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FleishmanHillard’s Patrick Yu to Lead Discussion on Navigating the New World of ESG

September 18, 2023

 When: Sept. 27, 2023 

What: PRovoke Asia-Pacific Summit 

Where: The Westin Singapore, Singapore 

Patrick Yu, general manager of FleishmanHillard in Hong Kong, will lead a conversation on “Navigating the New World of ESG” at the PRovoke Asia-Pacific Summit on Sept. 27. The event takes place at the Westin Singapore.  

The panel will discuss upcoming opportunities and challenges in sustainability related communications for global multinational corporations in Asia from regulatory and communications perspectives. 

 Yu will be joined on stage by: 

  • Joachim Goh, Head, Industry Development and Strategy, National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre 
  • Sammie Leung, Partner, Regional ESG Services, PwC Asia Pacific 
  • Angela Ling, Director of Marketing and Communications, Asia-Pacific, LaSalle Investment Management 
  • Shweta Shukla, Head of Strategy, Communications & Corporate Affairs, Unilever International 

The PRovoke Asia-Pacific Summit will feature PR industry leaders exploring the profession’s ability to address critical challenges across the APAC region.  

Get more information about the PRovoke Asia-Pacific Summit


FleishmanHillard’s Rachel Catanach to Speak on How GenAI is Transforming Marketing

September 7, 2023

When: Sept. 12, 2023

What: Generative AI World Conference

Where: The Royal Sonesta Hotel, Cambridge, MA

FleishmanHillard’s Rachel Catanach, senior partner and New York general manager, will be a speaker on the “How GenAI is Transforming Marketing” panel at the Generative AI World Conference on Sept. 12. The event takes place at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, MA.  

The panel will tackle topics such as how marketing as a profession is being transformed by GenAI, along with real-world examples of breakthrough creative projects and practical advice on scaling marketing organizations to take advantage of the productivity and quality benefits of using GenAI.

Find out more about the Generative AI World Conference here.


FleishmanHillard’s David Eckstein to Speak on the Importance of Partnerships to Drive In-House Success

May 23, 2023

When: May 25, 2023

Where: New York Hilton Midtown Hotel

FleishmanHillard’s David Eckstein, senior vice president and global director of creative and production operations, will be a guest on the “Importance of Partnerships to Drive In-House Success” panel as part of the inaugural Creative Production New York 2023 Conference. The event takes place on May 25 at the Hilton Midtown Hotel in New York City.

The Creative Production New York 2023 conference will feature keynote speeches, networking and panel discussions geared toward creative operations professionals. For more information, click here.  


FleishmanHillard Sponsors The Next Move: Evolving the Role of Healthcare Companies at PRWeek Healthcare Conference

May 22, 2023

When: May 24, 2-2:25 p.m. EDT

Where: City Winery, 25 11th Ave, New York, NY 10011

Expectations of healthcare and pharmaceutical companies are shifting rapidly, accelerated by the pandemic, social justice movements and the coming of age of advanced technology in the sector. “The Next Move: Evolving the Role of Healthcare Companies” seminar will provide valuable insight into how effective corporate brand positioning in healthcare is more important than ever to build lasting stakeholder relationships and deliver on the promise of better health for all.

Featured speakers include Liz Skrbkova, director of commercial communications for Novo Nordisk, Inc., Rachel Catanach, senior partner and general manager of FleishmanHillard’s New York office and moderator Jacob Porpossian, global executive creative director, Health and Life Sciences, at FleishmanHillard. The discussion takes place on Wednesday, May 24 from 2 to 2:25 p.m. EDT at the City Winery in New York City (25 11th Ave, New York, NY 10011).

This FleishmanHillard sponsored seminar is part of the PRWeek Healthcare Conference + Awards 2023. For more information, go here.


FleishmanHillard’s Della Sweetman to Participate in “Will & Skill to Lead” Panel Discussion

March 21, 2023

When: Wednesday, March 22, 2023, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EDT

Where: Zoom

Get career development expertise from FleishmanHillard’s Della Sweetman, chief business development officer, and other leaders from within the Omnicom network via the latest installment of the virtual Sisterhood Summit: The Will & Skill to Lead. Panel topics will include how to overcome obstacles and the best ways to become an advocate for yourself and others.

