Social Entrepreneurship at Davos


Why Social Entrepreneurs Are Crucial to Davos 2015

For one week each year, Davos becomes a global village, bringing together business, political, intellectual and civil society leaders to define the priorities on the global agenda and to drive the search for solutions. Read more.


Hilde Schwab

Chairperson and Co-Founder of the Schwab
Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship


Three Lessons for Leaders from Social Entrepreneurs

A great deal of the conversation in Davos this year focused on creating greater inclusive growth, particularly for those at the base of the socio-economic pyramid. The need for collaborative approaches was a near-universal refrain. Read more.


Katherine Milligan

Director and Head, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

*click on photos above to enlarge

Sparking Systemic Change with Social Entrepreneurs

Throughout 2015, the Schwab Foundation will host a conversation on how the most promising social innovation models are moving beyond an exclusive focus on direct services to achieve system change. Listen to four Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs in Davos talk about how they are influencing broader systemic change in sectors including education, subsistence agriculture, and diabetes care.

Javier Lozano - Fostering Health Innovation at Scale

Ann Cotton - Advancing Opportunities to Counter Economics of Exclusion

Erin Ganju - Designing a Networked Approach for Delivery

Tony Kalm - Disrupting Value Chains to Tap New Markets

On the Davos Agenda: What Social Entrepreneurs Had to Say

Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs made valuable contributions to the Davos agenda, including on the ten global challenge initiatives that were launched at this year’s annual meeting. They participated in a number of public panels, private workshops and bilateral meetings where they shared their expertise and insight with the larger Davos community, including top leaders from business and government. See below a selection of their videos, blog posts, and media interviews from Davos 2015.


What Goes Around 

Last month, many Europeans (and those of us in the field of sustainability) were in an uproar over the withdrawal of a popular waste reduction proposal from the European Commission’s 2015 work program. The proposed plan would have established new recycling standards across the EU, pressuring all member-states to divert all recyclables from landfills by 2025 and hit a 70 percent solid waste recovery rate by 2030. Read more.


Tom Szaky

Founder and CEO, TerraCycle Inc.


The One Thing Davos Participants Can Do to Change the World

To business leaders, international political leaders, intellectuals, and journalists, the World Economic Forum gathering in Davos has no peer — it is the most powerful conversation and gathering in the world. Read more.


Tony Kalm

Director, One Acre Fund


Why High-Speed Internet Is a Weapon Against Ebola

Imagine needing an hour to send a single email. Imagine having to drive for miles just to give a status update to your colleagues. Imagine a one-minute phone call that costs twice as much as the average daily income where you live. Read more.


Kristin Peterson

Co-Founder, EveryLayer


The Price of Poverty

Our experience at CREN (Centre of Nutritional Recovery and Education) has shown that being poor means to be exposed to a range of adverse conditions that go against, limit, or put obstacles to the fulfillment of the person, to their “coming-to-be” themselves. People in poverty suffer from pain. It attacks a person not only materially but also morally, eating away at one’s dignity and driving one into total despair. Read more.


Gisela Solymos

General Manager, CREN Centre of Nutritional Recovery and Education


5 Lessons on Microfinance from Women in Latin America

In the last 20 years, more than 70 million women in Latin America have joined the work force, reducing extreme poverty in the region by 30% in the past decade alone. Low-income women, particularly those with very small businesses in the informal sector, have been participating in the labor force at much higher rates in the last 10 years than higher-income women. Read more.


Rosario Perez

President and CEO, Pro Mujer


Why We Need To Tackle Depression Everywhere

Depression can ruin the lives of individuals and families, but it also stands in the way of economic development in some of the world’s poorest countries. How can we effectively tackle this widespread illness, limiting its impact not only on individuals and families but on communities and nations as well? Read more.


Chris Underhill

Founder, Basic Needs


How to Tackle Youth Unemployment in the Arab World

“I was frustrated to see that even with my Master’s degree, it wasn’t possible for me to find a decent job, and that made me hate the county I am living in,” Kefi Ghazi explained. Despite graduating from the top of his class, he had spent three years looking for a job in his hometown of Tunis, Tunisia. Read more.


Ron Bruder

Founder and Chair, Education For Employment (EFE)


What Does Gender Equality Really Mean?

As global leaders look back on the goals we set in the year 2000 and begin to shape new objectives for the future, I hope we take time to dig deeper into the issue of gender equality. The current proposal from the United Nation’s Open Working Group is to move from promoting gender equality and empowering women into achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. Read more.


Erin Ganju

Co-Founder, Room to Read


From Peshawar to Paris

I head to Davos 2015 in a world bedeviled by complex contradictions — cruising on board a luxurious A380 sipping a Bloody Mary (or two or three…who’s counting?) while writing about the lives of the disempowered and the challenges of the global economy. As I pause to reflect on the ‘religiously-inspired’ terrorist attacks that struck both Peshawar and Paris in the past month, I recognize these acts have very little to do with any religious value or indeed any religion the perpetrators claim to represent. Read more.


Asher Hasan

Founder and CEO, Naya Jeevan


Insetting: The Future of Climate Action

While most carbon offsetting projects happen far from the decision centers and core activities of companies, insetting proposes to offset the global socio-environmental footprint of an organization within the ecosystem it depends upon. Insetting means counterbalancing the negative impacts of an activity where the activity happens. Read more.


Tristan Lecomte

CEO, Pur Projet


Inspiring a Generation of Curious Youth in Africa

In a few days, I will join leaders in Davos for the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, an unparalleled platform for leaders to develop insights and share best practices on some of the world’s most pressing issues. Paramount in those discussions will be the “new global context” we are operating in, one fraught with political, social, and technological transformations. Read more.


Njideka Harry

President and CEO, Youth for Technology Foundation


Courage, Humility, and the GDP of African Nations

These are interesting times for people who care about Africa’s future. Across the world, a growing community of economists, engineers, human rights advocates, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and policy makers are engaged with my home continent. As the African founder and president of Ashesi University in Ghana, I am sometimes invited to conferences where I enjoy the chance to exchange ideas about development in Africa. Read more.


Patrick Awuah

Founder and President, Ashesi University


Schwab Foundation Board Member Muhammad Yunus, Social Entrepreneurs Tom Szaky, Gisela Solymos and Asher Hasan: ‘Tackling social problems with business solutions’


Shannon May and Jay Kimmelman: ‘Private education for poorer families in Africa’


Chris Underhill: ‘Mental Health on the Agenda in 2015’


Erin Ganju: ‘Inclusive Growth Through Education’


Tristan Lecomte: ‘Re-generating the Supply Chain Thought Insetting’


Rosario Perez ‘Why Economic Gender Equality is so Important’


Njideka Harry: ‘Entrepreneurship and Technology Can Create Jobs’


Jamie McAuliffe and Ron Bruder: ‘Reducing Unemployment in the Middle East’

Corporate Social Innovation Initiative

Societal challenges can serve as opportunities for business innovation and can, as an ingredient in a company’s innovation agenda help build long term business competitiveness. In its 2014-2016 term, the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Social Innovation is focused on catalysing such activity within many more corporations. At Davos 2015, the Schwab Foundation social entrepreneurs joined the Council members for a private workshop with corporate executives from Nestle, Master Card, Pearson and Philips who shared their experiences on corporate social innovation. Watch Council members Zia Khan of Rockefeller Foundation and Ashifi Gogo of Sproxil interact with Paul Bulcke, CEO of Nestle and Feike Sijbesma, CEO of Royal DSM and others in the panel discussion “Should Business Lead the Innovation Agenda”?.