World Economic Forum 2019
This past week, I had the opportunity to visit a classmate of mine in his hometown and stay in his family’s condo in Klosters, Switzerland. The same condo that will be rented out for 2,000 CHF a night (2,024 USD) during the World Economic Forum in a couple of weeks due to the shortage of housing in the area (see photo below). Klosters, Switzerland is a neighboring town to Davos, Switzerland where the World Economic Forum is held each year.
The World Economic Forum is an annual meeting that gathers leaders of governments, top executives of large global companies and other notable leaders on an invitation basis to discuss global, industry and regional plans for the upcoming year. A few notable leaders that are not attending this year’s meeting are President Donald Trump of the United States and President Emmanuel Macron of France. WEF prides itself on not promoting any political, commercial or personal interests as it aims to be an open and inclusive event to better our world.
This year's topic is about Globalization 4.0, the next big industrial revolution in recent human history. According to Friedman, American Activist for Globalization, Globalization 1.0 is said to have started in 1492 when Columbus traveled to America and lasted until the 1800s where we saw colonization happening all over the world. This was the first time the world became more interconnected and thus “shrinking” our world. Globalization 2.0 occurred during the time period of 1800 to 2000s as we saw the introduction of multinational companies. Globalization 3.0 started in 2000 and is continuing through today as the world is becoming closer than ever through technology. At this year’s meeting, they will dive into discussion about geopolitics, the future of the global economy, industry-specific systems, cybersecurity, human capital and institutional reform.
It was extremely cool to see Davos just weeks before the meeting as preparations had already begun. All over the city, you could see WEF signs indicating different locations for the meeting. Also, military personnel seemed to be all over town as security is first priority at an event with such high diplomats from all over the world. My friend Massi, told me an interesting fact that every male in Switzerland must serve in their equivalent of the military reserves from the age of 18 until they are 30. If they pursue a university education, they can pay a small fine to prolong their service. The commitment involves one initial four-month training and then one month of service a year until they are 30.
The visit to Davos was somewhat ironic as Globalization is a huge focal point in my master’s program in International Management as well as this year’s WEF meeting so it heightened my interest in seeing the location of where the meeting is held.
After this trip, I was talking with my parents about how living internationally and studying international business has really heightened my awareness of our world and not just what is going on in America or my community. I think the biggest reason for this is that through meeting people from other countries, it’s given me a chance to empathize with those individuals and provided an eagerness to learn more about where they are from.
Regardless of where you live or the people you know, we are all impacted by the political, economical, and cultural relations of our world. These experiences have led me to want to stay informed on what is happening in the world and how I can contribute to helping better our world. Join me in doing each of our parts to stay informed in what is going on in our global community as the future is ours for the taking.