To attend this virtual Zoom event, register here.


FleishmanHillard’s Della Sweetman Appears on Real Talk Panel

March 10, 2023

When: March 14, 6-8:30 p.m. EDT

Where: 195 Broadway, 4th Floor, New York, NY

In the current competitive job market, communications, design and creative industries can find it challenging to recruit talent. Get valuable insight into how to attract the best talent and develop careers from business professionals at Real Talk on Tuesday, March 14 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. EDT at 195 Broadway, 4th Floor in New York City. Join LAGRANT Foundation alumni scholars and Omnicom C-suite leaders, including FleishmanHillard’s Della Sweetman, chief business development officer, for an evening of networking and panel discussions.

To RSVP, contact Christie Sithiphone at [email protected].


Adrianne Smith to Speak at Dubai Lynx

March 9, 2023

When: March 14, 15:40 GST

Where: Dubai Lynx Festival, Madinat Jumeirah Dubai

Our Adrianne Smith, chief diversity and inclusion officer, will partner with Damon Jones, global chief communications officer at Procter & Gamble, to host the “Inclusion – We All Agree, But Now What” discussion at the Dubai Lynx Festival on March 14th in Dubai. They will explore DE&I topics, including how being more inclusive and providing access and opportunities to under-represented communities has transformed young lives and the creative industry.

Dubai Lynx brings MENA’s creative and communications industries together to learn, network and celebrate the power of creativity while discovering the latest trends, ideas and technologies that shape the future of advertising and marketing. For further information, click here.


Davos Digest 2023 — Issue Six

January 23, 2023
Mountain view of Switzerland

Welcome to Issue Six of FleishmanHillard’s Davos Digest 2023.  

Dissecting Davos 

It was an intense week at Davos, with a mountain of meetings, a profusion of schmoozing, and opulent parties aplenty. But the great and the good are now home, as everyone reflects on what the week meant for politics, people and the planet. 

Now it’s time to look back at those last five days and explore the stories that stole the headlines and stormed on social. 

Following our specialist sector news and global perspectives over the past five issues, this latest instalment of Davos Digest features analysis from FleishmanHillard’s research and measurement practice, TRUE Global Intelligence. Check out what news and events captured the imagination of the world’s press and drove the greatest volume and engagement across key social platforms. 

Our Alpine analysis 

The following overall analysis gauges media and public interest in topics linked to Davos 2023 using volume and engagement metrics as indicators.  

  • Overall, there were 3.5M social and online media mentions of the summit between 16 and 20 January. This is nearly twice as many as for the last year’s summit (1.8M), which is unsurprising given last May’s event was a scaled-down version of Davos in a post-pandemic era. 
  • Key moments, whether by volume or engagement, included the following: 
  1. The mounting pressure on Germany to provide military aid for Ukraine was remarked on, both on media and social media. A widely shared Politico article commented on Germany’s deliberately low profile on the subject at Davos while chancellor Olaf Scholz was heavily criticised on social media. 
  1. The protests in Iran were another salient topic shaping the meeting’s political agenda. European Commission President Ursula van der Leyen’s backing for listing Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organisation was among the most-shared news content on social media. Meanwhile, the hashtag #MahsaAmini was among the top-trending on Twitter. 
  1. The open letter by more than 200 members of the ‘super rich’ calling on governments to introduce wealth taxes to tackle inequality gained public notice, although it was also met by a great deal of scepticism as a ‘PR move’.   
  1. Once again, climate activists captured media and public interest by not mincing their words as they addressed the current state of affairs. Fresh from her arrest in Germany, Greta Thunberg called out the hypocrisy of the attendees while Al Gore delivered an animated speech featuring apocalyptic climate scenarios. The widespread use of private jets, as the preferred means of transport to yet another event with a strong climate agenda, also did not escape public attention. 
  1. Further layoffs in the tech sector were at the forefront of the internet community’s mind. Especially when it emerged that Microsoft had held an invite-only Sting concert for execs just before it announced layoffs of 10,000 employees. Reddit users particularly reacted to the news which became the platform’s most popular discussion thread from the entire event (43K upvotes and 2.4K comments). 
  1. With Davos no longer the Hollywood A-lister magnet, tabloids had to get creative with their reporting. The rising demand for sex workers during the summit was reported by the Daily Mail, The New York Post, Germany’s Bild and The Spectator (US) and drove substantial online engagement. 
  1. Despite his absence from the forum, Elon Musk still made his presence felt. Amidst conflicting accounts on whether or not Musk was invited to the summit, he was outspoken in his criticism of WEF and riled up his fans and opponents on Twitter through public opinion polls on WEF’s mandate
  1. As usual, citizen journalism and fringe media reporting were rife during the forum, mainly criticising the event itself, multilateralism and globalisation as a whole. One news report gaining high traction on social media staged a ‘walking press conference’ with the Pfizer CEO, Albert Bourla. 
  • Articles with the highest engagement rates: 


