At the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, the theme was “Collaborative Innovation,” with leaders bringing new ideas to the table for solving the world’s problems.
Gordon Brown called for the IMF to become a “World Bank for the environment as well as development.” “The IMF, the World Bank and the United Nations were built for the problems of the 1940s and can’t deal with the problems we have in 2008,” Brown said.
In a world where baldness gets more attention than Malaria, Microsoft chairman and co-founder Bill Gates has called for ‘’creative capitalism’’ as a new approach for businesses to help stamp out global poverty and diseases. Mayors and executives gathered in recognition of the role water plays in world crises, and began shaping a SlimCity Initiative to address urbanization.
Japan’s Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda announced a $10 billion “Cool Earth Partnership” program to combat global warming. He added that Japan will also be investing about US$ 30 billion in research and development in the environment and energy sectors over the next five years.
In recognition of the need to help impoverished countries become more self-reliant, especially in Africa, Fukuda said the international community will adopt the “self-reliance and mutual cooperation” principle, with development assistance going towards promoting self-help efforts.
The Forum has also adopted a set of ‘Guiding Principles’ for humanitarian relief; and announced a unique, pioneering example of collaboration between several companies and the humanitarian relief sector. The UN and three leading logistics and transport companies are joining forces to create “Logistics Emergency Teams” (LETs) to intervene for the first three to six weeks following natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods or storms.
“The future of humanitarian partnership is collaborative,” said Peter Bakker, TNT’s CEO and the initiator of the initiative. “This is the first time three industry leaders put competition aside to contribute their core competencies to the humanitarian community.”
With world leaders busily redefining problems as opportunities, tapping the power of innovative partnerships, and including a global set of stakeholders, 2008 could be the beginning of a whole wave of solutions which will have collateral benefits for all of us.
It’s going to be an exciting year. Stay tuned!
Photo courtesy of Ghana Cyber Group