World Economic Forum

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This 'not-for-profit foundation' began in 1970 as an informal gathering of CEOs from Europe's biggest businesses. It became the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 1987. In fact it is an exclusive private club for the chief executives of the world’s largest corporations who meet annually at the Swiss ski resort of Davos to set the world's political, economic and business agenda for the year. The WEF also has numerous other more specialized meetings during the year, to network, hold private discussions, share information and ideas, foster alliances, and plan strategies for achieving common corporate goals.[1]

This self-appointed elite purports to act 'in the spirit of entrepreneurship in the global public interest to further economic growth and social progress,' even though it is unelected and largely unaccountable. Membership is by invitation only and is restricted to corporations that have over $1 billion in sales, and banks that control over $1 billion in capital.[2] It boasts over 1000 members and has been a major force behind the liberalisation of the world economy.

The WEF is not a decision-making body but one that has power through the financial power of its members. It wields influence through bringing the world’s top business people and top policy makers together at its meetings. Government leaders are invited to WEF meetings enabling business leaders to have high level access to government ministers, prime ministers and presidents.[3]

Klaus Schwab, who presided over World Economic Forum (WEF) for almost 30 years, argued in 1999 that the ‘sovereign state has become obsolete’ and that the preference of the chief executives of large corporations is for national governments to become subservient to corporate and financial interests. [4]

The WEF produces a Global Competitiveness Report that ranks nations according to how business friendly their policies are. According to the WEF, competitiveness depends on having small government, minimal government intervention in or regulation of the market and good incentives for investment in new technologies.[5]

In recent years the WEF have sought to present a more open, humane persona and to raise WEF’s public profile. Its meetings now have sessions that are open to carefully screened journalists and are reported on its web pages. These sessions are sometimes addressed by invited representatives of NGOs, some of whom are critics of unrestrained economic globalization. However the key part of the WEF meetings are the many private discussions that take place during these meetings and the WEF’s web pages have sections that are only accessible by members. [6]

From the WEF website in 2006[7]:

The rapid growth of global communications, information technology and international business in the second half of the twentieth century has increased the need for a common platform where the stakeholders of society could be brought together to consider and advance the key issues on the global agenda. The World Economic Forum is that platform. Over the course of three decades, the Forum has grown from humble beginnings as a European economic conference into a unique global institution capable of gathering world leaders in business, government and civil society to address the major challenges confronting humanity. In line with changing global needs, the Forum is now evolving from its role as a facilitator to a more active role as a catalyst, with an increasing focus on ongoing collaborative projects to address global issues and challenges.

No other institution brings together the 'world's leadership team' way the Forum does. At the Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, and at Regional Summits and meetings throughout the year, the main players on the global stage are asked to articulate the major problems facing the world, and to find solutions. They are brought together to form taskforces, to organize projects and to launch initiatives. They are fully engaged in the process of defining and advancing the global agenda. 1982

The first Informal Gathering of World Economic Leaders takes place on the occasion of the Annual Meeting in Davos, bringing together cabinet members of major countries with heads of international organizations (such as the World Bank, IMF, GATT). This serves as a model for similar initiatives in the global public interest, including: the Club of Media Leaders (editors-in-chief), annual Informal Gathering of heads of the world's foremost non- governmental economic research organizations, the Informal Gathering of Regional Leaders, the Informal Gathering of Global City Leaders, the Roundtable of Industry and International Organization Leaders. All take place on the occasion of the Annual Meeting in Davos.

A special Informal Gathering of Trade Ministers from 17 countries is organized in Lausanne by the foundation, which spurs the launch of the Uruguay Round.

1983 Governors Meetings, integrating the chief executive officers of the world's most important corporations, are created in specific industry sectors. These 'CEO clubs' add an industry orientation to the foundation's well established country-related activities. Today, ten such industry groups exist with more than 400 Governors.

1993 In order to reinforce the club character of its networks, the foundation limits its activities to members and to their special guests only. The foundation starts the concept of Forum Fellows nominating some 300 top experts in the political, economic, social, cultural and technological fields as pertinent advisers and contributors to its activities. The Informal Gathering of Editorialists and Commentators is created to provide the media with its own networks and with the opportunity to interact intensively with the other constituents of the Forum.