  • Social posts with the highest engagement rate: 
  1. Rand Paul: This is the danger of a one-world government – YouTube, Fox News: 1.3M views 
  1. A tweet from Avi Yemini questioning NYT deputy managing editor Rebecca Blumenstein about how impartial the NYT is if they are “an invited guest” at Davos: 57.3K engagements 
  1. The news that Davos security had detained far-right journalist Jack Posobiec – 55.4K 


  • Top Twitter hashtags used by volume (other than #Davos, #WEF etc) 
  1. #Pfizer – 20.2K times 
  1. #GreatReset – 11.4K 
  1. #Ukraine – 10.8K times 
  1. #Agenda2030 – 7.8K times 
  1. #MahsaAmini – 7K times 


  • Top Twitter and YouTube authors by engagements: 
  1. @elonmusk – 9 posts, 714.6K engagements – the business magnate and Twitter CEO, mainly venting about the event he may or may not have been invited to 
  1. @OzraeliAvi – 17 posts, 487K engagements – right-wing activist and RebelNews correspondent going after pharma CEOs, activists and mainstream media 
  1. @NasDaily – 1 post, 279K engagements – Indian YouTuber providing light-hearted reporting from the event 
  1. @PeterSweden – 11 posts, 189K engagements – a controversial Swedish far-right freelance journalist Peter Imanuelsen 
  1. @RWMaloneMD – 3 posts, 148K engagements – a MD, famous for his anti-vaccine stance 


The analysis encompassed global media and social data collected between January 16 and 20 using a combination of media and social media monitoring tools. Social media data covers Twitter, YouTube, Reddit and Facebook. 


Davos Digest 2023 – Issue Five

January 20, 2023
Mountain view of Switzerland

Welcome to Issue Five of FleishmanHillard’s Davos Digest 2023. 

Views from around the world 

It’s been a hectic week for our team of avid WEF watchers, exploring the hottest events, announcements and even scandals amongst the super-rich and the über-powerful at the first proper Davos since the pandemic. 

An inevitably sombre agenda this year, tackling everything from war and climate catastrophe to energy price chaos and widening inequity. There were major job cuts at tech giants, attacks on profit over people and the planet, and the conspicuous absence of top-tier heads of state. But hope was the surprise guest at Davos, as the elite crowd also expressed optimism about the recent slowdown in inflation, a bounce back from the coronavirus, and adjustment to the impact of the war in Ukraine. 

But it’s not over yet. In this issue, hear global perspectives on the Swiss summit of all summits from our experts across the FleishmanHillard network. 

Brussels, Belgium

Amelie Snijders, Senior Account Executive, FleishmanHillard Brussels 

The EU takes global stage with its new Green Industrial Plan 

On Tuesday, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, used WEF as her platform to introduce the “EU Green Deal Industrial Plan”. In recent weeks, the EU has been under pressure to provide a response to the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which many fear might damage the competitiveness of EU industry. Tuesday’s announcement illustrates Brussels’ focus on channeling investment towards sectors that are critical to the EU’s achievement of its net-zero targets.  

