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AI, Climate Change, Geopolitics: Takeaways from the 2024 World Economic Forum

World Economic Forum strikes again in Davos this January.

The World Economic Forum (WEF), an international non-governmental organisation, wrapped up its 2024 Annual Meeting last week in Davos, Switzerland. Each year, economists, politicians, and business owners collaborate with the WEF to discuss key issues in the global economy. This January, topics which rose to the surface of conversation included artificial intelligence, rising geopolitical tensions, and large-scale civilian voting in the world’s 2024 elections. 

Founded in 1971, the WEF plays a non-governmental role in international and regional industry; foremost, it is a nexus between global leaders in economy and technological change. Themes such as big data and climate change persisted across the 2010s, whilst discussions on international relations surfaced during times of tension. Beyond the Davos meeting, the WEF engages in various initiatives throughout the year to address global challenges like economic inequality, climate change, and public health.

The Annual Meeting typically invites shy of 3,000 participants, hailing from over 120 countries. Over 60 heads of state and government and over 40 foreign ministers typically attend, followed by another 800 CEOs and board chairs. Of the 2,800 participants, approximately 1,800 are business leaders. Despite the role of the WEF in international conversation, critics signal the organisation’s title as a locus of conversation between the global one per cent and the absence of governmental influence. 

In the face of such a pivotal year in global politics for the over 50 countries with national elections, the 2024 WEF meeting brought misinformation strategies into the light.

The rapid advancement of AI  with its implications heavy among information, politics, business, and every sphere of life  also struck a cord in this year's forum. The continuing war in Ukraine, and the Gaza conflict, also provide significant obstacles to stability in 2024 trade and global relations.

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