WEF – Committed to Improving the State of the World
With the noble goal of being “committed to improving the state of the world”, the World Economic Forum (WEF) provides a platform for influential political, business and intellectual figures to meet and discuss matters of mutual interest and benefit. Based in Cologny, Geneva, this Swiss non-profit foundation was initially formed in 1971 as the European Management Forum, changing its name in 1987 to the World Economic Forum. The annual meeting of the WEF, which is held in the mountain resort of Davos in Switzerland, has been the venue for a host of history-making political and economic agreements and decisions. In 2011 the WEF summit in Davos took place between the 26th and 30th of January.
As a non-profit organization with foundation status, the WEF derives it operating funds from its one thousand member companies. With some exceptions, member companies are global enterprises generating more than $5 billion in annual turnover. Moreover, WEF member companies rank among the top companies and are in a position to influence future developments within their particular industry and/or county or region as judged by the selection committee. Industries represented in the WEF include aviation, construction, tourism, technology, engineering, financial services, and food and beverage.
The WEF has its headquarters in Cologny, with regional offices in Beijing, China, as well as New York City, United States. The foundation’s governing body is called the Foundation Board and consists of twenty-two members. Placing a high priority on impartiality, the foundation does not promote, and is not tied to, any political or national interests. Under the supervision of the Swiss Federal Council, the foundation has observer status with the UN Economic and Social Council – one of the six principal bodies of the United Nations, charged with the responsibility of coordination the economic and social work of designated UN specialized agencies.
As the name suggests, the World Economic Forum places great emphasis on economic reform and addressing problems in world economies. The global economic turmoil of the past two years or so has emphasized the need for cooperation and collaboration between influential decision makers on a world-wide scale. Weakened and compromised economies lead to all manner of socials ills, and participants in the invitation-only annual meeting at Davos are very aware of the importance of the occasion and the need to continue striving to achieve their stated goal.