As part of the Plan, in classic EU fashion, it will publish a new Net-Zero Industry Act to identify the strategic clean tech sectors in Europe – such as wind, solar and hydrogen – which could benefit from both increased investment and fast-tracked permitting procedures for local production. Secondly, the EU will revamp its state aid rules, loosening the conditions under which governments can support their national industries. As a next step, it will also assess the willingness for a new EU Sovereignty Fund to scale up clean tech. Lastly, it will attempt to increase skills levels, and conclude more free trade agreements. 

This move towards a stronger industrial policy is expected to be welcomed by European industries that have been suffering from high inflation rates and the ongoing energy crisis. Nevertheless, it is likely to unleash a new wave of debate over which sectors should be considered as strategic to the green transition. In this respect, it could align with the sectors supported by the U.S. IRA to prevent the risk of EU industries relocating across the Atlantic. Despite this, the EU is adamant it is not closing the door on free trade. Instead, it is forging its own path, combining decarbonisation with a more pragmatic financing approach to maintain its place in the green industrial transition. A journey worth keeping an eye on. 


Christina Wong, Account Executive, FleishmanHillard Hong Kong 

Hong Kong: Open and back in business 

China’s recent reopening and its role as a driver of global economic growth has been a key topic, especially of late. With so many changes at home, it’s understandable that few high-profile Hong Kong attendees were at Davos this year. Nevertheless, the media watched as Hong Kong’s leaders took to panel discussions to update the world on the latest happenings in the Hong Kong market. 

Laura Cha Shih May-lung, Chairman of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), stated that China’s reopening will be the major event of the year. She outlined several expected benefits to global and domestic growth, focusing on increased consumption, tourism and pickups in the manufacturing sector. Cha reaffirmed Hong Kong’s goals to become a hub for technology, particularly biotech. Lastly, she said that emerging markets, which remained resilient during the pandemic, will also be growth drivers as investor sentiment returns. 

Paul Chan Mo-po, Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary, also spoke at Davos. Like Cha, he pointed out expected increases in tourism and consumption as well as “signs of a stabilization” in Hong Kong’s property market. Chan was optimistic about the city’s IPO market and stated that the city hopes to lure Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern companies to list in the city, saying that Hong Kong can help them diversify and manage risk. 

In another panel, Nicholas Aguzin, CEO of HKEX, pointed to the consumption and tourism sectors as the greatest beneficiaries from reopening, particularly with increased disposable income from Chinese consumers. Aguzin also expressed optimism about Hong Kong’s IPO market, saying that HK has a strong line-up this year, particularly in tech. 

Though the past few years have left Hong Kong facing an uphill battle, Asia’s World City is aware of its strengths and is doing its utmost to leverage them. Only time will tell whether Hong Kong will step back into its pre-pandemic role or write a new story for itself. 


Michael Hartt, Senior Partner and Head of International Affairs, FleishmanHillard UK 

United Kingdom: Davos Shows the Difficulty Now, Uncertainty Ahead  

As ever, Davos prompted a debate – sometimes genuine, sometimes mocking – amongst UK media, business leaders and other stakeholders about the impact of a summit of global elites. This year brought a particular sense of the disconnect between the UK’s acute challenges and the discussions in Switzerland, even amongst those who embrace the annual meeting.  

The ‘polycrisis’ debated at Davos is having a real-world economic and social impact upon British people. The cost-of-living crisis, a winter of strikes by public sector workers, and a National Health Service seemingly on the verge of collapse both reflect and cause pain. We will hear more about extreme wealth versus extreme poverty in the months ahead. 

The broader economic picture is equally conflicted. The UK remains the only G7 country with a lower GDP than pre-pandemic and on a negative growth trajectory. While former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney praised the UK’s potential at Davos, some economists back home warned of another decade of stagnancy. Comparisons to Italy and Argentina, rather than the U.S. and Germany, popped up in several places. 

With Prime Minister Rishi Sunak skipping Davos and introducing the UK’s ‘Levelling Up’ local investment funds, Labour Party Leader Sir Keir Starmer and Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves seized the opportunity to strengthen the party’s relationship with global business leaders. Labour continues to hold a 15-20 point lead over the Conservatives, but reinforcing its credibility on economic issues will be vital. That includes articulating Labour’s ambition to improve post-Brexit economic and trade ties with the EU. 

