Davos and Development: What to Expect at this Year’s World Economic Forum

For so long we’ve operated under the prevailing assumption that greater economic cooperation among countries would guarantee peace and stability. But now, the world finds itself in a dramatically different context—one that is fractured socially, politically, and economically. Today, more than 2,500 top decision-makers from around the world are gathering to kick off the 48th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland to address these new challenges.

This year’s theme, “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World,” sets the stage for important discussions that prioritize global engagement and innovative solutions to address today’s challenges. Below, CGD’s experts weigh in to shed some light on the ongoing debates, with innovative evidence-based solutions to the world’s most urgent challenges, and also discuss what’s not on the agenda but should be.

If You’re Looking for Digital Opportunities in Davos, Here Are Some Big Ones

Alan Gelb, Anit Mukherjee and Kyle Navis

For the policymaker looking to improve the delivery of benefits, or for the financial institution trying to expand its customer base, the gap between technical solutions and the situation of the average technology user represents fertile ground for the many new opportunities that the digital economy provides.

Davos Is an Opportunity to Talk about Migration Solutions

Michael Clemens and Kate Gough

This year, the global migration crisis finds itself buried in the agenda. However, it will remain one of the most urgent issues for generations to come if international leadership fail to tackle human mobility with pragmatic, fact-based policy tools. Now more than ever, innovation is imperative. To that end, Michael Clemens has a unique proposal.

Trillions in Private Finance for the SDGs? In Davos, Leaders Should Revisit the Role of Multilateral Development Banks

Nancy Lee

Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals will require a major ratcheting up of private finance. So far, that hasn’t happened. Strengthening the role of the MDBs in mobilizing the private sector should be high on the agenda at Davos, says Nancy Lee.

A WEF Call to Action: How CEOs Can Help Deliver Solutions for Refugees and Host Communities

Cindy Huang

There is no shortage of skepticism about whether global leaders at WEF are serious about addressing the needs of the poor and vulnerable, writes Cindy Huang. Visible progress through core business commitments would send an important signal that refugees are a crucial investment, not a cost—and that corporate leaders are committed to taking action towards, not just talking about, solutions that deliver social and economic impact.


CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.

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