I’m not normally a huge fan of the Davos World Economic Forum. It brings together many of the world’s leaders and intellectuals to debate issues of the day. Those discussions are often interesting, but they rarely get beyond the elite.
That stereotype was certainly wrong when it comes to this hastily written book. No book written in four months will have all the answers, but this is a terrific first step in that direction.
More than most world leaders, authors Klaus Schwab (Davos CEO) and Thierry Malleret (a prominent systems thinker) understand that even six months into the global pandemic, its cascading effects on all aspects of our lives have changed things so much that we couldn’t go back to the “normal” life we lived as recently as March. Instead, they assume that we will have to make an equally far-reaching reset of our basic institutions and their practices. They make that clear at the end of the first paragraph.
A new world will emerge, the contours of which are for us to both imagine and to draw.
They then lay out a series of changes that the kinds of people who attend the Davos conference can actually help pull off at the global, corporate and individual levels. Most readers of this book don’t have the kinds of influence Davos attendees have. But, after reading this book, you’ll have no trouble identifying ways in which you can do your part in the reset.
They do include a diagnosis that reflects the fact that the pandemic has had cascading effects that have touched the lives of just about everyone on the planet in irreversible ways.
More importantly, they make the case that their reader–in other words, some of the world’s wealthiest and most influential individuals–rebuild or reset in a way that addresses all of the issues that have risen to the surface since the first cases of COVID-19 were reported at the end of 2019. Sustainability. Addressing inequality. Protests around race and gender and the demands of the marginalized in general. Listening to young people. Getting beyond GNP, shareholder value, and other outdated metrics of success and failure. Indeed, they even talk about the need for a new social contract.