he will present images from the site. He will also take part in dialogue about protection of cultural heritage at this time of catastrophic destruction.

Daniela Panaro

Daniela Panaro

Fashion Designer, lives in Caracas

Fashion designer and entrepreneur Daniela Panaro launched her fashion firm No Pise La Grama meaning “don't step on the grass”, a name chosen as a response for the need for change in the fashion industry. Through her company Panaro, she promotes quality, national production, and self-improvement. She is a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum.

Platon

Platon

Photographer, lives in New York

Platon’s iconic portraits have appeared in the world’s most influential magazines, including over 25 TIME Magazine covers. He is the founder of the People’s Portfolio, which uses portraiture to celebrate human rights defenders and advocate responsible citizenship. In Davos he will share some of his latest works. Platon is a member of the World Economic Forum’s World Arts Forum and a Trustee of the Forum’s Global Challenge Initiative for Economic Growth and Social Inclusion.

Martin Roth

Martin Roth

Director, Victoria & Albert Museum, lives in London

Under Martin Roth’s leadership, the V&A has produced ground-breaking exhibitions such as “David Bowie Is” and undertaken major international partnerships. Martin is a regular commentator on the role of museums in contemporary society. For Davos the V&A has collaborated with the Forum to present “This Time Tomorrow”, an interactive exhibition about the near future.

Joel Sartore

Joel Sartore

Photographer, lives in Lincoln, Nebraska

Joel Sartore is a photographer and regular contributor to National Geographic Magazine. He specializes in documenting endangered species and landscapes and is the founder of The Photo Ark, a multi-year documentary project to save species and habitat. Joel’s photographs will be featured in Perspectives, the large-scale projection mapping in the Congress Centre.

Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak

Author, lives in London

Elif Shafak’s books include The Bastard of Istanbul, The Forty Rules of Love and Black Milk and have been translated into more than 30 languages. Her stories explore multiculturalism, women’s empowerment, cosmopolitan encounters and the art of coexistence. She is a frequent contributor to The Independent and The Guardian, providing unique insights into contemporary developments in Turkey.

Anant Singh

Anant Singh

Film Producer, lives in Durban

Anant Singh is the producer of award-winning films including Long Walk to Freedom, the film adaptation of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography. He has produced a number of documentaries including Nkosi: Voice of Africa's AIDS Orphans, and is a commentator on human rights and apartheid. He is a previous recipient of the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award.

Francis Sollano

Francis Sollano

Artist, lives in Cebu

Francis Sollano is an installations artist known for his contemporary takes on upcycling garbage into wearable art. Currently a co-convenor of Youth for a Livable Cebu in the Philippines, he hopes to bring the movement to an international platform, advocating for sustainable practices and livability in various communities. He is a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum.

Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey

Actor, lives in London

Kevin Spacey currently stars in the acclaimed Netflix original House of Cards and runs Trigger Street Productions which has produced several box office successes. Kevin also launched the Kevin Spacey Foundation six years ago, which aims to train, support and mentor emerging artists in the performing arts and film, worldwide. Previously, Kevin held a decade long position as Artistic Director of the historic Old Vic Theatre in London.

Natalia Vodianova

Natalia Vodianova

Model, lives in Paris

Natalia Vodianova is a Russian model, philanthropist and co-founder of Elbi, the philanthropic platform and app, that brings power of social and digital worlds to charities connecting them with people around the world. Natalia is the founder of the ‘Naked Heart Foundation’ a charity organisation supporting families raising children with special needs and creating inclusive environments for children to play.

Lynette Wallworth

Lynette Wallworth

Artist and film-maker, lives in Sydney

Lynette Wallworth uses interactive technologies to create immersive installations. Her work has been presented widely, including at Lincoln Center, the Sundance Film Festival, and at the World Economic Forum. In Davos Lynette presents the world premiere of her virtual reality film Collisions developed in partnership with Nyarri Nyarri Morgan, a first contact indigenous elder. She is a Trustee of the Forum’s Global Challenge Initiative for Economic Growth and Social Inclusion.

Joan Xu

Joan Xu

Independent screenwriter, lives in Beijing

Joan Xu is a screenwriter driven by a belief in the importance of the role that popular culture plays in shaping societal values. Working in the China-Hollywood co-production sphere, she creates Chinese movies that help represent modern China to global audiences. She is a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum.

