February 1, 2019


Davos 2019: The Conversation in Switzerland Ripples Out to The Rest of the World - News, Commentaries, Reports, Initiatives, For Your Consideration

The world leadership gathering in Switzerland in winter every year – we see this in the “Davos meetings” in the many news report datelines – are part of the World Economic Forum (WEF) broad activities -- this is the WEF’s annual meeting. Heads of state, CEOs, invited thought leaders, leading academics and journalists, politicians of all persuasions, NGOs, heads of multilateral heads (Christina Lagarde, International Monetary Fund)…they were all gathered there this year. 

WEF bills itself as “the international organization for public-private cooperation”; it was created in 1971 as a not-for-profit, to operate in a non-partisan, independent forum for leaders of society.  The annual meeting provides the opportunity for sharing ideas on a wide range of issues and topics. And then the broadcast of these out to the world.
This year, the broad themes of discussion included “4th Industrial Revolution”, “Geostrategy”, “Environment”, and “Economics”.

“Shaping” (through private-public partnerships) was the theme of numerous initiatives such as “Shaping The Future of Environment and Natural Resource Security”. A slew of reports are typically issued each year; in 2019 one was “Seeking a Return on ESG: Advancing the Reporting Ecosystem to Unlock Impact for Business and Society”. 

These reports and other information are available for you on-line at: https://www.weforum.org/agenda

Naturally, with the wise men and women of society gathered in the snowy reaches of Davos and presenting their views over several days, there was the usual flow of headlines and news stories out to the rest of the world.

Our editors led by Editor in Chief Ken Cynar closely monitors the Davos and other WEF meetings (annual and regionals) to bring you relevant highlights. This week after the conference wrapped up, Ken selected the some of the news and commentaries that we think will be of interest – they are presented here, along with our Top Story pick.

That selection is the comments of Hans Vestburg, CEO, Verizon Communications, on the theme of The Fourth Industrial Revolution and a Sustainable Earth.  CEO Vestburg (he’s originally from “high latitudes” Sweden) is strategically positioning his telecomm enterprise to balance market leadership, promising advances in technology (5G networks) and challenges presented by climate change, population growth and helping society achieve a sustainable and equitable future.  We think you’ll find his comments intriguing – and most welcome from the CEO of a prominent U.S. corporation.   Then, on to our Davos highlights…

This Week's Top Story

Want a Sustainable Earth? Bring on the Fourth Industrial Revolution
(Wednesday - January 23, 2019) Source: World Economic Forum - When I became CEO of Verizon back in August, one of my commitments was to accelerate our company’s progress in Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies, drawing upon our longstanding role as a world leading...

At Davos 2019: the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting

Elites Gather In Davos To Rich-splain Poverty As The World Spirals Into Crisis
(Tuesday - January 22, 2019) Source: Huff Post - This week, thousands of business leaders, lawmakers and activists will convene in Davos to discuss the greatest challenges facing the world. 

CEOs say the trade war is killing business confidence  
(Tuesday - January 22, 2019) Source: CNN - Davos, Switzerland - Rising populism, policy uncertainty and trade conflicts have led to a sharp drop in confidence among global CEOs. The share of chief executives who think the global economy will slow over the next year has..

Americans Have Lost Faith In Their Ability To Move From Poverty To Riches
(Tuesday - January 22, 2019) Source: Huff Post - DAVOS, Switzerland – People in the United States and other developed countries are losing faith in the capitalist system to improve their lives, according to a new global poll commissioned by the World Economic Forum, published... 

Officials stress Globalization 4.0, wise technology use at Davos
(Wednesday - January 23, 2019) Source: CGTN - Officials and business leaders gathered at Davos on Tuesday to brainstorm economic and other global issues. They called for governments to act together to embrace Globalization 4.0, which is also known as the 4th Industrial...

Davos: Angela Merkel, Jack Ma, Shinzo Abe & More Speak At The 2019 World Economic Forum
(Thursday - January 24, 2019) Source: Time/YouTube - Angela Merkel, Jack Ma, Shinzo Abe and others spoke at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

Editorial: The Guardian view on Davos: elites without answers
(Thursday - January 24, 2019) Source: The Guardian - Any advantage that politicians see in attending the World Economic Forum are these days weighed against the disadvantage of being seen to attend. 

What's fascinating about the World Economic Forum is how little is said: Gasparino
(Friday - January 25, 2019) Source: Yahoo Finance - FBN's Charlie Gasparino on business leaders weighing in on the global economy at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

World Economic Forum warns of AI’s potential to worsen global inequality
(Friday - January 25, 2019)  Source: TechCrunch - Tech and political leaders sounded the alarm bell today about the potential for artificial intelligence to exacerbate huge inequalities across the world. The mood music coming out of the World ...

