The COVID-19 pandemic may have prevented the World Economic Forum (WEF), also referred to as “Davos,” from being held in person for the past two years, but it has finally returned and it's in full session. In 2022, Davos will run from May 22–26 and is kicking off with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky addressing the attendees.
Here’s a look at what Davos is, who is allowed to attend, and what it costs.
What is Davos, the World Economic Forum?
The World Economic Forum, also known as “Davos,” is an elite gathering that brings together some of the world’s top political figures and CEOs. The annual event is held in Davos, a tiny village located in the Swiss Alps.
Although Davos usually serves as a vacation hot spot for some of the world’s wealthiest, one week out of the year it transforms into a place where the most powerful and influential people across the globe come together to discuss the more pressing issues the world is up against.
Davos began in 1971 after German professor Klaus Schwab decided he wanted to bring business leaders together “to brainstorm how Europe’s major firms could be more competitive with their American counterparts,” shares CNBC. Schwab reportedly chose Davos as the ideal location to do this since it contained “all the elements for hosting a productive working retreat for top CEOs.”
After successfully bringing together “450 participants from 31 countries,” Schwab continued with the event on an annual basis. But after it was determined that political and economic issues were overlapping, political leaders were invited to attend Davos in 1974. Then, in 1987, the event became officially known as the World Economic Forum.
Today, Davos has an estimated 800 employees, and about 2,500 people attend the event each year.
Who is invited to attend Davos?
The World Economic Forum, which is held at a Swiss ski resort, is an invitation-only conference, according to Business Insider. From CEOs to top politicians and celebrities, Davos welcomes some of the world’s biggest names. People like former President Donald Trump, Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, and Marc Benioff have all attended the World Economic Forum.
This year, well-known names like German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg are expected at the WEF. Each year, the WEF sets a new theme, with the theme in 2022 being “History at a Turning Point: Government Policies and Business Strategies.”
How much does it cost to attend Davos?
In order to attend the World Economic Forum, you must first be offered a membership. Annual memberships cost anywhere between $62,000 and $620,000 each year, according to the New York Post. Those who pay their membership dues can purchase an event ticket for a reported $29,000. Some CEOs might also be required to pay additional fees on top of those mentioned above.
Government employees and those associated with non-profits and media outlets generally aren't required to pay to attend Davos.
What issues will be addressed during the 2022 World Economic Forum?
While WEF, or Davos, is usually held in January, organizers decided to push it to spring of 2022. Some of the issues that are expected to be addressed during the 2022 WEF include the COVID-19 virus, climate change, and the Russian-Ukraine war.