WEF at Davos 2020: Jan. 21-24

Upon entering the WEF site yesterday, this fascinating video from last year was featured:

A preview of the lofty conference from wsws: ‘Climate change “spin” as Davos gathering confronts mounting environmental and economic crisis’, Nick Beams, 20 January 2020

“The World Economic Forum (WEF), which holds its annual meeting this week in Davos, Switzerland, has tried in recent years to feign concern about the welfare of society as it brings together the ultra-wealthy, government and media representatives and the heads of major corporations to defend the profit system. This year’s gathering is no exception.
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In an endeavour to promote the organisation’s “progressive” credentials, WEF founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab has called on corporate chiefs to “show leadership” and commit to achieving zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner. The WEF has lined up a group of climate change activists, including the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, to address the participants on the need for urgent action.

As a pointed comment by a Financial Times columnist put it: “The hills are alive with the sound of environmental spin.”

The WEF’s own assessments make clear, however, that nothing can or will be done to halt the mounting climate disaster within the framework of the capitalist, nation-state system that the forum defends in the face of rising global social opposition.

In a briefing paper on the zero emissions challenge, the WEF cited a November 2019 report from the United Nations which showed that four years since the Paris Agreement, global emissions had risen by 1.5 percent per year over the past decade, with no signs of peaking. This occurred under conditions where a reduction of 5 percent per year is needed just to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C. If the present trajectory continues, it noted, the world is projected to warm by 3–5 degrees C by the end of the century “with catastrophic effects on human civilization.”

But as the WEF report acknowledged, the deadline is much closer. It stated: “The coming decade will decide whether humanity can achieve the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C. Without a meaningful reduction in emissions in the next five years, the ability to act will increasingly be lost, resulting in damage that could become irreversible.”

The world, it said, needed “cohesive and swift international action.” But this remained “wishful thinking” and so individual governments and corporations “can and should move ahead with unilateral initiatives.” Such a prospect remains as far-fetched as international collaboration.

As the report noted, so far only 67 countries, none of them among the top five emitters, have committed to the goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions. It acknowledged that “most countries with this commitment have not enacted sufficiently robust policies to attain the emissions reductions required.”
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The WEF’s call for “stakeholder capitalism” in which corporations, according to Schwab, should act not just as profit-seeking entities but as “trustees of society,” is a pipe dream.
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The mounting social and protest movements over global warming are not the only concern of the WEF. Its Global Risks Report points to the downward pressure on the global economy from “macroeconomic fragilities and financial inequality” that continued to intensify throughout 2019, increasing the risk of economic stagnation as “rising trade barriers, lower investment and high debt are straining economies around the world.”

It noted in its assessment of global risks that compounding the economic factors is “widespread discontent with current economic systems, perceived to be rigged and unfair.”

The WEF commented that “Profound citizen discontent—born of disapproval of the way governments are addressing economic and social challenges—has sparked protests throughout the world, potentially weakening the ability of governments to take decisive action should a downturn occur.”

The conclusions are not specifically drawn. But what is being pointed to here is that the kind of “decisive action” taken in 2008–2009, when governments and central banks handed out trillions of dollars to finance capital and imposed austerity conditions on the mass of the population, may provoke mass social opposition and social revolution if repeated in response to another economic and financial collapse. And the signs of such a collapse are becoming ever more apparent.
………………………………………….
The picture presented by the WEF’s own analysis is of a socio-economic system heading for catastrophe on every front for which the ruling elites gathered at Davos have no answer and which their policies will exacerbate. It will not be prevented by the fiction of “stakeholder capitalism” but through the enactment of the only realistic agenda: the conscious political struggle of the working class for a higher social order, that is, international socialism.”

From the comments underneath: ‘I co-founded Occupy Wall Street. Now I’m headed to Davos. Why? Rejecting Davos is easy when one hasn’t been invited. Now that I have a chance to go, I want to discover its revolutionary potential, Micah White, theguardian.com, Jan. 18, 2019

This is the main portal to the current meeting of the Masters of the Universe and their token aspirants; WEF: ‘Committed to Improving the State of the World since 1971’) Their Platforms tab is long and full, as is their Agenda tab.