Davos divided: Titans of business are split over the chances of a global recession
(Friday - January 25, 2019) Source: CNBC - The world’s business elite agree that economic growth is slowing. But when it comes to a possible recession, the consensus ends. 

Sustainability: Continuing Forward Momentum!

Aspirelabs Announces Sustainability Startup Accelerator – CleanEdge Accelerator Program   
(Tuesday - January 22, 2019)  Source: PR Newswire - To bridge the above gap, Polyplex and Shriram Institute have joined hands to run an Accelerator Program - 'CleanEdge' for Environmental Sustainability, Waste Management & Renewables. This is a four month program and will run...

The world has loads of sustainable palm oil - but no one wants it   
(Tuesday - January 22, 2019) Source: News Tribune - The world's biggest growers of palm oil say they're stepping up efforts to produce the contentious commodity more sustainably, but consumers are unwilling to pay more for environmentally friendly supply.

The Importance Of The Renewables And Alternative Energy Sector To The Sustainable Development Goals   
(Tuesday - January 22, 2019) Source: Forbes - In this post I will analyze the importance of the renewable resources and alternative energy sector. It’s overall score is 23.8—compared to 36.0 for food and beverage, 32.6 for healthcare, 30.4 for extractives and mineral...

6 insights for NGOs to transform corporate sustainability   
(Tuesday - January 22, 2019) Source: GreenBiz - NGOs’ successful engagement with companies is absolutely necessary and fundamental if corporate sustainability is to make positive transformative societal change. So, I have reeled in everything I have observed and learned in the... 

Viewpoint: GMO crops are key to sustainable farming—why are some scientists afraid to talk about them?   
(Wednesday - January 23, 2019) Source: Genetic Literary Project - Sustainable intensification. . .comprises agricultural processes or systems in which production is maintained or increased while progressing toward substantial enhancement of environmental outcomes. It incorporates these...

How are investors broadening their sustainability horizons?   
(Wednesday - January 23, 2019) Source: Just Food - There are signs, Ben Cooper writes, the investment community is paying more attention food companies' moves on sustainability - but that creates its own challenges. 

Think Tank: Making Sustainability the ‘New Normal’ in Fashion   
(Thursday - January 24, 2019) Source: WWD - As one of the largest and most creative industries, fashion has the power to play a vital role in securing a prosperous and sustainable future. Today, planetary resources like water, oil and land are limited. Climate change...

Sustainability in the Supply Chain   
(Friday - January 25, 2019) Source: Logistic Viewpoints - Over the past several years, companies have been incorporating sustainability in the supply chain, thanks in part to younger consumers who place a higher premium on environmentally-friendly practices. In fact, according to a...

Flexible Packaging Europe presents new toolkit for sustainability of flexible packaging   
(Friday - January 25, 2019) Source: Compelco Packaging - Still sustainability in packaging remains a complex matter and we have tried to reduce complexity by providing a practical overview with facts and figures at European level over much-debated key issues like circular economy or... 

The Best Way to Rank the Top Sustainability MBAs   
(Friday - January 25, 2019) Source: Triple Pundit - Mission. Purpose. Sustainability. These are the new touchstones of the business world. Consumers, employees, and watchdog groups are demanding that the companies they shop at and work for help solve the social and environmental... 

Sponsored Message

ESG Topics & Issues

Greenland’s Melting Ice Nears a ‘Tipping Point,’ Scientists Say   
(Tuesday - January 22, 2019) Source: NY Times - Greenland’s enormous ice sheet is melting at such an accelerated rate that it may have reached a “tipping point,” and could become a major factor in sea-level rise around the world within two decades, scientists said in a study... 

Doctors are frightened by climate change. Their industry is a big part of the problem.   
(Wednesday - January 23, 2019) Source: VOX - Wildfire deaths. Smoky air. Floods. Droughts. There’s no escaping the reality that global warming is rapidly exacerbating threats to human health and communities in the United States and around the world. 

Headlines From the Corporate Sector

The Most Sustainable Companies In 2019   
(Wednesday - January 23, 2019) Source: Forbes - The list, the Global 100, ranks large corporations across the globe on their performance reducing carbon and waste, their gender diversity among leadership, revenues derived from clean products, and overall sustainability. 

The World's 10 Most Admired Companies   
(Thursday - January 24, 2019) Source: Financial Adviser - Fortune has released its ranking of the world's most admired companies for 2019, and as in previous years, the entertainment and technology industries have a heavy presence on the list. 

France fines Google $57 million over data transparency   
(Tuesday - January 22, 2019) Source: Engagdet

Del Monte Foods Releases 2018 Sustainability Report   
(Wednesday - January 23, 2019) Source: BusinessWire 

Elon Musk Sent an Email to Employees at 1:20 in the Morning, and It Just May Signal the End of Tesla   
(Thursday - January 24, 2019) Source: Inc

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