More than 100 Indian CEOs along with some senior government leaders will be in the ski resort town of Davos next week for the WEF Annual Meeting, where the world leaders will discuss ways to revive economic growth and strengthen global collaboration.
Over the five days of talkfest starting January 16 in snow-laden Davos where the temperature could fall to as low as minus 20 degrees, the 47th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) will take place just before Donald Trump assumes Presidency in the US and amid a growing focus on fight against terror across the world, including in Europe.
Top global leaders expected to be present include British Prime Minister Theressa May and Chinese President Xi Jinping, even as some others like German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will give this year’s annual jamboree of the rich and powerful a miss.
From India, the expected participants include Road Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Niti Aayog Vice President Arvind Panagariya, DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.
Besides, more than 100 Indian CEOs are expected to be present at the event which will see overall more than 3,000 participants from more than 100 countries, including 1,200 CEOs, the biggest such gathering ever.
There will also be 300 public figures, including more than 50 heads of state and government, and many participants from media, academia, and NGOs. A full list of participants will be released by Geneva-based WEF on January 10.
The opening day will also see singer, songwriter and education advocate Shakira, violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and artist/social activist Forest Whitaker being awarded with the 2017 Crystal Awards in recognition of their leadership as artists improving the state of the world at a special session and concert on 16 January.
The Meeting will focus on five critical leadership challenges in 2017 strengthening global collaboration, restoring a sense of shared identity, revitalising economic growth, reforming capitalism and preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
From India, a business delegation led by industry body CII would also be present in Davos for various meetings, including on the sidelines of the WEF Annual Meeting.
The Indians registered for the WEF Meeting include Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani, as also his wife Nita and son Akash, Bajaj group patriarch Rahul Bajaj and son Sanjiv Bajaj, Wipro’s Azim Premji and son Rishad, Godrej Industries’ Nadir Godrej, Tech Mahindra’s C P Gurnani, Bharti group’s Sunil Mittal, Ashok Leyland’s Dheeraj Hinduja, Adani Group’s Pranav Adani and Hero Group’s Pawan Munjal.
TCS’ N Chandrasekaran, Tata Steel’s T V Narendran and Mukund Rajan from Tata Group, ace bankers SBI Chief Arundhati Bhattacharya and Kotak Mahindra Bank’s Uday Kotak, as also IDFC Bank’s Rajiv Lall and Spicejet’s Ajay Singh would also be there.
Others from India include ONGC Chairman Dinesh Kumar Sarraf, CII Director General Chandrajit Banjerjee, Baba Kalyani and Amit Kalyani from Bharat Forge, Siddhartha Lal of Eicher Motors, Prashant Ruia
of Essar, Rajiv Memani of EY India, Naushad Forbes of Forbes Marshall Private Limited, Malvinder Mohan Singh of Fortis Healthcare and Kiran Kumar Grandhi and GBS Raju of GMR Group.
Ajit Gulabchand and Arjun Dhawan of HCC Infrastructure, Ratul Puri of Hindustan Powerprojects, Siddharth Jain of INOX Group, Raghupati Singhania
of JK Tyre, Sajjan Jindal of JSW Group, Shyam Sunder Bhartia and Hari S Bhartia of Jubilant Bhartia Group, Manish Kejriwal of Kedaara Capital, as also Ajay Piramal, Adar Poonawalla, Hemant Kanoria, Tulsi Tanti, Nidhi Tanti, Jaidev R Shroff, Kapil Wadhawan, Dheeraj Wadhawan, Srinath Sridharan, Balkrishan Goenka and Utkarsh Amitabh are also registered.
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According to WEF, there would be 26 Social Entrepreneurs, 50 Global Shapers and more than 100 Young Global Leaders from across the world.
The Global Shapers, a community of young people under the age of 30, will give a voice to 50 per cent of the world’s population that is still under-represented in global affairs, while Social Entrepreneurs and Young Global Leaders highlight the need for social innovation to correct the shortcomings of capitalism.
A voice for millennials will also be provided through live satellite to 16 cities on five continents, an essay competition and a social media campaign all of which will be featured as part of the Davos programme.
“The World Economic Forum is bringing more than 200 millennials, social entrepreneurs and young leaders under the age of 40 to the Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters to share views on the meeting theme Responsive and Responsible Leadership,” it said.
The Co-Chairs of the Annual Meeting 2017 will be Brian T Moynihan, Bank of America, documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Save the Children International, Frans van Houten, Royal Philips and Meg Whitman, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
The theme of the meeting calls on global leaders to renew the systems that have supported international cooperation in the past by adapting them to today’s complex, multipolar world in ways that foster genuinely inclusive and equitable growth.
To build on this theme, the programme focuses on five ‘gravity centres’, each constructed to help leaders address distinct yet related critical challenges in 2017.
Shakira will be awarded for her leadership in supporting education and early-childhood development.
WEF said she is a global advocate for Education and Early Childhood Development and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. She is the founder of the Pies Descalzos Foundation which provides access to high-quality education for displaced and underprivileged children in her native Colombia.
“Through her work with ALAS, Shakira also works in alliance with public and private partners and philanthropists to bring comprehensive Early Childhood Development programs to the children of Latin America,” it added.