- The World Economic Forum in Davos is an annual gathering nicknamed for the ski town it’s held in: Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.
- The four-day conference brings together heads of state, CEOs, and other government and business leaders from around the world.
- The forum holds lectures and panels where government and business leaders speak.
- Because of the high-profile attendees, Davos also serves as a place for high-level networking and deal-making.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The World Economic Forum in Davos is kicking off this week.
Leaders from all over the world, in business and politics, are descending on the small ski town in Switzerland to share ideas and discuss important topics impacting society.
If you’ve never heard of the event, or you’ve heard the term “Davos” but always wondered what it meant, we’ve created a guide to help you quickly get familiar with the World Economic Forum so you can understand what the fuss is about.
Take a look.
What is Davos?
The World Economic Forum, usually referred to simply as “Davos” for the town it’s held in, is an annual gathering of government and business leaders.
The four-day conference is held by a non-profit organisation of the same name as the conference, the World Economic Forum.
Where is Davos?
The forum is often referred to simply as “Davos” for the small ski town it’s held in each year: Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, the highest town in Europe at 1,560 meters (5,118 feet) above sea level.
While the town functions as a normal ski village the rest of the year, during the World Economic Forum, hotel rates can rise to five times their normal rate, according to the New York Times.
Who’s attending Davos?
Davos is famous for its high-profile attendees, who, aside from speaking at lectures and panels, use the event for networking and deal-making.
Powerful attendees often make news during public comments in speeches and panels at the conference.
Attendees span from world leaders like President Donald Trump and prime ministers of various countries to activists like Greta Thunberg. You’ll also see CEOs from the biggest companies in the world, like Sundar Pichai from Google, Satya Nadella from Microsoft, and Tim Cook from Apple.
Embattled Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam is slated to speak on the second day of the conference, according to the forum’s agenda. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to speak on the third day of the forum.
What’s happening at Davos this year?
Davos’ main programming includes a variety of panels and lectures. This year’s theme is focused on sustainability.
The first day of the conference includes a panel with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Lectures and panels featuring CEOs and other business leaders often provide insight into companies and industries; for example, an executive at accounting firm Ernst & Young said at Davos that his firm wants to hire more tech-focused roles in the future.
Business Insider is attending Davos this year. Take a look at some of our stories from this year’s forum.
- 119 billionaires, 53 heads of state, and an $US8.3 million security bill: A look at Davos by the numbers
- Trump’s top economic adviser just made a unique fashion statement at the World Economic Forum
- A new PwC survey unveiled at Davos found CEOs are the most pessimistic they have ever been about the economy. The firm’s global chairman breaks down 4 big reasons why.
- Davos says it is focusing on the climate crisis, but its billionaires and world leaders are still arriving on private jets
- CEOs love to talk about fighting climate change. Now it’s time they actually do something about it.