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World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is “an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.”

It represents a rather novel form of international cooperation, one that works on a multi-stakeholder, leader-driven basis. It was founded as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971. The WEF claims to be an impartial entity with no political ties or national interests. The membership does not consist of government representatives; it is not an intergovernmental agency. The activities of the Forum are financed by contributions from its members and partner businesses, simply put by private sector. The WEF is governed by its Foundation Board consisting of leading figures from business, politics, academia and civil society. The Forum is managed by the executive leadership. According to the founder and executive chairman, Professor Klaus Schwab, the need for such forum stems from the growing complexity and interdependency of the globalized world, in which economic, social and political issues melt together.

The organization derives its value from linking various stakeholders into communities and therefore creating a synergy from cooperation.  WEF’s rich and diverse multi-stakeholder platform consists of the following communities: Government, Business, Civil Society, Future-focused Communities and Strategic Insight Communities. To map current trends and developments in global affairs, the Forum publishes a comprehensive series of reports which examine in detail a broad range of global issues. Next to its former flagship, the Global Competitiveness Report, WEF has been releasing the up-and-coming Global Risk Report on a yearly basis since 2005. WEF also holds a series of meetings of which the most notoriously known is the January World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. Apart from Davos, there are two other annual meetings: The Annual Meeting of New Champions, known as Summer Davos, held in China in September and the Summit on the Global Agenda held in the United Arab Emirates in November. There are also regional and ad hoc meetings organized under the auspices of WEF.

The Czech Republic is continuously intensifying its contacts with WEF. While the Czech Republic has neither responsibilities nor rights towards WEF due to its specific nature, the aim is to connect, understand and get involved with the Forum on various levels of its activities – from participation on Global Agenda Summits through involvement of Czech business to awareness raising in the Czech societyand day-to-day working contacts.