Executive Chairman

Managing Board

In 2009, WEF's Managing Board are listed as follows[8]:

Managing Directors

In 2009, WEF's Managing Directors (non members of the Board) are listed as[9]:

  • Mark Adams - Managing Director, Head of Communication and Media. Adams joined WEF in 2003. Prior to this he was a Reporter for the BBC (1986-90) was Programme Editor and Producer with Independent Television News (1990-99) and was Editorial Director of Euronews 24-hour news channel (1999-2002).
  • Gilbert Probst - Managing Director and Dean of the Global Leadership Fellows Programme (since 2007). Probst's biography describes him as an adviser for a variety of global corporations such as BMW, Deutsche Bank, Siemens and Winterthur Insurance. He has also served as a board member for Kuoni, Holcim and Acqiris. He founded the Geneva Knowledge Forum of 18 companies, the Center for Organizational Excellence at the Universities of St Gallen and Geneva, and the Strategic Knowledge Group, Zurich. He is also board president of the Swiss Top Executive Training (SKU). He also serves a number of universities and institutes such as the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, the University of Vienna, and the International Management Institute, Geneva

Senior Directors

David Aikman | Christoph Frei | Malte Godbersen (formerly of IBM 1996-2000) | Lee Howell (in 2002-03, Howell served as a Senior Policy Advisor for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)) | Jeremy Jurgens (formerly serving Japanese Ministry of Finance 1994-96 and Microsoft 1998-99) | Fiona Paua (formerly serving Goldman Sachs 1994-95 and Citibank 1996-98) | Mirjam Schöning (formerly serving Bain & Company 1996-98, World Bank 1999 and Shell 1993-94) | Carsten Sudhoff (formerly serving Mercedes Benz 1996, Daimler 1997-98, DaimlerChrysler 2000-2008) | Dominic Waughray (formerly serving ERM Group 1997-2005, Institute of Hydrology which is part of the UK Natural Environmental Research Council 1994-97 and Friends of the Earth) | Alex Wong (formerly serving General Motors and Accenture - formerly Andersen Consulting 1989-2000. He is also described as 'serving on the board of various non-profit organizations')


Guy-Serge Baer - Head of Security Affairs for WEF and Technical Head of courses on anti-terrorism at Swiss Institute of Police | Pratik Bhatnagar (formerly of PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG and BearingPoint)| Jennifer Blanke (formerly Intern and Staffer in The White House 1991-93, also served Eurogroup)| Denise Burnet - Head of events, responsible for the organization and coordination of the first Geneva Meeting, country meetings in France, Turkey, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Portugal, India and the first meetings in Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico and Brazil, the first regional summit in Hong Kong, followed by the Middle East/Africa, Mercosur and South Africa. Also responsible for the relations with government members in France, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan and Israel) | Jean-Loup Dénéréaz (formerly 20 years serving the construction industry for companies such as: Losinger, Göhner and Karl Steiner) | Laurent Desnoux (formerly Finance Manager of a company affiliated to Promodes Group and Senior Consultant with KPMG) | Margareta Drzeniek Hanouz | Sherif El Diwany (also Member of the American Chamber, Egyptian-German Chamber and the Civil Forum. also adviser with the World Bank, the UN, the EU and several international and Egyptian businesses.) | Guy Goodwin (formerly of PriceWaterhouse Coopers 1986-90, Fisher Controls 1990-93 and Emerson 1993-2007) | Martina N. Gmür (formerly associate vice-president with Lazar & Company and also served Nestlé Suisse) | Julianne Jammers (formerley served Procter & Gamble 1986-1998 and IMD International | Stéphanie Janet (formerly serving Nidorf Communications 1995-97 and the World Trade Organisation 1997-98)| Stephen Kinnock (formerly serving as a Member of the European Parliament 1993-94, Lancashire Enterprises plc 1994-96, British Council Brussels 1996-2002, British Council UK 2003-08, British Council St Petersburg 2005-08 and British Council Sierra Leone 2008-09) | Carine Kulloian | Helena Leurent (formerly serving Tesco Stores Plc, Unilever, The LEK Partnership and McKinsey & Co) | Massimo Marino (formerley with CERN and Apple Computers) | Fon Mathuros (formerly serving Inter-Continental Hotel 1986-88, Tilleke & Gibbins Law Firm 1989-97, worked in pubic affairs between 1998 to 2000 and has served as Media Advisor at the World Health Organization in Geneva on Public Hearings for Anti-Tobacco Project and World Health Day on Mental Health)| Irene Mia | Sushant Palakurthi Rao (formerly serving Sony and Accenture) | Sheana Tambourgi (formerly serving IFI, Ifra, Edicom, Edipresse) | Katherine Tweedie (formerly serving BMO Financial Group, CIBC Capital Partners and HSG a private family fund backed by Standard Chartered Bank and Bank of Scotland) | Regula Waltenspuel | Christophe Weber (former Political Adviser and Legislative Assistant to Swiss National Councilor with a focus on public policy efficiency, monetary policy and foreign policy 2000-03)