UK leaders carefully avoided becoming entangled in the growing trade and investment tensions between the U.S. and EU. The country cannot jeopardise the relationship with the White House by criticising or retaliating against the Inflation Reduction Act’s green investment incentives, but must ensure it is not cast aside by businesses as the U.S. and EU turbocharge green industries.  

And this may be the UK’s takeaway from Davos. With difficulty now and uncertainty in the future, how does one of the world’s leading economies, currently sluggish and vulnerable, simply not get left behind?  


Anna Jankowska, Associate Director, FleishmanHillard Warsaw 

Poland: Bridge to Freedom 

The main theme of the Polish House at this year’s Davos was chosen to accentuate humanitarian aid provided to refugees from Ukraine, while underlining Poland as a country connecting economies of the East and West, and a potential foreign investment destination in the era of deglobalization. 

“Never before has Davos been so close to Kiev” underlined Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki during a press conference, clearly indicating that Ukraine remained at the center of attention and discussions led during Davos focusing on military support, as well as the future prospect of rebuilding the country from post-war damage. Major leaders discussed the prospects of NATO 2023 Vilnius Summit and the Allies’ future role in supporting Ukraine.  

During the Polish House debates, it was emphasized that recent years have shown the fragility of current supply chains, which have been disrupted or even completely broken during the pandemic and the Ukraine war. The current global situation favors a transition to the approach of international business from globalization to regionalization. This is a very important moment for Central and Eastern Europe and particularly Poland, which is a key market in the region being closer to investors, and with the potential to become a regional manufacturing and operations hub for investments from Asia or new investments. As highlighted, Poland’s strengths include consistent GDP growth and the economy’s resilience to crises, NATO membership and allied security guarantees. EU membership also gives investors in Poland access to the European single market with a favorable business environment, but also to an exceptional talent pool.  

Energy sovereignty, accelerated technology development, cybersecurity and the digital economy were other areas that stood out on the agenda. During one of the debates, Polish Deputy Prime Minister and State Assets Minister, Jacek Sasin, underlined that energy independence is a priority in the context of Europe’s future and indicated nuclear power as a way to address contemporary energy challenges. He also made a commitment to launch three new nuclear power plants in Poland in the next 10 to 12 years. 


Michael Schmidt, Partner and Public Affairs Lead, FleishmanHillard Washington, D.C. 

U.S. officials catch flak for Inflation Act amid debt concerns 

The U.S. highlights for this year’s Davos were global angst about the Inflation Reduction Act enacted last year, whether the U.S. would default on debt due to political dysfunction caused by divided control of Congress, and staunch support for Ukraine expressed by lawmakers from both parties.  

The gathering was snubbed by the White House and the most senior Biden administration officials. As Bloomberg wrote “there was a low-level grumble: Where are the Americans?” 

John Kerry, former senator and secretary of state who now serves as the U.S.’s climate envoy, was there, generating headlines in the U.S. for defending the UAE’s decision to make their oil minister president of the UN COP28 climate summit being held later this year. 

But U.S. media coverage gave far more attention to current members of Congress, especially Senator Joe Manchin, the moderate Democrat influential in key bills lawmakers have debated over the past few years. Politico dubbed Manchin the “newfound Davos Man” for shuttling around the forum, trying to persuade allies about the Inflation Reduction Act without success. European officials believe the new law and its $380 billion in incentives for clean and low-carbon technologies discriminate against their manufacturers. 

Senator Chris Coons, a close ally of President Biden, and other members of Congress caught flak for the law, throughout the week. As a CNBC headline blared, the “threat of a transatlantic trade war is dominating Davos.” 

Manchin and Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s high five for opposing lowering the long-standing Senate filibuster, which forces bipartisanship by requiring bills to get 60 votes to clear the chamber, received significant attention from U.S. reporters.  

The debt ceiling was also a major topic of discussion, with headlines dubbing the “U.S. debt standoff” as a “major risk ahead for markets.” Pressure on Washington to solve the issue escalated when the U.S. hit its $31.4 trillion debt limit.  

U.S. news coverage also pointed to optimism in Davos that any economic recession would be shallow, even with the risk that Washington stumbles on the debt ceiling and ongoing concerns about the war and inflation.  