Apparently this year’s theme is: Stakeholders for a cohesive and sustainable world.  Their Live Blog is here; ya won’t want to miss a minute, so scroll on down!

This purports to be ‘Leaked information; ‘The confidential list of everyone attending the 2020 World Economic Forum in D’, qz.com, Jan. 20, 2020, although you need to sign in via email address to unlock it, seemingly for One Peek only.  I did spy one Quatari and one Saudi on the list. Otherwise, cnbc.com has this short list, Jan. 14, 2020

Fascinating, if enigmatic:

Ahead of 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that he will not attend the event, according to Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi on Tuesday.

During his weekly press conference while talking to reporters, Mousavi said Zarif was scheduled to attend the Davos meeting, but “they abruptly changed the schedule despite the primary planning and the official invitation”.

Therefore, Zarif will not participate in the forum in Davos.”

 This year’s session on Twitter.
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For a further wsws perspective: ‘The oligarchs assemble at Davos’, 21 January 2020, wsws.org, Niels Neimuth, (a squib or three):

“WEF founder Klaus Schwab warned in a statement ahead of the meeting that the world is at a “critical crossroads,” noting that, “People are revolting against the economic ‘elites’ they believe have betrayed them.”

Indeed, the meeting is being held amid a global upsurge of social protest over the past year from Chile and Puerto Rico to Sudan and Algeria, Iraq and Lebanon, Hong Kong and India and the United States and Mexico.

Across the world, protests fueled by growing social and economic inequality are continuing and are expected to grow in 2020, including in France, where the year began with mass strikes against President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed pension cuts.

Ahead of its meeting, the WEF published a global risks report noting that members ranked “domestic political polarization” in a virtual tie as their number one concern, up from ninth last year.

The annual Edleman Trust Barometer survey found that a majority of people around the world think that capitalism is doing more harm than good. The survey noted a global discrediting of all institutions, with governments, the media, business and NGOs seen by masses of people as unethical and incompetent.

Ahead of the event, the British charity Oxfam released its annual report on social inequality, which it declared to be “out of control.”

According to Oxfam, the world’s billionaire population alone, just 2,153 people—the number of people who would fit comfortably on a modern cruise ship—control more wealth than the 4.6 billion poorest people in the world.

Meanwhile, the top 1 percent collectively has twice as much wealth as 6.9 billion people, nearly the entire world’s population.
……………………………………..
“Ahead of the event, the British charity Oxfam released its annual report on social inequality, which it declared to be “out of control.”

According to Oxfam, the world’s billionaire population alone, just 2,153 people—the number of people who would fit comfortably on a modern cruise ship—control more wealth than the 4.6 billion poorest people in the world.

Meanwhile, the top 1 percent collectively has twice as much wealth as 6.9 billion people, nearly the entire world’s population.

The theme for this year’s meeting is “Stakeholders for a cohesive and sustainable world,” with a focus on the issue of climate change. Events headlined by teenage activist Greta Thunberg are being given top billing and Britain’s Prince Charles is expected to deliver a talk on “how to save the planet.

The billionaires and millionaires in attendance will be able to show their commitment to combatting global warming by refueling their private jets with “greener” sustainable aviation fuel available at Zurich Airport’s private terminal. Attendees are being encouraged to walk on foot from venue to venue in order to reduce their personal carbon footprint.”

(the rest is here)

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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Cassiodorus's picture

the WEF has decided to abolish itself!!

Oh well -- it was a dream.

The WEF’s call for “stakeholder capitalism” in which corporations, according to Schwab, should act not just as profit-seeking entities but as “trustees of society,” is a pipe dream.

Of course it's a pipe dream. Did they say anything at all about the purpose of a corporation? They're there to provide profit to the shareholders, otherwise the shareholders can sue. Right?

