Discussion topics at the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Open Forum will range from the climate crisis and youth mental health, to the war in Ukraine and the Metaverse
After a hiatus of over two years, the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Sunday said it is bringing back the Open Forum, on the sidelines of its Annual Meeting 2022, in the Swiss ski resort town of Davos, where the general public can interact with several global leaders over the next five days.
The Open Forum Davos 2022 will be hosting a series of panel discussions during May 23-26, all open to the public upon registration, while the panellists will include human rights activist and Nobel Peace Laureate Nadia Murad, Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko, climate activist Vanessa Nakate, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel and many others.
Discussion topics will range from the climate crisis and youth mental health, to the war in Ukraine and the Metaverse. As part of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022, this year's Open Forum Davos will focus on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the role of multilateralism for peace in Europe as well as other global challenges, the WEF said.
Taking place for the first time since January 2020, the Open Forum offers a platform for debate and interaction on controversial issues between the public and scholars, business leaders and policymakers around improving the state of the world, it added. Young and diverse voices will also play a prominent role in the discussions, with one session on youth mental health co-designed and moderated by students from Geneva, Switzerland.
Each session will include at least one member of the Forum's Global Shapers Community, a wide-ranging network of people under 30 from all walks of life and different parts of the world. Ignazio Cassis, President of the Swiss Confederation, among other high-level panellists, will be joined by Ievgeniia Bodnya, 27, who mobilized the Global Shaper Hub she leads in Kyiv to build the Support Ukraine Now, a crowdsourcing and sharing information platform for people to support Ukrainians affected by the war.
In another session, Kyiv Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko and his brother Wladimir, Chairman of the Klitschko Foundation, will talk about how the Russian invasion has affected them and their country. Also present at the Open Forum will be a group of climate activists, including 26-year-old Vanessa Nakate, author and climate advocate who addressed world leaders at the World Economic Forum 2020. The activists will articulate how to turn words into action to fight the climate crisis. Gender equality will also feature prominently in the conversations.
On the digital front, the last two years have seen the blending of in-person and virtual interactions. Peggy Johnson, Chief Executive Office of augmented reality company Magic Leap, will introduce the possibilities of the Metaverse and then join a panel of experts, including Pascal Kaufmann, President and Founder of the Mindfire Foundation, the brain behind Lab42, which is setting up shop in Davos in July and aims to become the largest AI lab in the world.
The Open Forum Davos, now in its 19th year, will also be webcast for those not able to join physically. For over 50 years, its annual meeting has been held in Davos by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum, which describes itself as an international organization for public-private cooperation.
The Annual Meeting has emerged as a key focal point for leaders to accelerate the partnerships needed to tackle global challenges and shape a more sustainable and inclusive future. Convening under the theme History at a Turning Point: Government Policies and Business Strategies, the Annual Meeting 2022 and its 200 sessions bring together global leaders from business, government and civil society.
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