What to expect at Davos 2022: all you need to know

World Economic Forum has been on hiatus for two years due to Covid-19

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World leaders will be descending on the mountainous terrain of Davos in the Swiss Alps on Sunday to attend the annual five-day World Economic Forum.

At an altitude of 1,560 metres, the small town is one of the highest in Europe.

It will also be one of the busiest next week, as more than 2,000 attendees are expected to arrive after a near two-and-a-half year hiatus, to take part in a conference that includes discussions on climate change, economics and geopolitical friction.

The WEF, a non-profit organisation, says the high-level talks from global decision-makers aim to “engage the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas”.

When is Davos 2022?

Unlike previous years when TV crews and analysts are wrapped up in heavy coats and snow-proof clothing to keep out the winter chill, this year’s forum is taking place in spring, from May 22 to May 26.

What is Davos?

The WEF meeting, widely known as ‘Davos’, is a gathering of the minds. This year’s conversation will centre on the important moments we are facing in light of the war on Ukraine, global food shortages and the continuing issue of climate change.

The WEF is for the first time since January 2020 taking place in-person after the Covid-19 outbreak led to restrictions of movement across the world.

What’s on the agenda?

This year's event has a wide-ranging theme: History at a Turning Point: Government Policies and Business Strategies.

The topic, although broad, will feature talks on issues such as the need for humanitarian action in various parts of the world, food security issues such as those affecting parts of the Middle East, and where we stand on the coronavirus pandemic.

Who are the speakers?

Officials such as Carlos Eduardo Correa Escaf, Colombia’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development and Elizabeth Mrema, UN executive secretary for the convention on biological diversity will discuss ways in which humans can rely on natural sustainably for economic growth.

Discussing the use of technology in empowering factory workers, as more companies readjust to a fast-paced world, will be executive Barbara Frei-Spreiter, vice president and chief executive of industrial automation at Schneider Electric and Sharan Burrow, secretary general of the International Trade Union Confederation.

Who is attending Davos 2022?

More than 50 heads of state and government are expected to attend, among 300 government representatives, to share their vision for the world. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, US climate envoy John Kerry, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are some of the headliners.

About 1,250 leaders from the private sector will also be participating, while more than 200 people will represent NGOs, social entrepreneurs, academia, labour organisations, faith-based and religious groups.

Davos 2022 will also bring together younger generations, with 100 members of the Forum’s Global Shaper and Young Global Leader communities participating.

The WEF has been hosting its annual meeting in the Swiss town for more than 50 years.

Do you have to be invited to Davos (and can you get a ticket)?

Davos is an invitation-only event. However, more than 1,000 media representatives will attend the conference to cover it and the WEF website confirms that more than 150 sessions will be streamed live online.

A dedicated website is in place to report the highlights, while the WEF will be posting much of the action from Davos on Twitter (@wef and @davos).

You can also follow proceedings using the official meeting hashtag, #wef22, on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Additionally, WEF's official YouTube channel will post the live-streamed sessions and videos.

Updated: May 20, 2022, 11:08 AM