Finally, media also noted the strong, bipartisan support for Ukraine, surprising given recent Republican pushback on aid packages sought by the Biden administration.  


Sharon Piehl, Senior Partner & General Manager, FleishmanHillard Johannesburg  

Confronting the energy crisis  

South Africa showed strong representation at WEF this year, with a 51-strong delegation in attendance – the largest from Africa. Unfortunately, President, Cyril Ramaphosa had to withdraw at the last minute due to the ongoing energy crisis.   

This crisis set the tone for key conversations from government and business leaders at Davos, focusing on the impact on the economy and ongoing foreign direct investment (FDI).  

Over and above SA’s local issues, a critical, and ongoing focus for the South African delegation was in driving the Pan-African messaging. Including how to solve the issues Africa faces as a continent, created either by global events, such as the war in Ukraine, recovery from the pandemic, as well as local issues such as ensuring FDI continues and the possible consideration of a digital currency by the South African Reserve Bank.   

From an African perspective, the Forum Friends of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was a keen focus. This initiative is aimed at creating one African market by eliminating borders and promoting trade and production across all sectors in Africa; coupled with trying to rally support from business across the world to bolster the implementation of the initiative.  

Given SA’s influence on the continent, the impact of the ongoing energy crisis has been and will continue to negatively impact not only on the country but sub-Saharan Africa. Ramaphosa’s non-attendance to focus on a solution, the publishing of the latest report to achieve energy security, and the delegation’s various interactions with business and key leaders to provide assurance of the appetite to resolve the crisis.  

Whilst as a country we are very aware of our challenges and the hurdles we need to overcome, it is imperative to give an impetus to a clear strategy coupled with rapid, laser-focused implementation to address the energy crisis. If we don’t, we run the risk of the energy crisis worsening, further crippling the economy and losing out on FDI, which will have massive ramifications for SA and possibly further afield on the African continent. 


Ronak Thakkar, Account Director, FleishmanHillard Middle East 

The Middle East Uprising 

The Middle East has been a topic of discussion over the years for various reasons, but the geopolitical crisis and climate change are the most important part of conversations every single year.  

2023 was different for the region’s position at Davos. The UAE government reiterated its commitment to unlocking opportunities for the future through its Future Possibilities Index, Saudi brought back Youth Majlis pavilion, and a few private companies addressed the concerns of today to rebuild the economies for the future. 

The Middle East’s urgency to act was yet another thing we saw roar like a lion at the forum, for the benefit of the future and on humanitarian grounds. The regional press covered the UAE’s leadership around the need to act fast and design governments that are forward-thinking as one of the best approaches. 

At the same time, the media also highlighted the voices of Iranian women heard by Davos delegates, asking for the West to step up on an international response to Tehran’s human rights abuse. 

The unstable geopolitical relations between U.S. and China and their impact on the global economy were also heavily discussed in the Middle Eastern press. The impact not only on the worldwide energy crisis but also on the global trade flow is concerning for industry leaders. “That disrupts the market in a big way … today we need to see supply chain resilience continue, we need to see the ability to supply cargo,” commented Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem of DP World on the global supply chain

A record number of Arab heads of state participated in various discussions at the summit. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s efforts over the years in global geopolitical events have paved the way for the stabilization of the region. Commenting on Arab presence at Davos this year, Maroun Kairouz, WEF’s head of the MENA region said, “I think, in short, it is their time to shine”. 

It is predicted that if the world enters a recession, just like in 2008, the Gulf countries are yet again expected to be at the forefront of efforts to stabilize the global markets. 

Join us soon for an in-depth summary of Davos 2023 in Issue Six of the Davos Digest.  


Davos Digest 2023 – Issue Four

January 19, 2023
Mountain view of Switzerland

Welcome to Issue Four of FleishmanHillard’s Davos Digest 2023. 

Our latest must-read instalment is kicking off with a decidedly green agenda and an attack on the conference’s elite crowd.  

