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Global Challenges

World’s Biggest Brainstorm Meeting to Tackle Top Global Challenges

The challenges represent the Forum’s priorities for public-private collaboration; will feature prominently at the Annual Meeting in Davos in January

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Experts from the world’s leading research institutions, businesses and international organizations will meet in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, from 25 to 27 October for the World Economic Forum’s Summit on the Global Agenda 2015 to collectively develop solutions to address the most pressing issues shaping the global, industry and regional agendas.

Members of the Forum’s Global Agenda Council will specifically focus on nine global challenges identified by the Forum that require public-private cooperation across different industries and regions. The challenges will also be an integral part of the agenda at the Forum’s Annual Meeting 2016 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland in January.

The global challenges are:

1.) Economic Growth and Social Inclusion: Widening income and wealth inequalities are putting future political, economic and social stability at risk. Sustainable long-term economic growth requires greater social equality that promotes financial inclusion.

2.) Employment, Skills and Human Capital: With the world needing to create 470 million positions by 2030, countries need to look to their greatest asset – their people – and equip them with the skills and know-how to find work and create jobs for others.

3.) Environment and Resource Scarcity: As the global environment and economic system are indelibly linked, creating jobs that are inclusive and sustainable, without contributing to further climate change, environmental degradation or resource depletion, will be key.

4.) Food security and Agriculture: By 2050, the global food system will need to feed 9 billion people. Providing growing populations with sustainable and nutritious supplies of food means re-thinking food production in ways that increases efficiency and cuts waste while offering a better living to farmers and avoiding the adverse impacts of climate change and water scarcity.

5.) Future of the Global Financial System: The global financial system need increase its resilience in the face of technological and other changes, as well as improve access to financial products and services for unserved or underserved parts of the population.

6.) Future of the Internet: The internet is under threat from governance problems, lack of access for the underserved and cybercrime. Finding solutions to address these problems is important for the internet to continue to act as an engine for global economic growth and social development.

7.) Gender Parity: Historic strides have been made in improving women’s access to health and education, but huge divides remain when it comes to economic opportunity and political empowerment. Closing these gaps would have significant economic and social benefits.

8.) International Trade and Investment: International trade and investment have an important role to play in delivering economic growth and social advances, but shifting geopolitics, business models and societal expectations are placing the current system under threat. A rethink on how models of trade and commerce are modelled in the future are needed.

9.) Long-term Investing, Infrastructure and Development: The world’s $1 trillion infrastructure gap will never be closed without better public-private cooperation. Getting the model right and unlocking private investment could have a huge multiplier effect on economic growth and job creation.

“Taken individually, these challenges illustrate the magnitude of the task the world faces. Looked at collectively, and they demonstrate the complexity. Finding solutions that not only address challenges but do not exacerbate others will require creativity and a fresh look at the way we approach problem solving. This is what Global Agenda Councils are here in Abu Dhabi to do,” said Stephan Mergenthaler, Head of Knowledge Networks, World Economic Forum.

Majid Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum and a Trustee of the Global Challenge on Long-Term Investing, Infrastructure and Development said: "Tackling the world's challenges today requires the active engagement of all stakeholders. Serving as a trustee gives the opportunity to share our real world experience on this critical issue, which is now recognised as vital for short-term economic stability and long-term competitiveness worldwide."

The Co-Chairs of the Summit on the Global Agenda 2015 are Sultan Bin Saeed AlMansoori, Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates and Ali Majed Al Mansoori, Chairman, Department of Economic Development, Abu Dhabi.


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