Michelle Yeoh

Michelle Yeoh

Actress, lives in Geneva

Actress Michelle Yeoh has challenged traditional views about Asian women by portraying strong female roles, such as Burmese Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. Since 2009 Michelle has been the Global Ambassador for the campaign, encouraging governments, business and civil society to meet the UN’s Goal for the Decade: to prevent 5 million deaths by 2020.

Cultural Agenda

Cultural leaders take part in dozens of sessions in the programme on content related to the role of culture in society and to the other pressing issues of our time. Here is a snapshot of themes:

Special Focus on Cultural Heritage

A series of discussions with a multistakeholder group of leaders on how to protect cultural heritage at a time of catastrophic destruction.

With the collaboration of speakers from the Şahenk Initiative, Doğuş Group, National Geographic, the Smithsonian Institution, UNESCO, the Victoria & Albert Museum and more. Sessions include:

Protecting Cultural Heritage (lunch session)
What kinds of partnerships are necessary for the protection of world heritage at a time of catastrophic destruction? On the agenda: war and iconoclasm, looting and financing of terrorism and unsustainable heritage tourism. Co-hosted with Doğuş Group.

Incredible Archaeological Discoveries (BetaZone session)
Explore what recent archaeological discoveries – such as the Göbeklitepe site in south-east Turkey – can teach us about the rise and fall of civilizations. Co-hosted with Doğuş Group.

The Digital Masterpiece (BetaZone session)
Explore breakthrough technologies that are changing our personal relationship to art and heritage with mathematician Martin Vetterli and media artist Sarah Kenderdine.

Cultural Norms and Popular Culture

Debates on the role of arts and culture at a time of growing populism, and in the context of a transforming media and entertainment landscape. Sessions include:

Culture and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (panel)
What kind of shared culture do we want for the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Opens with the world premiere collective viewing of the virtual reality film Collisions.

An Insight, An Idea Series (30 minutes, webcast live)

- Author and star video blogger John Green on what the wild success of his stories for young adults – including The Fault in Our Stars – tells us about youth aspirations.

- Actor and director Kevin Spacey on his acclaimed performance in the series House of Cards and the theatricality of American politics in this election year.

- World-renowned artist and Crystal Award recipient Olafur Eliasson on design that changes lives and communities.

Dinner Series

Modern Times – What does today’s creative content landscape tell us about the direction of popular culture? With actors, film-makers, and business leaders.

The Soul of the City – What defines the soul of a great city? With artists, mayors, business and other leaders.

Cultural Leaders Dinner: Art and Politics – Should artists be concerned with beauty or with politics? A rich dialogue on the role of artists in today’s world.

Global Agenda

Cultural Leaders engage across the programme with other leaders on panels, workshops, meals, visual displays, televised debates, and more on topics including:

MIGRATION SOCIAL COHESION ECONOMIC GROWTH VIOLENT EXTREMISM GENDER PARITY SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS FREEDOM OF SPEECH NEW MODELS FOR EDUCATION THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNET THE DIGITAL ECONOMY DESIGN AND INNOVATION ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE NUTRITION

Installations and Interactive Projects

  • Virtual Reality World Premiere: Collisions

    Collisions

    Virtual Reality World Premiere

    Collisions is a virtual reality journey to the land of indigenous elder Nyarri Morgan and the Martu tribe in the remote Western Desert of Australia. The film uncovers a dramatic moment in Nyarri’s life when his traditional world view collided with the extreme edge of Western technology. Collisions illustrates what can be learnt from an indigenous perspective about caring for our planet for future generations.

    To come to Davos, Morgan has travelled for the first time outside of Australia and is accompanied by his wife and grandson. After Davos, they will fly to the Sundance Film Festival, where the film will also be presented.

    Collisions is a 12-minute film by artist Lynette Wallworth. In the VR Space, participants can experience the film individually during the Annual Meeting or take part in group sessions of up to 15 people followed by a conversation with the artist. There will also be a large synchronized viewing for 75 participants followed by a panel discussion.

