WEF Founder in 'constant fight' to keep corporate interests out
Published 22/01/2014 | 02:30
World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab said he's in a "constant fight" to keep corporate interests from commandeering the annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, even as his organisation collects about $200m from sponsors such as Citigroup, Google. and Accenture.
"We fight the commercialisation of the meeting," Mr Schwab said. "The forum has a great opportunity to tell the business community: You have to act in the global public interest."
It's a balancing act for Mr Schwab - admonishing his corporate benefactors for an over-emphasis on profits while at the same time holding his hand outstretched. Companies each pay €405,000 to become a "strategic partner". In return they get exposure, a larger delegation, roles in panel discussions and media support.
Mr Schwab said he knows many top executives come to Davos only to meet with clients, host dinners and attend parties. He believes his message is getting through nevertheless.