Good morning from Davos!
World leaders, business chiefs, trade unions, the heads of charities and NGOs, celebrities and the media are gathering in this small ski resort to discuss the state of the world, and how to improve it.
This year’s WEF is taking place amid the biggest snowfalls in many years. This is already leading to inequality on the streets of Davos: workers are furiously shovelling drifts aside and driving snowploughs as the global elite queue bumper-to-bumper to reach the WEF congress centre and the exclusive hotels and converted shops where events are taking place.
Last night, Pope Francis set the mood by issuing a stern warning not to remain silent in the face of economic inequality and injustice.
In a message read to the Davos attendees, the Pope warned not to allow people to be used as cogs in a machine and then chucked aside.
Even Sir Elton John weighed in, describing inequality in the world today as ‘disgraceful’ (as we covered in last night’s blog).
Sir Elton John tells Davos that the inequality in this world is “disgraceful”, as he collects award for leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS https://t.co/NTHkE8iZV5 pic.twitter.com/yCLebUw3jk
Two world leaders will address Davos today, with different priorities.
Narendra Modi, who gives the opening speech, is the first Indian prime minister to visit WEF in 20 years. He’s on a big push to attract more business to his country, billing India as a key growth engine for the global economy. India have sent a large delegation to Davos this year – many of whom found themselves caught up in the transport chaos yesterday.
Canada’s Justin Trudeau is expected to pitch at business leaders. But his speech, this afternoon, may also cover weightier issues such as women’s empowerment.
There’s loads of other stuff coming up too, including debates on the financial markets, capitalism, and sexual harassment.
9.30am Davos (8.30am GMT): Opening press conference by the Davos co-chairs
9.45am Davos (8.45am GMT): Debate: Are we heading for a new financial crisis?
11.15am Davos (10.15am GMT): Indian PM Narendra Modi gives the opening plenary speech
2pm Davos (1pm GMT): Actor Cate Blanchett speaks about the global refugee crisis
3pm Davos (2pm GMT): Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan talks about women’s empowerment in India.
3.30pm Davos (2.30pm GMT): Debate on gender, power and sexual harassment
5pm Davos (4pm GMT): Debate on capitalism:
5.30pm Davos (4.30pm GMT): Canadian PM Justin Trudeau gives a special address