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"Faith in philosophy means the refusal to permit fear to stunt in any way one's capacity to think." -- Max Horkheimer

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

'Out of genuine concern about climate change --the WEF has decided to abolish itself!!', lol.

last year when i'd been in davos (virtually for a few days), klaus had responded to the complaints that a zillion two-way flights in an out were craaaazy that he'd said he'd buy some carbon trades. so 'greener jet fuel' and get carried by litter from even to even rang even funnier.

but as to corporate charters and fiduciary responsibilities, i did begin to grab part of the live blog before my eyes and brain melted, and i may have mooked up text and video, but i'll give two a try in one comment, then see what happens. alert: word salad ahead!

Happiness is the real goal

Feike Sybesma, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Managing Board; International Business Council, Royal DSM NV, said we have lost our way.

"Somewhere we thought the real goal was making money... where the real goal is to live happily all together... we are somewhere derailing."
He added it makes business sense to look after your environment and urges business leaders to "dare to think long-term, think of all the SDGs or you won’t be successful".

Jim Hagemann Snabe, Chairman; Member of Board of Trustees of the World Economic Forum, Siemens AG, said in 2015, Siemens committed to being carbon neutral.
He's proud that 44% of the company's total revenue is associated with solutions that help its customers run their business in a more sustainable way.

'Capitalism is dead'

Marc Benioff, Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Salesforce said: "Capitalism as we have known it is dead. This obsession with maximising profits for shareholders alone has lead to a climate emergency... We are living proof that stakeholder capitalism works."

now the 'new davos manifesto' links keep circling back on themselves, i'll see if it's worth sorting out.

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@wendy davis
Greta threw down the gauntlet
this is important to our future

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wendy davis are thinking of finding new and creative ways of earning enough to pay the rent, to landlords who have it set nice and high so they can make enough money to buy more real estate or something like that. Corporations? Their employees need to show that they've increased market share enough to produce a happy quarterly report so they can please the speculators who own them, or maybe they lay off lots of staff and put assets on the market.

Can you imagine any of the people who ran the corporations which went belly-up in '08-'09 "thinking long term"?

These people must think we're stupid or something.

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"Faith in philosophy means the refusal to permit fear to stunt in any way one's capacity to think." -- Max Horkheimer

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

These people must think we're stupid or something.

and most are far too easily sandbagged.

and what will happen when quantitative easing/extend and pretend has reached its cheap money, negative interest rates 'beyond extreme limits'? another not-so-black swan breakdown of the global banking system?

Nick Beams:

The conclusions are not specifically drawn. But what is being pointed to here is that the kind of “decisive action” taken in 2008–2009, when governments and central banks handed out trillions of dollars to finance capital and imposed austerity conditions on the mass of the population, may provoke mass social opposition and social revolution if repeated in response to another economic and financial collapse. And the signs of such a collapse are becoming ever more apparent.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wendy davis blab about nice economic reports showing jobs are up when your average Jane works two of those jobs and still can't pay the bills.

Meanwhile, Forbes:

78% Of Workers Live Paycheck To Paycheck

Yeah they can't be bothered to discuss this. What they love to discuss in secret, however, is moving to New Zealand. As for their claims of "green capitalism," from the Business Ethics Quarterly:

The concept of a Triple Bottom Line in fact turns out to be a “Good old-fashioned Single Bottom Line plus Vague Commitments to Social and Environmental Concerns”. And it so happens that this is exceedingly easy for almost any firm to embrace. By committing themselves to the principles of the 3BL it sounds like companies are making a more concrete, verifiable commitment to CSR and sustainability. And no doubt many are. But it also allows them to make almost no commitment whatsoever. (13)

This was the "stakeholder capitalism" claim, debunked seventeen years ago. It's time they either responded or got out of the way.

