OPINION: It’s time for world leaders at Davos to act

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The World Economic Forum brings together leaders of global society.

Situated in Davos, among the Swiss Alps, entrepreneurs, world leaders, business executives and the public and private sector converge to talk about pressing issues and the future state of the world. The roll call includes heads of state, chiefs of tech companies like Facebook and Google. And yes, even the top energy chiefs attend.

This year’s theme is Globalization 4.0: Shaping a New Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

It’s a mouthful to cover in a few days.

With over 3500 global delegates in attendance, and a budget over $400M USD, many key figures are siting out it. With the U.S. government in its longest shutdown on record and Brexit looming, President Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron are all staying home to deal with politics and angry citizens.

And then you have the critics who are always on the “outs”. Politico author, former McKinsey consultant-turned New York Times columnist, Anand Giridharadas speaks for many critics when he says Davos is “a family reunion for the people who broke the world”.

All of the big topics are on tap for discussion: climate, inclusive capitalism, innovation, and gender equality.

It’s now 2019 and if you remember, it was just a little over a year that #MeToo turned rapidly from a campaign against sexual harassment to every form of harassment.

And then there’s that stubborn gap we keep talking about: the gender one. At the current rate of progress, it will take a very sobering statistic of 108 years to close the gap and 202 years to achieve parity in the workforce, according to the World Economic Forum’s latest global report.

The gender gap stats are like that awful movie called Groundhog Day. I’m over them.

They say talk is cheap. It’s time for change. And change doesn’t happen until we take action.

In 2016, energy leaders published a Call to End the Gender Gap at Davos.

In 2017, our community responded.

My hope in 2019, we will all go beyond talking and push to act.

To stay connected with WEF sessions, follow on twitter at #WEFLive19

I hope you’ll join me March 7-8, 2019 where we’ll shift the needle at HERWorld.