Greta Thunberg created more headlines on Thursday when she and fellow activists confronted the man in charge of regulating global energy at a Fridays For Future debate. Thunberg argued it’s “absurd” to be listening to the people who are the main perpetrators of the climate crisis. To be confirmed on whether she grabbed popcorn for Oliver Stone’s new movie promoting nuclear power, which played to a packed audience at Davos. 

But it’s not only the future of planet Earth that’s at stake. The European Space Agency was pushing a ‘zero debris’ policy that would mandate companies and governments to remove any space junk launched from Earth and safeguard astronauts and spacecraft. Time will tell if action is taken now or a long time ahead in a galaxy far, far away. 

In other news, there is a mountain-sized question mark over the future of Mr Davos himself, Klaus Schwab, who has run the forum for over half a century. He’s been accused by former and current WEF employees of surrounding himself with “nobodies” and being a “law unto himself.” Former UK prime minister Tony Blair is one of the leading figures being looked at as his eventual successor. Was he really at Davos to do a recce? 

Check out the latest from our avid WEF watchers in today’s Davos Digest and be sure to return here for global and on-the-ground insights coming up soon. 


Davos does DE&I well 

Looking beyond the rainbow: Continuing its commitment to DE&I, WEF’s Partnership for Global LGBTQI+ Equality launched ‘Pride on the Promenade’, a rainbow light display across the Davos Promenade. Beyond the multi-coloured display of hope, recent law changes and expansion of rights across several countries were discussed at the Advancing LGBTQI+ Rights panel, and changes in the corporate world at the GLAAD panel.  

Women of WEF: Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin created another viral moment this week as she deflected questions about her “role as a very young woman in this very important job.” Whilst remarkable, this pithy moment of table-turning vindication for women somewhat overshadowed actress and activist Nazanin Boniadi as she spoke out against the continued oppression of women in Iran. 

Looking ahead: Remarkable optimism persists at this week’s DE&I conversations despite political turmoil and the ongoing global backdrop of inequality. Conversations are refocusing on pragmatic next steps and diverse paths towards equitable solutions in the face of stalling efforts around equality. With some of the most productive discussions going on, it’s no wonder Politico called the Equality Lounge on the Promenade “one of the best places to be this week.”  


What have the world’s entrepreneurs been up to?  

Scaling solutions towards a sustainable future: During the Davos press conference on Trailblazing Entrepreneurs Tackling the World’s Biggest Problems, Joe Ucuzoglu, Global CEO of Deloitte, explained that if we are going to make headway, we need to tap into entrepreneurial spirit across all areas of the globe. Ucuzoglu said scaling innovative start-ups, which will accelerate progress towards our global sustainability goals, is our path to cities of the future.  

Join the ‘eco-preneur’ revolution: During a press conference, Suzanne DiBianca, Chief Impact Officer at Salesforce, echoed the Deloitte CEO’s remarks, expressing how incredible it is to see innovation developing at a global scale. The ‘eco-preneur’ revolution, as she calls it, is a big part of Salesforce’s work. Climate-minded entrepreneurs have helped the company use a carbon intelligence platform, like Moody’s credit ratings system, but for carbon projects using satellite technology. DiBianca argued we need to join the effort led by climate-minded entrepreneurs. 

Social entrepreneurs educating our youth: Okay, but let’s get specific. How are entrepreneurs really tackling the world’s biggest problems? Lindiwe Matlali, CEO of Africa Teen Geeks, explained how this social enterprise teaches children and unemployed youth how to code, exposes them to computer science and inspires a future generation of technology entrepreneurs and innovators. Research suggests there are millions of social entrepreneurs working in Africa, and social enterprises are estimated to directly create between 28 and 41 million jobs. Matlali reaffirmed that investment in young people is the long-term way to go.  

Looking ahead: What’s next for our corporates on the final day of Davos? We’re talking start-ups. geopolitical tensions, inflation and supply disruptions impacting start-ups worldwide are resulting in a lack of free-flowing capital. What’s the new formula for calculating the valuation of a start-up? We’ll soon find out. 


Future-proofing the health industry and care economy 

CEOs on change: Last night saw the CEOs of healthcare heavyweights Philips, Novartis and Merck gather to discuss future-proofing the health and life sciences industry. The consensus? Harnessing AI and technology, regulatory consistency and focusing on mental health are key to driving innovation and adapting to a turbulent era. 