WEF USA Leadership Team

In 2009, WEF's USA Leadership Team is listed as[10]:

Board of Directors

Jean-Pierre Rosso - Chairman | Kevin Steinberg - Secretary & Chief Operating Officer | Al Berkeley Chairman and CEO, Pipeline Trading Systems. Formerly with the US Air Force and served as Member of President Bush's National Infrastructure Assurance Council. | Alan Boeckman - Chairman and CEO, Fluor Corporation | William George - Professor, Management Practice, Harvard Business School | Robert Greenhill - Managing Director and Chief Business Officer, World Economic Forum | Rajat Gupta - Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company | Joe Schoendorf - Partner, Accel Partners.


Jean-Pierre Rosso - Chairman, Centre for Global Industries (formerly with Honeywell) | Kevin Steinberg - Chief Operating Officer (Formerly with McKinsey & Company) | John Moavenzadeh - Senior Director, Head of Sustainable Mobility & Strategy (formerly with Ford and Booz Allen & Hamilton) | Sarita Nayyar - Senior Director, Head of Consumer Industries (formerly with Tata Exports Limited India and Kraft Foods

Senior Advisor

Paul Smyke


Alain Baumann (formerly with Baxter Healthcare Corporation 1988-2004) | Max von Bismarck (Previously Co-Founder & Managing Director at Public One Strategy Consulting, co-founder of BerlinPolis, which according to The Lisbon Council is “one of Germany’s most successful pro-reform think tanks”. He has also served Mondus Limited) | Giancarlo Bruno (he is currently a Member of the Democratic Party Constituent Assembly in Italy. Formerly he served United Nations Industrial Development Organization) | Lisa Dreier (formerly with the Environmental Defense Fund, the Earth Institute at Columbia University and was Task Force Manager with the UN Millennium Project) | Cristiana Falcone (Falcone has worked as a Television, Radio, Print and Online Journalist and is a Member of [Journalists Guild of Italy]]. She has worked with SONY, Shell and the International Labour Organization) | Emilio Lozoya Austin (formerly served Central Bank of Mexico 1999-2001 and the Inter-American Investment Corporation: which is a private arm of the Inter-American Development Bank 2002-03) | Alan Marcus (he is described as having served various Analyst positions with US Government contractors between 1987-1990. He also served 3Com Inc, Novell Inc 1990-93, Cisco Systems 1993-2005 and Symbol Technologies 2005-07)

Foundation Board

WEF describes its Foundation Board as the 'Guardian of our mission, values and brand' which is 'is responsible for inspiring business and public confidence'. In 2009, the Foundation Board members are listed as[11]:

Josef Ackermann - serves with Deutsche Bank and has also served Royal Dutch Shell and Siemens | Kurt Alig | Kofi Annan - Secretary-General, United Nations (1997-2006) | Tony Blair - former UK Prime Minister 1997-2007 | Peter Brabeck-Letmathe - also serves as Chairman of the Board for Nestlé | Victor L. L. Chu - Also serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First Eastern Investment Group Hong Kong, as Chairman with the ICC Commission on Financial Services and Insurance, serves the WWF and is Co-Chair with the International Business Council | Michael S. Dell - Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dell. Serves on US President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and US President's Export Council. Is also Executive Committee Member with the International Business Council and is a member of the US Business Council | Niall FitzGerald - Also serves as Deputy Chairman for Thomson Reuters. Formerly served Reuters and Unilever| Orit Gadiesh - Also serves as Chairman for Bain & Company and is a member of the Board with WPP. Formerly served the International Advisory Board of The Atlantic Council of the United States, the Advisory Board for the British-American Business Council, the Peres Institute for Peace and the Council of Foreign Relations. | Carlos Ghosn - President and Chief Executive Officer of Renault and Nissan. Formerly served Michelin Group and Le Puy. | Rajat Gupta - Also Senior Partner Emeritus with McKinsey & Company and Chairman of the Board for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS. | Susan Hockfield - Formerly Director with General Electric Company and Trustee for the Carnegie Corporation of New York. | Christine Lagarde - Also Minister of Economy, Industry and Employment of France. Former Minister of Trade and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. | Maurice Lévy - Also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer with Publicis Groupe. | Nandan Nilekani - Also Executive Co-Chairman for Infosys Technologies India. Formerly served Reuters. | Indra Nooyi - Also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer with PepsiCo. Formerly served Johnson & Johnson, Mettur Beardsell, Asea Brown Boveri, Motorola, Boston Consulting Group, was Chairman with the US-India Business Council, was a member of the Board with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, was a Executive Committee member for the Trilateral Commission and a Fellow with the Yale Corporation | Ivan Pictet - Also Senior Managing Partner with Pictet & Cie Private Bankers Switzerland. Formerly served Morgan Stanley, the UN, Private Bankers Association, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Global Humanitarian Forum. | H.M. Queen Rania - Involved with the UN Foundation and UNICEF. She is wife of King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein Founder and Chair of the Jordan River Foundation. | Joseph Schoendorf - Also Partner with Accel Partners. Formerly served Hewlett Packard, Apple Computer, Teloquent and Macromedia. | Klaus Schwab | Peter D. Sutherland - Also Chairman of Goldman Sachs International. Formerly Attorney-General of Ireland and Member of the Council of State and Commissioner of European Communities. He also served as Chairman with Allied Irish Bank and the European Institute of Public Administration. He was also Director-General with GATT and WTO, was Chairman of BP, was Special Representative of Secretary-General of UN for Migration and Development and was Director for the Royal Bank of Scotland. | Heizo Takenaka - Also Director of the Global Security Research Institute Japan and Co-Chair of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Japan. Former member of the Economic Strategy Council, IT Strategy Council and was Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy and for IT Policy and Minister of State for Financial Services and for Economic and Fiscal Policy. In 2004 he was elected to House of Councillors. He went on to serve as Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy and as Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications and Privatization of Postal Services. | Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon - Also Chair of the Global Agenda Council on the Global Trade Regime and Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, Yale University. He formerly served the Mexican Government as the President of Mexico 1994-2000, as Undersecretary of Budget 1997-98 and as Secretary of Education 1988-92. He also served the UN as Chairman of the UN High Level Panel on Financing for Development, as Co-Coordinator of UN Millennium Project Task Force on Trade, as Co-Chairman on the UN Commission on Private Sector and Development and as Special Envoy to the UN Secretary-General. He was also Co-Chair for the International Task Force on Global Public Goods, Chair for the Global Development Network, served the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor and the Commission on Growth and Development


The WEF is funded in 3 ways, through membership fees (CHF 42,500) from the 1,000 foremost companies who are the Forum's members and partners, from partnership fees from Strategic Partners (companies that play a leading role in the Forum) and from partners in the Forum's events and from participation fees for the Annual Meeting and for regional meetings and summits.[12]