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"Faith in philosophy means the refusal to permit fear to stunt in any way one's capacity to think." -- Max Horkheimer

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

as well as link to business ethics quafterly, unfamiliar to me, but 'triple bottom line' is great.

i'll add a few squibs from 'Davos Manifesto 2020: The Universal Purpose of a Company in the Fourth Industrial Revolution' , even more illuminating than the current iteration.

Have you read? Why we need the 'Davos Manifesto' for a better kind of capitalism?

i. A company serves its customers by providing a value proposition that best meets their needs. It accepts and supports fair competition and a level playing field. It has zero tolerance for corruption. It keeps the digital ecosystem in which it operates reliable and trustworthy. It makes customers fully aware of the functionality of its products and services, including adverse implications or negative externalities.

ii. A company treats its people with dignity and respect. It honours diversity and strives for continuous improvements in working conditions and employee well-being. In a world of rapid change, a company fosters continued employability through ongoing upskilling and reskilling.

iii. A company considers its suppliers as true partners in value creation. It provides a fair chance to new market entrants. It integrates respect for human rights into the entire supply chain.

iv. A company serves society at large through its activities
, supports the communities in which it works, and pays its fair share of taxes. It ensures the safe, ethical and efficient use of data. It acts as a steward of the environmental and material universe for future generations. It consciously protects our biosphere and champions a circular, shared and regenerative economy. It continuously expands the frontiers of knowledge, innovation and technology to improve people’s well-being.

v. A company provides its shareholders with a return on investment that takes into account the incurred entrepreneurial risks and the need for continuous innovation and sustained investments. It responsibly manages near-term, medium-term and long-term value creation in pursuit of sustainable shareholder returns that do not sacrifice the future for the present.

B. A company is more than an economic unit generating wealth. It fulfils human and societal aspirations as part of the broader social system. Performance must be measured not only on the return to shareholders, but also on how it achieves its environmental, social and good governance objectives. Executive remuneration should reflect stakeholder responsibility.

C. A company that has a multinational scope of activities not only serves all those stakeholders who are directly engaged, but acts itself as a stakeholder – together with governments and civil society – of our global future. Corporate global citizenship requires a company to harness its core competencies, its entrepreneurship, skills and relevant resources in collaborative efforts with other companies and stakeholders to improve the state of the world.'

iv. v, then B and C? oh, well, klaus; no one ever said you were a mentat, just a capitalist defender.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wendy davis

A company is more than an economic unit generating wealth.

In fact, a company is an economic unit which appropriates wealth and gives it to rich people, who then pay some poor fools a few dollars to write this nonsense.

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"Faith in philosophy means the refusal to permit fear to stunt in any way one's capacity to think." -- Max Horkheimer

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

comment of the day, cass! juliania at the café said she was takin' a page out of putin's SOTU about flexibility, etc. and that the WEF should relocate to ayer's rock in australia. yep, as long as they were on top o' the rock, and could look down us wage slaves from on high, said I.

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wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

Stakeholder Capitalism: What is required from Corporate Leadership?

The original Davos Manifesto was signed in 1973, which described a firm’s responsibilities to its stakeholders.

Now, as the Annual Meeting marks its 50th anniversary, Professor Klaus Schwab has released a new Davos Manifesto to ensure that stakeholder capitalism delivers on its potential to tackle today's environmental and social challenges.

To kick off the discussion on how business leaders can rebuild public trust and deliver on a new mandate, Professor Schwab asked whether the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) changes stakeholder capitalism.

A decade of trust

In the 4IR, 100% of jobs will change, added Rometty. She said IBM had been working with MIT looking at how tasks are changing.

"We need a change of paradigm around skills... to value skills not just degrees, new educational models and pathways to get people back into the workforce."

[low-skilled wage slaves]

Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President and CEO, International Business Council, IBM Corporation, said it changes the nature of what businesses do.

"I would boil it down to one word: trust. It’s going to be a decade of trust. If this digital era’s going to thrive – we have to trust this era would be inclusive."

we trust them, don't we? they got our backs, and the planet's climate's back, yes? it's in their mission statement,for dawg's sake!