    Collisions is produced by Infinite Field with support from the World Economic Forum, the Sundance Institute, the MacArthur Foundation, the Skoll Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Fledgling Fund, the Pritzker Foundation, the Omidyar Network, the Australia Council for the Arts, and the Adelaide International Film Festival, in partnership with Jaunt VR and with assistance from Skywalker Sound.

  • Exhibition: This Time Tomorrow

    This Time Tomorrow

    An exhibition developed with the Victoria and Albert Museum

    This Time Tomorrow is an exhibition that features designs ranging from the infinitesimal scale of DNA to the distant horizon of outer space to form a landscape of clues about the world of tomorrow.

    As we venture into the Fourth Industrial Revolution – and against the environmental effects of human activity on a planetary scale – the relationships between all scales of life in the universe are becoming dramatically evident. The exhibition presents six scenarios where the radical ideas of today have become tomorrow’s new normal. All of the projects presented leap into a potential future. They foster debate about their consequences, posing pressing questions about the future we choose to create.

    The exhibition was developed by the Victoria and Albert Museum in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. Design by Joseph Popper and Nicholas Mortimer, graphics by Koby Barhad. Prepared in anticipation for a major upcoming exhibition about the future of design at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

  • Projection Mapping Experience: Perspectives

    Perspectives

    Projection Mapping Experience

    Perspectives is a series of large-scale animated projections that use the immersive technology of “projection mapping” to turn the inside of the Congress Centre into another world.

    Using imagery by National Geographic photographers combined with animation and sound, three different projections explore collective responsibility via the themes of biodiversity, oceans and climate change, and cultural heritage. Framed around the question “What Will You Protect?”, the project aims to remind Annual Meeting participants of the world’s extraordinary diversity and of our responsibility to nurture it.

    The experience is a collaboration between the World Economic Forum and National Geographic. Design and animation by Zsolt Balogh and 59 Productions.

  • Opening concert

    Opening Concert

    Musical Perspectives on Global Cultures

    Celebrated musician Yo-Yo Ma brings together a world- class ensemble of musicians from a global range of traditions, including several from his award-winning Silk Road Ensemble, for a concert celebrating intercultural dialogue and trust.

    Yo-Yo Ma is joined by guitarist brothers Sérgio and Odair Assad from Brazil; tabla virtuoso Sandeep Das from India; Russian-born violinist Johnny Gandelsman from the USA; Galician bagpiper Cristina Pato from Spain; pianist Kathryn Stott from the UK; and Sheng (mouth organ) player Wu Tong from China.

    Presented in partnership with Intesa Sanpaolo.

  • Closing concert

    Closing Concert

    Musical Journeys into the Future

    Celebrated cellist Zoe Keating is a one-woman orchestra. She uses a cello and a foot-controlled laptop to record layer upon layer of cello, creating intricate, haunting and compelling music. Keating is known for her use of technology and her do-it-yourself approach, releasing her music online without the help of a record label.

    The Annual Meeting 2016 draws to a close with a powerful performance by Zoe where her evocative blurring of music and technology allows participants to glimpse the possibilities of a new normal in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

  • Special Features

    Special Feature: Clouds Over Sidra

    With the emphasis in Davos on addressing the migrant crisis, there will be special presentations of Clouds Over Sidra, a virtual reality film about the daily life of Sidra, a young Syrian girl living in a refugee camp in Jordan. Clouds Over Sidra was commissioned by the United Nations and created by Gabo Arora and Chris Milk.

    Special Feature: Touch Our Future

    Touch Our Future is a web and mobile interactive art installation by Drue Kataoka in collaboration with Jane Chen of Embrace Innovations. Leveraging mobile technology, digital image processing, 3D graphics and Japanese ink, this artwork is an unusual visual storytelling tool, sharing the stories and messages of thousands of women and men who support the ght against infant mortality. All are unified by the desire to eliminate the tragedy of a mother losing her child, anywhere in the world. Anybody can join this artwork.

    Special Feature: Unexplored Treasure

    A large-scale ice sculpture representation of the historic Göbeklitepe archaeological site in Turkey acts as both a celebration of shared culture and a reminder for the need for careful stewardship of heritage. Dating back about 12,000 years, the historic site is a largely unexplored archaeological treasure from the dawn of humanity and has transformed our understanding of how human society first developed.

    Produced by the Şahenk Initiative, which plays a crucial role as the sole supporter in partnership with Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism in conserving the site.