Members & Partners

The WEF describes its members as being the 'companies that are driving the world economy forward. The typical Member company is a global enterprise with more than 5 billion dollars in turnover'. Their members 'Rank among the top companies within their industry and/or country' which 'Play a leading role in shaping the future of their industry and/or region'[13]

Strategic Partners

The WEF also have 'Strategic Partners' which are described as a 'key force' in the WEF's activities at the global, regional and industry levels. WEF states that these partners help shape their initiatives, projects and task forces and 'give intellectual guidance through the participation of their most senior executives on steering boards and in advisory groups'. Their involvement also includes 'considerable financial support and in-kind services – including the provision of dedicated staff to assist with our operations'[14]

In 2009, WEF's Strategic Partners are listed as being[15]:

ABB | Abraaj Capital | Accel Partners | Accenture | Agility | Alcatel-Lucent | Alcoa | AMD | ArcelorMittal | AT&T | AUDI AG | Bahrain Economic Development Board | Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company | Bain & Company | Bank of America - Merrill Lynch | Barclays PLC | Basic Element | Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation | Bombardier | Booz & Company | The Boston Consulting Group | BP | BT | CA Inc | Chevron Corporation | | Cisco | Citi | Clayton, Dubilier & Rice | Clifford Chance | The Coca-Cola Company | Credit Suisse | Deloitte | Deutsche Bank | Deutsche Post DHL | Dogus Group | Dubai Holding | Dubai World | DuPont | EDF (Electricité de France) | Emirates Group | Ernst & Young | FedEx | Fluor Corporation | Forbes | Google | HCL Technologies | Heidrick & Struggles | HP | HSBC | Hubert Burda Media KG | IHS Inc | Infosys Technologies | Intel Corporation | Investor | JPMorgan Chase & Co | KPMG | Kudelski Group | Lenovo | Manpower | Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC) | McKinsey & Company | Merck & Co | METRO Group | Microsoft Corporation | Morgan Stanley | Motorola | NASDAQ OMX Group | National Bank of Kuwait | Nestlé News Corporation | Nike | Nomura Holdings | NYSE Euronext | The Olayan Group | Omnicom Group | PepsiCo | PricewaterhouseCoopers | Reliance Industries | Renault-Nissan | Roland Berger Strategy Consultants | Satyam Computer Services | Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) | Sberbank | Siemens | SK Group | Standard Chartered Bank | Swiss International Air Lines | Swiss Re | Thomson Reuters | TPG Capital | Troika Dialog Group | UBS | Unilever | VimpelCom | Volkswagen AG | VTB Bank | WPP | Xenel Group | Zurich Financial Services

Industry Partners

In addition, the WEF have Industry Partnerships which are described as serving as the World Economic Forum’s primary means for engaging its corporate partners and leveraging the Forum’s platform and global networks. According to the WEF website, 'Industry Partnership offers select industry leaders privileged access to the Forum's networks across business, government, academia and non-governmental organizations. In practice this leads to enhanced speaking opportunities, access to exclusive meetings, and a key role in shaping the Forum's agenda'.[16]. The heads of these companies are able to attend high level WEF meetings, mandate activities in the Governors’ meeting in Davos and attend other meetings and summits such as the Annual Meeting of New Champions in China: which is held in partnership with the Chinese Government to bring them together with 'leading industry players' of the 'world’s leading fast growth companies'. Leaders of these companies will also be able to attend WEF 'private partnership meetings at regional summits throughout the year in five global regions (Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East).'

In 2009, these Industry Partners were listed as[17]:

