Over 100 Indian CEOs, several political leaders and select Bollywood stars including Deepika Padukone will be in the Swiss ski resort town of Davos in January for the 50th anniversary of the WEF Annual Meeting to discuss what requires to make it a 'cohesive and sustainable world'. The annual jamboree of the rich and powerful from across the world is expected to be even a bigger affair this time because it would be its 50th anniversary and there are indications that several top global leaders might be present.
While the official list of public figures would be announced closer to the summit, slated for January 20-24, 2020, speculation is abound that US President Donald Trump as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin both might be there after both of them skipped last year's Davos.
Geneva-based WEF has selected 'Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World' as the theme for its 2020 annual meeting, which will bring together 3,000 global leaders.
The WEF has said the 2020 meeting aims to give a concrete meaning to "stakeholder capitalism", assist governments and international institutions in tracking progress towards the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, and facilitate discussions on technology and trade governance.
Those who are registered from India include industry leaders Gautam Adani, Mukesh Ambani, Rahul and Saniv Bajaj, Kumar Mangalam Birla, N Chandrasekaran of Tata Group, Sajjan Jindal, Uday Kotak, Rajnish Kumar of SBI, Anand Mahindra, Sunil Mittal, Ravi Ruia, Pawan Munjal, Nandan Nilekani and Salil Parekh of Infosys, Ajay Piramal, Rishad Premji, Ajay Singh, Pirojsha Godrej and Tulsi Tanti.
Film star Deepika Padukone is also registered as founder of Live Love Laugh Foundation, which aims to reduce the stigma, spread awareness and change the way people look at mental health.
The foundation has been instrumental in creating a platform where people seek help for themselves or their loved ones, find comprehensive knowledge, connect with professionals and find comfort knowing that they are not alone in their battle with issues specifically stress, anxiety and depression.
Among others from the Indian film industry, Shahrukh Khan and Karan Johar have been in Davos for the WEF annual meetings in the recent years.
Among global business leaders, Michael Dell of Dell, James Dimon of JP Morgan, Deloitte's Punit Renjen, IBM's Ginni Rometty, Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg, Nokia's Rajiv Suri and UBS' Axel Weber are expected to be participate.
WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab has said people are revolting against the economic 'elites' they believe have betrayed them, and the efforts to keep global warming limited to 1.5 degree celsius are falling dangerously short.
"With the world at such critical crossroads, this year we must develop a 'Davos Manifesto 2020' to reimagine the purpose and scorecards for companies and governments. It is what the World Economic Forum was founded for 50 years ago, and it is what we want to contribute to for the next 50 years," Schwab said.
The forum's first meeting in 1971 was established to further the idea put forward by Professor Schwab that business should serve all stakeholders -- customers, employees, communities, as well as shareholders.
It was reaffirmed in 1973 in the 'Davos Manifesto', a document that has shaped the work of the WEF ever since.
In a major update, this year's annual meeting will see the publication of a universal 'ESG scorecard' by the WEF's International Business Council, which is currently chaired by Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America.