Members of the global business elite will no doubt be disappointed to learn that the World Economic Forum in Davos has been cancelled for the second year running due to the concerns tied to the global COVID pandemic (and not - it's worth pointing out - because of all the emissions created by the private air force of PJs that travel to the remote Alpine skiing village for the annual event).
The event, which had been scheduled to take place between Jan. 17 and 21 of 2022, will instead be "postponed", according to a statement released Monday morning by the WEF.
Due to "continued uncertainty" over the omicron variant, the WEF has been forced to rethink its plans and it's now planned to host the meeting in early summer.
"Current pandemic conditions make it extremely difficult to deliver a global in-person meeting,” it said. "Despite the meeting’s stringent health protocols, the transmissibility of omicron and its impact on travel and mobility have made deferral necessary."
Instead, the global thought leaders, political leaders, and business leaders will gather for a scaled back all-online version of the speeches, talks and forums that make up the bulk of the event (which is better known for its influential parties and backroom dealings).
Last year's brouhaha was cancelled because of the pandemic, then tentatively rescheduled to take place in Singapore over the summer, before ultimately being cancelled because of the global pandemic.
The most recent annual meeting netted the Swiss economy around CHF80 million ($87 million) in 2020, with businesses and hotels taking in some CHF63 million in revenues.
Read the full statement below:
The World Economic Forum will defer its Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, in the light of continued uncertainty over the Omicron outbreak.
The Annual Meeting was scheduled to take place in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland between 17-21 January, 2022. It is now planned for early summer.
Participants will instead join a headline series of State of the World sessions bringing together global leaders online to focus on shaping solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.
Current pandemic conditions make it extremely difficult to deliver a global in-person meeting. Preparations have been guided by expert advice and have benefited from the close collaboration of the Swiss government at all levels.
Despite the meeting’s stringent health protocols, the transmissibility of Omicron and its impact on travel and mobility have made deferral necessary.
The health and safety of everyone involved in physical meetings – participants, collaborators and the host community – have always been the Forum’s priority.
"The deferral of the Annual Meeting will not prevent progress through continued digital convening of leaders from business, government and civil society," said Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. “Public-private cooperation has moved forward throughout the pandemic and that will continue apace. We look forward to bringing global leaders together in person soon.”
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