ABB | Abercrombie & Kent (A&K)* | Abraaj Capital | Accel Partners | Accenture | Aegis Group | Aetna | African Rainbow Minerals (ARM)* | Agility | Airbus | Akamai Technologies | Akzo Nobel | Alcatel-Lucent | Alcoa | Allianz | AMD | Amdocs Management | Amec | Apax Partners | Apollo Global Management | Applied Materials* | ArcelorMittal | Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM) | Arup Group | AT&T | AUDI AG | Autodesk | Aviva | Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company | Bain & Company | Bain Capital* | Barclays | BASF | Basic Element | Bayer | BD | Bertelsmann | Best Buy Co | Bharti Airtel | Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation | Blackstone Group | BMC Software | Bombardier | Booz & Company | Boston Consulting Group - BCG | BP | British Airways | British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority | BT | Bunge | Burger King Corporation* | CA Inc | Calik Holding* | Campbell Soup Company | Cantor Fitzgerald* | Carlson | Carlyle Group | Carrefour | Centrica | CH2M HILL Companies | Challenger Financial Services Group | Chevron Corporation | China Mobile Communications Corporation | Cinven | Cisco | Citi | Clarium Capital Management | Clayton, Dubilier & Rice | Clifford Chance | CNBC | Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) | Credit Suisse | CVC Capital Partners | Deloitte | Deutsche Bank | Deutsche Post World Net | Deutsche Telekom | Dogan Media Group | Dogus Group | Dow Chemical Company | Dubai Holding | Dubai World | Duke Energy Corporation | Duke University Medical Center and Health System* | DuPont | E.I.M. | E.ON | Edelman | EDF (Electricité de France) | EFG-Hermes Holding | EGL (Elektrizitäts-Gesellschaft Laufenburg) | Emaar Properties | EMC Corporation | Emirates Group | EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg | Eni | EQT Partners | Ernst & Young | Eskom Holdings | Etihad Airways | Eton Park Capital Management | Evonik Industries | Exxon Mobil Corporation | FedEx Corporation | Fluor Corporation | Forbes | Ford Motor Company* | Fortress Investment | Fortum Corporation | Founders Fund | France Telecom | GDF Suez | General Mills | GeoPost Intercontinental* | Glencore International | GLG Partners | Goldman Sachs | Google | Grant Thornton International | Grupo Santander* | Harbinger Capital Partners* | HCL Technologies | Heidrick & Struggles | Henry Schein* | Hertz Global Holding* | Highbridge Capital Management | Hindustan Construction Company | Hony Capital* | HP | HSBC | HTC-VIA | Huawei Technologies | Hubert Burda Media | Iberdrola | ICAP | ICICI Bank | IHS Inc | IK Investment Partners | Infosys Technologies | Intel Corporation | Investor | Jet Airways (India) | Johnson & Johnson | JPMorgan Chase | Jubilant Organosys | Kaiser Foundation Health Plan* | Kellogg Company | Khazanah Nasional Berhad | Kohlberg Kravis Roberts | KPMG | Kraft Foods | Kudelski Group | Kuwait Petroleum Corporation | LANXESS | Lawson | Lazard LLC | Leighton Holdings | Lenovo | Liberty Global Europe | Lloyd's* | Lockheed Martin Corporation* | LUKOIL Oil Company | Manpower | Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC) | MasterCard | McAfee | McKinsey & Company | Merck & Co. | Merrill Lynch | METRO Group | Michelin* | Microsoft Corporation | Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation | Monsanto Company | Moore Capital Management | Morgan Stanley | Motorola | NASDAQ OMX Group | National Bank of Kuwait | NBC Universal | Nestlé | NetJets Europe | Newmark Knight Frank | Newmont Mining Corporation* | News Corporation | NGP Energy Capital Management* | Nike | Nomura Holdings | Nordic Capital* | Novo Nordisk | Novozymes | NYSE Euronext | Oando Plc | OC Oerlikon Management* | Och-Ziff Capital Management Group | Olayan Group | Omnicom Group | OPK | Pearson* | Pemex - Petroleos Mexicanos | PepsiCo | Perella Weinberg Partners | Permira Advisers | Petroleo Brasileiro SA Petrobras | PETRONAS | Pfizer | PKO Bank Polski | PNC Financial Services Group | PricewaterhouseCoopers | ProLogis* | Providence Equity Partners | Prudential | Publicis Groupe | PZU* | Qualcomm | QVT Financial | Reliance Industries | Renault-Nissan | Renova Group | RHC Holding | Rio Tinto | Rolls-Royce* | Royal Bank of Scotland Group | Royal DSM | Royal Dutch Shell | RusHydro | Russian Standard Corporation | RWE | S. C. Johnson & Son | SABMiller | | SAS | Sasol* | Satyam Computer Services | Saudi Aramco | Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) | Sberbank | Sealed Air Corp | Siemens | Silversea Cruises Group* | SK Group | SOCAR (State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic) | St Paul Travelers | Standard Chartered Bank | State Farm Insurance Companies | StatoilHydro | Stena* | StratREAL (Strategic Real Estate Advisors) | SunGard Data Systems* | SWIFT | Swiss International Air Lines | Swiss re | Syngenta International | System Capital Management | Taconic Capital Advisors | Telenor | Telstra Corporation | Tenneco* | The Coca-Cola Company | Thomson Reuters | ThyssenKrupp | TNT | Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) | Total | TPG Capital | Troika Dialog Group | Tullett Prebon Group | Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri | UBS | UniCredit Group | Unilever | UPS | Vattenfall | Vestas Wind Systems | VimpelCom | Vodafone | Volkswagen | VTB Bank | Wipro | WPP | Xenel Group | Yara International | Zurich Financial Services

