Building an International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation

Recognized as an International Organization

The Swiss Federal Council has officially recognized the World Economic Forum as an international entity. On 23 January 2015, the World Economic Forum and the Swiss Federal Council signed a Host State Agreement which, by law, provides the Forum with privileges common to those enjoyed by international organizations.


A record number of participants came to Davos-Klosters for the Annual Meeting 2015 to deliberate on “The New Global Context”, the chosen theme. Sessions were devoted to the political tensions and conflicts of the past year. Participants looked at ways to move out of the crisis and to re-create sustained economic growth with a higher degree of social inclusion. There was general awareness that the world is on the verge of a new technological revolution that requires the elevated cooperation of business, governments and civil society.

At the Annual Meeting, the Forum launched 10 multi-year initiatives, integrating top decision-makers from the relevant stakeholder communities. The initiatives are focusing on the following issues:

  • Agriculture and Food Security
  • Environment and Resource Security
  • The Future of the Internet
  • Infrastructure and Development
  • International Trade and Investment
  • Employment, Skills and Human Capital
  • Gender Parity
  • Public Security, Crime and Anti-Corruption
  • The Future of the Global Financial System
  • Economic Growth and Social Inclusion

Since its modest beginnings in 1971, the World Economic Forum has developed from a founder-centred organization into an International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum today meets the highest standards of governance. The Foundation Board is composed of representatives of international organizations, business, academia and civil society.

The Managing Board, which collectively has executive responsibility for the Forum, counts on the experience of its members, who include former government leaders and the chief executives of multinational companies. With its headquarters in Geneva and offices in New York, Beijing and Tokyo, the Forum has a staff of over 600 highly professional and committed people from over 60 countries.