The Strategy of Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum
The German economist and engineer succeeded at his lifelong project to create a real platform for global governance. But as its only driving force, the WEF’s influence is unlikely to survive him.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) is best known for its annual conference in Davos, Switzerland. In this secluded resort town in the Alps, elite business and political figures gather each year to discuss issues of global importance, including technological advancement and climate change. WEF membership is highly exclusive, with partners paying annual membership fees beginning at $65,000 for access, and only a few thousand participants are invited to Davos each year.1 Despite its limited accessibility, the WEF is influential at an institutional level. In the vein of the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, and the United Nations, the WEF is a platform for global consensus-building, prioritizing economic cooperation as a means of fostering diplomatic relations.2 The WEF has been led by its founder and chairman, the now 84-year-old German engineer and economist Klaus Schwab, since 1971.