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World Economic Forum: A preview of Davos 2023

Several themes and topics are expected to dominate this year’s meeting.

Global leaders will gather in Davos Klosters, Switzerland, from January 16 to 20 for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. With an overall theme of “Cooperation in a Fragmented World,” this year’s event will be the largest ever held. During a McKinsey Live webinar, McKinsey’s chief marketing officer Tracy Francis and global Sustainability leader Daniel Pacthod explored the five primary topics McKinsey partners will focus on during their time at Davos. Each topic poses challenges that will require global cooperation to address successfully.

  1. Resilience: Building new muscles for tomorrow. Amid today’s uncertainties, resilience is critical. All types of organizations need to invest now in resilience-strengthening capabilities, people, processes, structures, and technology. For more on this topic, see our business resilience insights.
  2. Reimagining globalization: Diversifying rather than decoupling. No country or region is an island. The world remains deeply interconnected by global flows of goods, services, capital, people, data, and ideas. Organizations that reimagine rather than retreat from interconnection can reshape value chains in ways that deliver both growth and resilience. For more on the topic, see “Global flows: The ties that bind in an interconnected world.”
  3. Sustainability: Balancing the energy transition with resilience for a net-zero future. Fighting climate change will require $3.5 trillion a year, potentially representing the greatest reallocation of capital in history. Leaders are on the spot to lay out how they will transition to net zero while building resilience against economic and political shocks. The best response to this moment is “and,” not “or.” For more on this topic, see “A devilish duality: How CEOs can square resilience with net-zero promises.”
  4. Inclusion: Making it a competitive advantage. With inclusion at a global inflection point, leaders need to know how to accelerate progress. By 2026, companies worldwide are expected to spend $15.4 billion on diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Recommitting to inclusion could give organizations a competitive edge. For more on the topic, see our inclusion insights.
  5. Space: Capturing innovation across industry sectors. The space economy has been growing rapidly over the past decade, particularly in the private sector. But the privatization of space has brought new challenges. Activity and process in the sector have reached a point where space commercialization is outpacing governance. Realizing the space economy’s full potential will require extensive public-private cooperation. For more on this topic, see “The role of space in driving sustainability, security, and development on Earth” and “How will the space economy change the world?

For more on these and other topics, visit “McKinsey and the World Economic Forum 2023.”

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