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what are these bozos smoking anyway
(beside the earth that is)
or was before they took over

domestic political polarization

is now a rising worry of the elites

guess they can't iron out the wrinkles
in this lopsided economic train wreck

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wendy davis's picture

@QMS

train wreck that capitalist consumerism created, no. they smoke Whatever They Need™, don't they? and even here in davos as they pretend to create a Better Capitalism, their minds rustle with million dollar bills.

i suppose we serfs should instead be glad that they realize people are beginning to want to Eat the Rich, spit out the bones.

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@wendy davis
at least someone has been given a platform
pleading for sanity beyond wealth extraction
for the sake of earth / youth future
may not go far with this bunch
made the trumpet look rather flaccid
in comparison Wink

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wendy davis's picture

@QMS

indeed; and only part of it? i'd need to listen again to see what sort of demands/manifesto she'd made at davos 2020, but she threw down the gauntlet at davos 2019, as well, although i don't recall what was in it by now.

she'd also thrown down the gauntlet (the students' gauntlet?) at the past two COP conferences.
how many millions of students globally marched with greta's 'strike school fridays'? many millions, anyway.

and what did thee WEF point out?

"In a briefing paper on the zero emissions challenge, the WEF cited a November 2019 report from the United Nations which showed that four years since the Paris Agreement, global emissions had risen by 1.5 percent per year over the past decade, with no signs of peaking. This occurred under conditions where a reduction of 5 percent per year is needed just to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C. If the present trajectory continues, it noted, the world is projected to warm by 3–5 degrees C by the end of the century “with catastrophic effects on human civilization.”

But as the WEF report acknowledged, the deadline is much closer. It stated: “The coming decade will decide whether humanity can achieve the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C. Without a meaningful reduction in emissions in the next five years, the ability to act will increasingly be lost, resulting in damage that could become irreversible.”
The world, it said, needed “cohesive and swift international action.” But this remained “wishful thinking” and so individual governments and corporations “can and should move ahead with unilateral initiatives.” Such a prospect remains as far-fetched as international collaboration.

As the report noted, so far only 67 countries, none of them among the top five emitters, have committed to the goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions. It acknowledged that “most countries with this commitment have not enacted sufficiently robust policies to attain the emissions reductions required.”

(whatever 'net zero carbon emissions', an over-used term with not much meaning, imo).

but yes, she'd said close to 'not later, but today!' which of course won't happen, can't happen actually, for any number of reasons. yes, she made trump seem 'flacid', but did obomba achieve anything in terms of carbon reduction? would any of it matter at this point with so many feedback loops at play? hotter oceans, no carbon sinks, methane boiling out of the sea beds in the artic, and now (iirc) the south pole glaciers melting at an unbleievable rate?

sigh. if only folks had listened to the indigenous in 2010, then again at the Rio earth sustainability conferencee at side meetings, as they hadn't been allowed into the Hallowed Halls: the cochabama accords, earlier known as The Peoples Agreement.

it opens (see evo morales in the photo):

'A(n) historical Conference occured in Cochabamba, Bolivia in April. An estimated 30,00 people participated to discuss a comprehensive programe of action on climate change and the 'Rights of Mother Earth'. This is final version of the 'PEOPLES AGREEMENT' from Cochabamba.

Today, our Mother Earth is wounded and the future of humanity is in danger.

If global warming increases by more than 2 degrees Celsius, a situation that the “Copenhagen Accord” could lead to, there is a 50% probability that the damages caused to our Mother Earth will be completely irreversible. Between 20% and 30% of species would be in danger of disappearing. Large extensions of forest would be affected, droughts and floods would affect different regions of the planet, deserts would expand, and the melting of the polar ice caps and the glaciers in the Andes and Himalayas would worsen. Many island states would disappear, and Africa would suffer an increase in temperature of more than 3 degrees Celsius. Likewise, the production of food would diminish in the world, causing catastrophic impact on the survival of inhabitants from vast regions in the planet, and the number of people in the world suffering from hunger would increase dramatically, a figure that already exceeds 1.02 billion people.

