‘Virtual’ Davos in Era of Pandemic Beyond Geopolitics

World Economic Forum (WEF) organizers are expecting leaders for a virtual gathering starting Monday — after the COVID-19 pandemic doused plans for the annual in-person event in Davos, Switzerland.

Those attending include Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that no institution or individual alone can address the economic, environmental, social and technological challenges of our complex, interdependent world. The pandemic has accelerated systemic changes that were apparent before its inception. The fault lines that emerged in 2020 now appear as critical crossroads in 2021. The time to rebuild trust and to make crucial choices is fast approaching as the need to reset priorities and the urgency to reform systems grow stronger around the world.

Borge Brende, the forum president, said Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and South Korean President Moon Jae will join in for the event –it runs throughout the week until Friday, and such leaders will consider “the role that Asia will play in the recovery.”

Others expected include Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, French President Emmanuel Macron and President Ivan Duque of Colombia.

The event participants include over 1,500 dignitaries from more than 70 countries. The forum expects to hold its annual meeting in person in May in Singapore.

We need to move from geopolitics and international competition to a default of consummate global collaboration. Nations are going to have to change.

Forum founder Klaus Schwab said the aim of the virtual “Davos Agenda” meeting starting Jan. 25 is to restore trust and engage all stakeholders in business, government, civil society and beyond to help build a “more peaceful and prosperous post-corona era.”

The event has daily themes on subjects like economic systems, responsible growth, cooperation and the harnessing of technologies in the 4th Industrial Revolution – a common theme at Davos events.


  1. How to save the planet
  2. Fairer Economies
  3. Tech for good
  4. Society and Future of work
  5. Better business
  6. Healthy futures
  7. Beyond Geopolitics

The annual event in Davos typically draws thousands of elites to the Alpine snows to discuss ways of building a better future.