Arts and Culture

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

16-20 January 2017, Davos-Klosters, Switzerland

40 cultural leaders join Davos to speak truth to power and inspire more responsive and responsible leadership

The 23rd Annual Crystal Awards

Honouring artists who are improving the state of the world

The Crystal Awards celebrate the achievements of leading artists who are bridge-builders and role models for the global community. 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.

Cultural Leaders

Special Project

The Afghan Women’s Orchestra “Zohra”
Tour of Europe

The World Economic Forum has invited the Afghan Women’s Orchestra “Zohra” to join forces with members of the Orchestre du Collège of Geneva to perform at the closing concert of the Annual Meeting in Davos. The ensemble will also take part in dialogue and in performances for Davos residents. Davos launches a first international tour that also includes dates in Zurich (21 January), Geneva (24 & 25 January) as well as in Germany in Berlin (29 January, Kaiser-Wilhelm Gedächniskirche) and Weimar (31 January, Musikgymnasium Schloss Belvedere). Across the tour the ensemble will collaborate with local youth orchestras and activities will include concerts for general audiences and school children, workshops, master classes and cultural visits. This tour aims to create and promote intercultural dialogue.

To follow the Zohra’s tour on social media, check out #zohratour.

The participation in Davos of the Afghan Women’s Orchestra “Zohra” is made possible thanks to generous support from Intesa Sanpaolo.

In Afghanistan, more than 30 young and brave women between the ages of 14 and 20 are defying the odds against them every day and playing music together. They are students at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, founded by the visionary Dr. Ahmad Sarmast. They are the first women in their families, community and country to learn music in over three decades. The ensemble is led by Afghanistan’s first female conductors, Negin Khpolwak and Zarifa Adiba. This is happening in a country where, in over 30 years of war – through political turmoil, religious extremism and crippling poverty – the women of Afghanistan have borne the brunt of terrible pain, suffering and injustice.

Project Partners
This touring project is made possible through the collaboration of several partners including the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, the World Economic Forum, the Ministry of Education of Afghanistan, the International School of Geneva, the Service Cantonal de la Culture de Genève, the Orchestre du Collège de Genève, Mr. Elyass Nory, Tonhalle-Gesellschaft Zürich, the University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar, Minz GmBH, and many others.

More Information
For more information about the Afghanistan National Institute of Music and to contribute to its efforts, visit

Exhibitions and Installations

Programme Highlights

Cultural leaders are involved in 50+ sessions across the official programme on topics ranging from populism to climate change and from technology to spirituality. Special focus within arts and culture includes: