CIM: This September the World Economic Forum launched the Annual Meeting of the “New Champions” in Dalian. Why?
Schneider: This meetings aims to offer a platform for the next generation of leading corporations, where they can discuss the challenges facing them as new global players with representatives from politics and society. After all the New Champions will strongly influence the global environment of the economy. China is the first venue since it is a country with many such firms and an increasingly key player economically.
What role do conferences and summits play as regards globalisation?
Globalisation presents business with many new challenges as a global player. This makes it vital for the business world to have meetings platforms where it can discuss these challenges with representatives from politics and society and together find solutions for the major problems of our world. The World Economic Forum’s summits are unique sites of such exchange at the global and regional level.
Once a year the leaders of the world meet in Davos. What is the purpose?
Davos is a unique platform for key people from business, politics, science, the unions, the media and NGOs to discuss and analyse current global problems. The forum operates according to the concept of multi-stakeholders: Only an open, committed and critical dialogue among all key players can lead to a feasible solution for the problems of this world – the stakeholders can not tackle global problems alone.
“Shaping the Global Agenda: The Shifting Power Equation” is this year’s motto. Why?
It reflects the elements that are determining the major issues in 2007, e.g. quickly expanding economies and raw material suppliers. The geo-political debate is determined by three issues: the instability of the Mideast, particularly in Iraq; the spread of weapons of mass destruction; the growing demand for energy and global warming. These are joined by a growing global terrorism, which is linked with all these areas.
What is the biggest challenge in organising global meetings such as the WEF?
It lies in creating the most open environment possible, where key people from business, politics and society and discuss the world’s problems as informally as possible, in order to find solutions. This means, in spite of security, protocol, logistics and number of participants, creating a true “global village”.