A Young Entrepreneur's Guide to bagging an invite to the World Economic Forum - Davos

What is WEF?

Many critics see Davos as a conference for globe-trotting elites, gathering together to waste their time and everyone else’s. Davos however is a four-day invite-only conference at a Swiss ski resort - assembling over 2,500people ranging from: diplomats, politicians, business leaders, to a handful of celebrities. Most of the participants are usually from the US - representing nearly 33% of the participants. With only about 1 - 2% from Latin America and Africa. Women are also sparsely represented and only make up around 17% of the participants.

Short History

Davos was originally founded in 1971 by economist Klaus Schwab in a move to stir European business men to gather insights about American management practices. Davos was later named World Economic Forum in 1987 to match the name of it’s organising establishment. Topics of discussions at Davos range from Global economy, Instability, Climate change to Inequality.

WEF Funding

Davos gets it’s funding from 1,000 of the world’s largest corporations who pay annual subscription fees to be members of the association. Davos fees are quite hefty - recently raising it’s subscription fees by 20%, 120 strategic partners were asked to pay $600,000 for their annual subscription. Strategic partners get invited to private sessions for industry leaders.

Invitation Eligibility

To be eligible for an invitation - corporate leaders of organisations must pay an annual subscription fee of $40,000 to be considered. In addition, the chosen participant has to pay conference admission fees around $20,000. These prices would break the bank for most young entrepreneurs, so below are outlined methods to get you through the doors for free.

Getting Invited

(a) As a young leader (Can you inspire a recommendation?)

As a young person looking to make a dent in her local community, an easy way to attend the conference for free would be to be selected to the list of Young Global Leaders (YGL).

Every year WEF selects around 150 YGLs (aged below 40) from thousands of nominations. Active members of the Forum of YGLs get invited; the quota is about 70people each year who get selected to attend WEF.

Link to YGL website: http://www.weforum.org/communities/forum-young-global-leaders

(b) As an authority in your chosen field (Hard work much?)

Rick Warren who has been invited to serve on the panel of speakers for four WEF Davos events states that “Many of the Davos folks had read my book,The Purpose Driven Life, listed in Guinness Book of World Records, as the second most translated book in history (after the Bible) so that opened a door for me.”

In addition to this, Rick is a renown thinker, leading an international network of over 400,000 congregations in 184 countries, allowing him to see and experience the different ways different communities tackle global issues such as: extreme poverty, epidemic diseases, corruption/conflict, illiteracy/ignorance, and spiritual emptiness. So a passion for global causes, an impact in your community, and an expert in you chosen field, can all help getting you noticed by the committee.

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