Business leaders came together for the World Economic Forum in Davos last week to discuss the global, regional and industry issues affecting us today. World Media Group members Katya Ionova, Creative Director, UK & EMEA at Business Insider and Damian Douglas, Managing Director, EMEA, at Time, share their observations on some of the key takeaways from this year's event.
Although the average demographic of attendees at Davos is aged 52-54 for men and aged 49 for women, the question of how we can support the younger generation was a critical theme that ran across many areas of discussion. Concerns ranging from the kind of planet we’re passing on, to the lack of funding for the global mental health epidemic that’s affecting the younger generation were high on the agenda. Greta Thunberg wasn’t the only young voice to be heard this year – 10 teenage activists from all over the world were invited along to encourage collaboration between generations.
Environmental risks, renewed commitments to sustainability, carbon-neutrality pledges, the circular economy and financing a sustainable future were all big themes and more CEOs were seen wearing the SDG pin. The message was clear: we have less than a decade to act, so maintaining the status quo or ‘business as usual’ is no longer acceptable.
The growth of stakeholder capitalism was a frequent discussion point. Companies can no longer serve only their shareholders but must consider all stakeholders, using business as a platform for change to address the environmental and societal issues that matter most to today’s employees and consumers.