Social Innovators at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Schwab Foundation Highlights Report

Social Innovators at the 50th anniversary

The World Economic Forum’s 50th anniversary provided an opportunity to converge around a set of ethical principles to guide companies in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution through a revised Davos Manifesto. Centered around the theme of Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World, this Annual Meeting was a turning point for many participants to take up responsibility towards an expanded array of stakeholders, including the environment and communities, global and local.

Twenty eight social innovators from around the world attended #wef20 as part of the Schwab Foundation delegation to the 2020 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. Complementing the Annual Meeting's theme, the social innovator community seized all opportunity to showcase social entrepreneurship and innovation is not only a key avenue to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals as we enter the decade to deliver on the SDGs, but also an expression of stakeholder capitalism in action.

The Schwab Foundation community joined world leaders at a time where the issues at the core of the community's work is now front and centre of the global agenda.

Social Innovator Impact at #wef20

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship launched its 2020 Impact Report which showcases the collective impact of the Schwab Foundation social entrepreneur community.

The community has improved the lives of more than 622 million people in 190 countries; distributed $6.7 billion in loans or value of products and services to improve livelihoods; mitigated more than 192 million tonnes of CO2; improved education for more than 226 million children and youth; improved energy access for 100 million people; and driven social inclusion for over 25 million people for people with disabilities, homelessness or refugee status.

Social entrepreneurship, as an organizational expression of social innovation, is the demonstration of alternative working models as we face the current challenges to our planet, our societies and our economies.

It was a unique and special privilege to attend Davos 2020. There is no other event on the global stage which captures the opportunity for us to meet with key commercial partners and investors, and simultaneously learn and develop our social purpose and agenda through the Social Entrepreneurship programme. Davos 2020 moved us forward in a week further than the rest of our year's events programme combined. It was an invaluable experience.

- Chris Sheldrick, what3words

Catalyst 2030, a global movement of social change innovators, collaborating for the first time to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during the decade to deliver. Catalyst 2030 was launched at the Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

It was a literal mountaintop experience full of grave reality check, warm encouragement, and hopeful collaboration that spur me to press onward in making the world a better place for the people and the beautiful environment!

- Tommy Tjiptadjaja, Greenhope

Being part of the 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting 2020 was a life-changing experience that I believe will mark a turning point for d.light. WEF gave us an incredible platform to create new partnership opportunities and to significantly raise our profile in the markets we work in.

- Ned Tozun, d.light

Barefoot International launched a Global South Initiative to dramatically scale its proven ZERO CARBON ‘access to energy’ solution. Exemplifying Climate, Economic, Education and Social, Justice; by and through non formally educated, rural women. 10,000 Barefoot Women Solar Engineers and Enterprise Catalysts. 20 Governments, 5000 communities. 500,000 households 2.5 Million people.

It was a tremendous privilege to have had the opportunity to attend the 50th World Economic Forum Annual Summit and so many high level and strategic opportunities to engage, participate and learn. I have no doubt my attendance will have furthered the Marine Stewardship Council’s determination to engage and accelerate the delivery of solutions to the mood of challenges our oceans face.

- Rupert Howes, Marine Stewardship Council

Rosanne Haggerty was involved with the launch of Data.org: A Platform for Data Science Partnerships, launched by Mastercard and Rockefeller Foundation. $10 Million Challenge launched to help crowdsource solutions to social challenges. This initiative is building on the success of the original DATA.org—launched in 2002 by a group of innovative social entrepreneurs, and rock star and philanthropist Bono, to alleviate debt, AIDS and trade inequalities in Africa. In what ultimately became the ONE Campaign, they focused on driving evidence-based approaches to development.

Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, Ashoka, McKinsey & Company, Catalyst 2030, Co-Impact, Echoing Green, Skoll Foundation and SystemIQ join forces to launch the Embracing complexity – Towards a shared understanding of funding systems change Report

Social Innovators on the Agenda

Showcasing the Power of the Collective

Social innovation, is to be viewed as an ecosystem of pioneering actors with a common purpose, if we are truly to see the models of social entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs transforming the way the world works, in government, business and civil society. But we cannot achieve this individually, only through collective power and action.

Meagan Fallone moderates this session featuring Geoff Mulgan, Phillip Atiba Goff, Njideka Harry, Urvashi Sahni and Jeroo Billimoria.

Unconventional Conversations with Changemakers & Impact Investors

Social innovators explored more radical ways in which we might use market-based approaches and capital, as well as social change movements to address complex intersectoral challenges we face, and reflect on the role of social innovators as part of these broader shifts.

Julie Battilana interviews young changemakers Isabelle Axelsson, FridaysForFuture, Loukina Tille, Climate Strike and Mohamad Al Jounde, Member of the Board, Gharsah Sweden. Followed by a conversation with Fadi Ghandour, Charly Kleissner and Johanna Mair on impact investing.

Corporate Social Innovators on cultivating a Sustainable Business Culture

Business are using complex yet promising mechanisms such as circular, de-carbonised, collaborative and inclusive business models to connect commercial benefit to societal impact. At the heart of these innovations are corporate intrapreneurs, those with new mindsets and competencies, shaping the future of business and driving change from the inside out.

Driving a Sustainable Business Culture session, moderated by Saskia Bruysten featuring social innovators Garance Wattez-Richards, Harald Nusser, Melanie Schultz van Haegen, Meagan Fallone and Omar Ishrak shed light on the experience, concrete outcomes and tools that social intrapreneurs can actively use to bring their initiatives to success. This session also captured the lessons learned from experienced social intrapreneurs from across the globe, grasp the best practices they implemented, and comprehend the challenges they faced during their social innovation journey.

Yunus Social Business, Porticus, Schwab Foundation, INSEAD and the Hoffmann Global Institute for Business & Society – together with a steering group of academics and practitioners – decided to shed more light on the nascent phenomenon of social intrapreneurship through the 'Business as Unusual' report.

Reality of Racial Bias

Racism can be a solvable problem. At his very own betazone session, Phil Atiba Goff explains why racism isn't just a moral issue, it is also a profit and loss issue here.

Watch sessions featuring world class speakers including our social innovator community here

Innovation for Impact

Unique series featuring Social Innovators as they share their strives and successes to achieve global impact

Innovation for Impact Hub Series featuring: Ned Tozun, Tommy Tjiptadjaja, Joseph Thompson, Helinati Hilman and Runa Khan

For all things #wef20, check out our website here