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World Economic Forum: Live from Davos

An insider’s view of this year’s gathering of global leaders.

Polycrisis was the oft-heard word this week in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. During a special McKinsey Live, senior partners Daniel Pacthod and Kate Smaje answered audience questions about how leaders are navigating the toughest operating environment in recent memory—as well as what they’re looking forward to in the year ahead. They noted that while a lot of the focus was on the uncertain global macroeconomic outlook, many leaders expressed considerable optimism of the future. Other topics they discussed included:

  1. The need for resilience—now and in the future. The past few years have seen unexpected disruptions, putting resilience at the top of leaders’ agendas. Many are growing increasingly confident in their ability to adapt—and even thrive—despite ongoing uncertainties.
  2. Changing talent dynamics. We heard much about the Great Attrition—and now, we’ve moved on to the Great Rebalancing: identifying and matching skills while building new and emerging capabilities. Layoffs in Silicon Valley may not sound like good news, but organizations everywhere stand to benefit from access to new pools of talent, observed Kate Smaje.
  3. Advancing on the path to net-zero. The war in Ukraine was a setback—but it has also galvanized leaders to accelerate progress toward a more sustainable future. Earlier this week, WEF launched Giving to Amplify Earth Action (GAEA), a global initiative aimed at expanding public, private, and philanthropic partnerships and helping to unlock the $3 trillion of annual financing needed to reach net zero by 2050. “This could be the time when philanthropy and climate issues have a multiplier effect,” said Pacthod.

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

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