Mind the trust gap: More than half of patients have had experiences that damaged their trust in their healthcare provider, according to a survey by Sanofi. Figures are significantly higher for minority groups and those with intersectional identities. The findings have prompted Sanofi to launch its A Million Conversations initiative. The company is pledging €50 million over the next decade to increase trust between underrepresented communities and healthcare stakeholders, conduct research and run events to promote dialogue and ultimately improve health outcomes. 

Caregivers in crisis: A shifting global demographic means ever-increasing pressure on social infrastructure. There’s a call for significant investment in elderly and child care, to the tune of trillions, in order to maintain societal health over the next few decades, according to a panel of business leaders and politicians. The issue is especially crucial for women, who often bear both the physical and mental burden of care work. 

Looking ahead: Tune in on day five for a panel on taking new approaches to medicine as life expectancies rise, as well as a discussion on the value of interdisciplinary collaboration for advancing scientific research. 


UK on the global stage  

Boris at breakfast: This morning, former UK prime minister Boris Johnson spoke at the Davos breakfast briefing on Ukraine after receiving an honorary “Citizen of Kyiv” medal from Mayor Vitali Klitschko last night. He insisted Putin will not use nuclear weapons as it would create economic paralysis, comparing the Russian leader to “the fat boy in Dickens who wants to make our flesh creep.” Johnson also urged delegates they need to give “Volodymyr Zelensky the tools he needs to finish the job.” This mirrors the message Zelensky and First Lady Olena Zelenska both pushed during their respective appearances at Davos – that Ukraine urgently needs support from its global allies.   

Down the slippery slope of protectionism: Despite Rishi Sunak not being present at this year’s Davos, the UK government has been represented and on Thursday morning it was current Business Secretary Grant Shapps’ turn. Speaking on a panel, he expressed concerns about the U.S.’s Inflation Reduction Act, saying “the IRA, at the edges, is dangerous because it could lead to a slide towards protectionism.” However, Shapps later faced some debate when IEA chief Fatih Birol said at a CNBC panel that the IRA is a “very transformative move,” and hopes other countries will respond to help meet clean energy goals.   

Starmer’s Britain will be open for business: The leader of the Labour Party also spoke at Davos this afternoon during the ‘Repowering the World’ panel. He is the first Labour leader to attend the meeting since Ed Miliband and used his appearance to discuss how he would lead the UK through the current global crises. He said the country needs a strategy for renewables that would tackle high bills and create energy security. He also took the opportunity for some political point scoring, stating the “absence of the UK” has been pressed on him during his time in Davos and arguing that his presence there is a statement of the international role that Britain will play if there is a change of government.   

Looking ahead: There have been three major topics of discussion at this year’s Davos, topics that have also dominated political discussions for some time. We have seen climate change, the war in Ukraine and global economic crises top the agenda and it’s unlikely this will change much over the coming months. Davos has highlighted many reasons to be optimistic about the future, as well as areas where there needs to be a global effort for improvement.   


Challenging times for tech 

Tough days ahead at Microsoft: At Davos, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, who’s jumped from panels to interviews in the Swiss Alps, announced Microsoft would cut 10,000 jobs and take a $1.2 billion charge to earnings. From another corner of the village, Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said he was not currently planning any company-wide layoffs

Cloudy with a chance of cyber storm: In the wake of systemic geopolitical shifts in 2022, this year’s WEF dedicated a special place to cybersecurity. On day three, a panel including INTERPOL Secretary-General Jürgen Stock, and Palo Alto’s CEO Nikesh Arora predicted an expansion of the threat landscape. Davos might be missing snow this year, but the cyber storm is gathering. 

Looking ahead: Tech has had a rough start to the year, of which Davos is just an illustration. The industry is trimming down tens of thousands of employees as former cash cows, such as cloud computing, are taking a hit from a maturing market and squeezed budgets. On the other hand, tech giants are shifting towards niche growth drivers, such as AI and cybersecurity, which have been the shining stars of this year’s WEF.  

Don’t miss out on more global insights from the Swiss slopes in the next Davos Digest.