The purpose of the meeting was to discuss proposals from more than 1,500 business, government, academic and civil society leaders for improving the state of the world. The Global Redesign Initiative (GRI) had been launched in 2009 across the Forum’s communities to examine the institutions and mechanisms of global governance and explore ways to bolster the international community’s capacity to address issues, manage challenges and respond to crises.
To wind up the GRI, the Forum published a report, Everybody’s Business: Strengthening International Cooperation in a More Interdependent World, which presented 58 proposals for strengthening international cooperation. While the official International Organizations, as well as the G20, are necessary mechanisms for enhancing international cooperation, there is a need for multistakeholder network to facilitate solutions in today’s interrelated world where there are no clear boundaries exist anymore between politics, economics and social affairs.
In November, at the Summit on the Global Agenda in Dubai, the Forum announced the launch in 2011 of the Risk Response Network, which would bring the foremost thought leaders – including members of the Forum’s Network of Global Agenda Councils – together with policy-makers and decision-makers to shape viable solutions to global challenges. “We have started a global mobilization to increase risk resilience at the micro and macro levels,” Klaus Schwab told participants. “It is a movement with a clear purpose: to strengthen risk resilience in a world which is characterized by much higher volatility in a world of much greater togetherness.”
Earlier, at the Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Bill Clinton, who was president of the United States from 1993 to 2001, announced a joint initiative bringing together the Forum, the Clinton Global Initiative and the United Nations for the reconstruction of Haiti following the severe earthquake that had struck the Caribbean nation just days before.
Regional meetings again brought into focus the challenges faced by leaders who struggle to balance their global, regional and national domestic responsibilities. This is especially difficult in situations where politics are volatile and there is social unrest. In June, at the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Ho Chi Minh City – the first Forum regional meeting in Vietnam – Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva spoke forcefully about the political and social protests that had roiled his country in the previous two months, vowing to keep the nation moving forward.
In October, less than two months before the wave of Arab Spring demonstrations would start in Tunisia, the Forum convened the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa in Marrakech, Morocco. Participants focused on ways to boost youth employment, close the gender gap and drive growth in a region with a fast-growing more demanding middle class.
Before the World Economic Forum on Europe in Brussels, Belgium, in May, the Forum published its fifth and final Lisbon Review of the competitiveness of the European Union (EU). The conclusion: the EU failed to achieve its aim of becoming the world’s most competitive region. At the Europe meeting, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso unveiled a rescue package to support the euro in the wake of the European debt crisis.