Global Development Aligns with Business Goals at Davos and Beyond

“Today, it is not surprising and is rather, somewhat expected, that CEOs devote a portion of their time in Davos to articulating what their companies are doing to advance the global development agenda. And that increasingly there is an inextricable link between that agenda and the prosperity of their own enterprises” writes Joe Cerrell, director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s European Office.

In a recent Reuters blog post called “Global Development crashes the Davos party,” Cerrell discusses the increasing presence of a global development agenda at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Cerrell briefly traces the history of this trend in Davos over the last 10 years starting when Bill Gates launched the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) in 2000. While the forum has perhaps moved away from the years when celebrities like Bono, Sharon Stone, and Angelina Jolie could steal the Davos spotlight to push forward development issues, Cerrell thinks that these years have brought about a lasting shift; global development is now accepted as a normal part of the WEF’s conversation on business and economics.

Cerrell hopes to see global development “crashing” more and more gatherings to which it was previously uninvited. At Global Washington, we share his desire to explore these issues in diverse sectors. Our membership consists of nonprofits, foundations, businesses, and academic institutions in the state of Washington, all united in common goal of making the world a more equitable and prosperous place. As this kind of dialogue continues in prominent venues, we hope to also see innovative and mutually beneficial partnerships formed to address important needs in health, education, environmental sustainability, poverty alleviation and other global issues