10 quotes to draw inspiration from ahead of this year’s WEF summit
Every year, influential leaders from across the globe descend upon the snowy Swiss town of Davos to present their thoughts on the current state of global affairs. Yet that’s not the only topic that ends up for discussion.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has given leading figures an opportunity to pass on some of the lessons they’ve learned in life and throughout their careers. 2019 is expected to be no different.
With comments out of the summit expected to make headlines in the coming week, CNBC Make It looks at remarks made at previous gatherings in Davos — and how some people’s advice continues to hold resonance.
“Often, we think that you have to become a prime minister or president or a CEO to be the change-maker — no, you don’t. You can bring change at any point, at any age you want.”
“So change is possible and do not limit yourself, do not stop yourself, just because you are young.”
— Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize laureate said during a conversation about her life experiences in 2018.
“Diversity isn’t just sound, social policy. Diversity is the engine of invention — it generates creativity that enriches the world.”
“We can embrace diversity and the new ideas that spring from it, while simultaneously fostering a shared identity and shared values in safe, stable communities that work.”
— Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada said in a speech on “The Canadian Opportunity” in 2016.
“You make a lot of mistakes along the way but that’s OK. It’s OK to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them. (My father and CEO) Vince has an expression: ‘It’s OK to make mistakes, but never make the same mistake twice.'”
— Stephanie McMahon, chief brand officer of WWE told CNBC at Davos in 2018.
“Travel the world, discover the world, because in this future world, we will need different people with different languages and knowledge. The best way to really take a language is to live it in another country, but also to learn all (about) the other cultures. In this global world, it will be more and more important to have this sensibility for other cultures.”
“Be prepared to learn for your whole life, because that’s the way it is. Knowledge is now accessible everywhere, at any (place), at any time but also at any age.”
— Alain Dehaze, chief executive officer of Adecco speaking on a panel about education’s future in 2016.
“I think that if you keep quiet when you look at an atrocity, then you’re doing a greater injustice to that atrocity.”
— Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Academy and Emmy award-winning filmmaker when discussing how her work in 2017 as vehicles to initiate difficult conversations.
“Failure and setbacks are gifts in a certain way for all of us, because if we didn’t have them, we would stay ourselves for the rest of our lives. We wouldn’t improve. We wouldn’t strive for getting better, for avoiding that suffering in the future.”
“So it’s really about understanding that difficult times, losses, failures, mistakes, are not always bad things. Actually, they can set you off and help you personally develop and become even better.”
— Nico Rosberg, retired F1 racing champion said during a conversation in 2017.
“Lead with empathy: It’s a quality that we undervalue as a society, but often one of the biggest challenges in regards to crisis or conflict is that we rarely understand the existence or the experience in another (person’s) shoes. Often, times are so busy, that we don’t take a moment to step back and see how it affects those with less privilege or power than we do. So, I’d ask (world leaders) to lead with empathy.”
— Sinead Burke, academic, writer, and advocate for disability and design said in 2018, during a conversation on fostering inclusivity and what leaders should adopt.
“If we came together amassing our collective knowledge, our energy, our hearts, our souls, our assets. Joining forces with the ordinary heroes across this planet, for the singular purpose to create light and peace — in every corner of the world. I believe it is possible. I know it’s possible.”
— Forest Whitaker, actor and UNESCO special envoy for peace and reconciliation, said when discussing humanitarian work at the 23rd Annual Crystal Awards in Davos.
“Make sure to never charge your phone by your bed. There has to be a clear demarcation line between your day life and your nightlife — when you’re going to disconnect from the world and really, deeply recharge. Now that takes discipline, because let’s face it, we are all addicted to our devices, we are all addicted to being ‘always on’.”
— Arianna Huffington, founder of Thrive Global, told CNBC in 2017 when discussing health and wellbeing.
“There are four ingredients for true leadership: brains, soul, heart and good nerves.”
— Klaus Schwab, executive chairman of World Economic Forum, said during his welcoming address at the 2015 Davos gathering.