Today marks the last day of the 50th Annual World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. Filled with global leaders discussing the most heated issues, this has been one for the books. Here, we break down the highlights of the event.

What is the World Economic Forum?

The World Economic Forum is a pivotal event, but you might not have even known it exists. Each year in January, top world leaders come together there to discuss the global, regional, and industry agendas for the upcoming year. The Forum seeks to uphold the highest standards of governance, and they “believe that progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life who have the drive and the influence to make positive change.” Learn more about the World Economic Forum by visiting their website.

Top Players

While the World Economic Forum brings together over 3,000 participants from around the globe, there are a few names at the event that everyone is watching for. The most notable participants from this year’s Forum include:

  • Donald Trump – the most mentioned participant this year, he discussed in his address how the United States was in an “economic boom” and will join the 1 Trillion Trees Initiative, which aims to restore 1 trillion trees by 2050.
  • Greta Thunberg – a climate activist who attended the event for the entire week, and addressed business leaders on core issues regarding climate change and scolded them for their lack of action.
  • Britain’s Prince Charles – announced the launch of the Sustainable Markets Initiative and Council in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, which offered ways to decarbonize the global economy and shift to sustainable markets.

Each speaker has a lot to bring to the table, but the first two infamously don’t get along. While they didn’t directly interact this year, there were comments on both sides that made clear a friendly chat between the two won’t be happening anytime soon.

Topics

While the 2019 World Economic Forum focused on gender equality and diversity, the main issues covered this year were climate change, sustainability, and renewables.
The top trending terms on Twitter were:

  • Climate change
  • Positive
  • Impact

The most mentioned media topics were “How to save the planet” and “The future of the economy.”

Notable Reports

The common topics were accompanied by some staggering reports.

  • The Global Risks Report 2020 described environmental, ocean, and climate risks as the biggest threats to the economy.
  • Oxfam’s Time to Care report outlined how the richest 2,153 people controlled more money than the poorest 4.6 billion combined in 2019.

As this year’s World Economic Forum wraps up, it’s hard to know what progress will happen as a result and what will be left to the side, but many are hopeful that the conversations from the 2020 WEF will lead to globally positive change over the course of the next year. To join the global conversation, visit WEFLIVE.com and follow the hashtags #WEFLIVE and #WEF20.

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