* Industry Associates


The World Economic Forum has in recent times recognised the urgency of the Water crisis facing the world. As such, they have prioritised Water as an urgent policy issue. Similar to other like-minded organisations, such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the World Economic Forum argues for market solutions to the problems of unequal water allocation and water scarcity. These principles include placing a proper (higher) value on water[18]. This proposal will result in their members being able to afford water, with many others in the world not being able to. A situation that could in effect see their members seizing de-facto control of water. In addition, given that the vast majority of people who do without water are those who can't afford to pay, the proposal to put a higher economic value on water will exacerbate this situation and will not help the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals, which aspire to decrease the numbers of people who do without clean water and sanitation[19].

David Cameron Speaking at the Forum's Annual Meeting 2008

In January 2008, David Cameron participated in the World Economic Forum's annual meeting at Davos as a speaker. The House of Commons Register of Interests lists hospitality, car use, a conference pass and 'hospitality' being supplied by the Forum, with flights and accomodations supplied by the Conservative Party[20].


  1. Sharon Beder, Suiting Themselves: How Corporations Drive the Global Agenda, Earthscan, London, 2006, p. 1.
  2. One of the Greatest Shows on Earth, Forbes, 2 December, 1996.
  3. Sharon Beder, Suiting Themselves, p. 112.
  4. Quoted in Dyan Machan, ‘Power Broker’, Forbes, 15 November, 1999 and Charles Overbeck, Davos 98: The World Economic Forum Strikes Again, ParaScope, accessed 5 September 1998.
  5. WEF, Global Competitiveness Report, World Economic Forum, (accessed 6 February 2005); Craig N. Murphy, ‘Inequality, Turmoil and Democracy: Global Political-Economic Visions at the End of the Century’, New Political Economy, vol 4, no 2, 1999.
  6. Sharon Beder, Suiting Themselves, p. 199.
  7. World Economic Forum About WEF Accessed 21st April 2006
  8. World Economic Forum Leadership Team Accessed 30th April 2009
  9. World Economic Forum Leadership Team Accessed 30th April 2009
  10. World Economic Forum USA Leadership Team Accessed 30th April 2009
  11. World Economic Forum Foundation Board Accessed 30th April 2009
  12. World Economic Forum FAQs:Funding Accessed 29th April 2009
  13. World Economic Forum Members and Parners Accessed 29th April 2009
  14. World Economic Forum Members and Parners Accessed 29th April 2009
  15. World Economic Forum Strategic Partners Accessed 29th April 2009
  16. World Economic Forum Industry Partnership Programme Accessed 29th April 2009
  17. World Economic Forum Industry Partners Accessed 29th April 2009
  18. World Economic Forum The bubble is close to bursting: warnings on water from World Economic Forum report 29th January 2009. Accessed 7th May 2009
  19. United Nations Resolution adopted by the General Assembly - 55/2. United Nations Millennium Declaration 8th September 2000. Accessed 7th May 2009
  20. UK Partliament Register of Interests Accessed 16th December 2008