The corporations and governments of the so-called "developed" countries, in complicity with a segment of the scientific community, have led us to discuss climate change as a problem limited to the rise in temperature without questioning the cause, which is the capitalist system.

We confront the terminal crisis of a civilizing model that is patriarchal and based on the submission and destruction of human beings and nature that accelerated since the industrial revolution.

The capitalist system has imposed on us a logic of competition, progress and limitless growth. This regime of production and consumption seeks profit without limits, separating human beings from nature and imposing a logic of domination upon nature, transforming everything into commodities: water, earth, the human genome, ancestral cultures, biodiversity, justice, ethics, the rights of peoples, and life itself.

Under capitalism, Mother Earth is converted into a source of raw materials, and human beings into consumers and a means of production, into people that are seen as valuable only for what they own, and not for what they are.

Capitalism requires a powerful military industry for its processes of accumulation and imposition of control over territories and natural resources, suppressing the resistance of the peoples. It is an imperialist system of colonization of the planet.

Humanity confronts a great dilemma: to continue on the path of capitalism, depredation, and death, or to choose the path of harmony with nature and respect for life.

It is imperative that we forge a new system that restores harmony with nature and among human beings. And in order for there to be balance with nature, there must first be equity among human beings. We propose to the peoples of the world the recovery, revalorization, and strengthening of the knowledge, wisdom, and ancestral practices of Indigenous Peoples, which are affirmed in the thought and practices of "Living Well," recognizing Mother Earth as a living being with which we have an indivisible, interdependent, complementary and spiritual relationship.'

tragically, greta and friends had blamed evo and his policies on burning down the amazo rain forest, which was the begining of the R2P sort of putsch against him, although not selling bolivian lithium to europe, etc. was another.

on next day edit: i should have noted 'or whoever runs greta's twitter account', as i had seen earlier that there are many folks who add to her facebook account.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@wendy davis

1980s, 1990s, 2000s....

There was always someone pointing out that we could not continue to abuse the Earth indefinitely without disastrous payback. But the Corporations smothered the truth-tellers with tons of sweet-sounding lies, and the only "achievement" of those warnings was a ban on CFCs to close the "ozone hole". Guess warnings about increased skin cancer are more effective than "this planet may become uninhabitable".

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

wendy davis's picture

@TheOtherMaven

by promoting the cochambama accords from 2010 was the theme that it was Capitalism (and capitalism's false solutions) at the root of the ruination. as in: even had the world paid attention to eco-socialism ten years ago, Davos 2020 would see climate chaos as less of a chance to further monetize nature in yanno, a more civil way.

but yes to hidden or obscuring agendas.

i'll add one speech at the bottom that demonstrates it quite baldly. spoiler alert: the price of wales! who else would we turn to than an HRH, eh?

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wendy davis's picture

Why we need the 'Davos Manifesto' for a better kind of capitalism

•'Stakeholder capitalism' is gaining momentum, in part thanks to the 'Greta Thunberg effect'
•It offers the best opportunity to tackle today's environmental and social challenges
•The World Economic Forum is launching a new 'Davos Manifesto'

What kind of capitalism do we want? That may be the defining question of our era. If we want to sustain our economic system for future generations, we must answer it correctly.

Generally speaking, we have three models to choose from. The first is “shareholder capitalism,” embraced by most Western corporations, which holds that a corporation’s primary goal should be to maximize its profits. The second model is “state capitalism,” which entrusts the government with setting the direction of the economy and has risen to prominence in many emerging markets, not least China.

But, compared to these two options, the third has the most to recommend it. “Stakeholder capitalism,” a model I first proposed a half-century ago, positions private corporations as trustees of society, and is clearly the best response to today’s social and environmental challenges.

Shareholder capitalism, currently the dominant model, first gained ground in the United States in the 1970s, and expanded its influence globally in the following decades. Its rise was not without merit. During its heyday, hundreds of millions of people around the world prospered, as profit-seeking companies unlocked new markets and created new jobs.

But that wasn’t the whole story. Advocates of shareholder capitalism, including Milton Friedman and the Chicago School, had neglected the fact that a publicly listed corporation is not just a profit-seeking entity but also a social organism. Together with financial-industry pressures to boost short-term results, the single-minded focus on profits caused shareholder capitalism to become increasingly disconnected from the real economy. Many realize this form of capitalism is no longer sustainable. The question is: why have attitudes begun to change only now?

The Greta Thunberg effect

One likely reason is the “Greta Thunberg” effect. The young Swedish climate activist has reminded us that adherence to the current economic system represents a betrayal of future generations, owing to its environmental unsustainability. Another (related) reason is that millennials and Generation Z no longer want to work for, invest in, or buy from companies that lack values beyond maximizing shareholder value. And, finally, executives and investors have started to recognize that their own long-term success is closely linked to that of their customers, employees, and suppliers.

The result is that stakeholder capitalism is quickly gaining ground. The change in direction is long overdue. I first described the concept back in 1971, and I created the World Economic Forum to help business and political leaders implement it. Two years later, attendees at the Forum’s Annual Meeting signed the “Davos Manifesto,” which describes a firm’s principal responsibilities toward its stakeholders.

Now, others are finally coming to the “stakeholder” table. The US Business Roundtable, America’s most influential business lobby group, announced this year that it would formally embrace stakeholder capitalism. And so-called impact investing is rising to prominence as more investors look for ways to link environmental and societal benefits to financial returns.

Stakeholder capitalism at Davos

We should seize this moment to ensure that stakeholder capitalism remains the new dominant model. To that end, the World Economic Forum is releasing a new “Davos Manifesto,” which states that companies should pay their fair share of taxes, show zero tolerance for corruption, uphold human rights throughout their global supply chains, and advocate for a competitive level playing field – particularly in the “platform economy.”

But to uphold the principles of stakeholder capitalism, companies will need new metrics. For starters, a new measure of “shared value creation” should include “environmental, social, and governance” (ESG) goals as a complement to standard financial metrics. Fortunately, an initiative to develop a new standard along these lines is already under way, with support from the “Big Four” accounting firms and led by the chairman of the International Business Council, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan.

The second metric that needs to be adjusted is executive remuneration. Since the 1970s, executive pay has skyrocketed, mostly to “align” management decision-making with shareholder interests. In the new stakeholder paradigm, salaries should instead align with the new measure of long-term shared value creation.

[word salad alert]:

Finally, large companies should understand that they themselves are major stakeholders in our common future. Clearly, all companies should still seek to harness their core competencies and maintain an entrepreneurial mindset. But they should also work with other stakeholders to improve the state of the world in which they are operating. In fact, this latter proviso should be their ultimate purpose.

An incredible opportunity for leaders

[bullshit alert]:

Is there any other way? State capitalism, its proponents would say, also pursues a long-term vision, and has enjoyed recent successes, especially in Asia. But while state capitalism may be a good fit for one stage of development, it, too, should gradually evolve into something closer to a stakeholder model, lest it succumb to corruption from within.

[because stakeholder capitalism would never succumb to corruption...]

Business leaders now have an incredible opportunity. By giving stakeholder capitalism concrete meaning, they can move beyond their legal obligations and uphold their duty to society. They can bring the world closer to achieving shared goals, such as those outlined in the Paris climate agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda. If they really want to leave their mark on the world, there is no alternative.

that's the thing; capital can profit by climate chaos with purported Green bonds, investments in 'renewables' (not necessary sustainable energy) and oy, veh: one collective is 'we mean business', actually profiting from pretend 'solutions', last i'd looked in: over 1700+ companies strong.

so, Davos Man, Davos Woman: your fix for the climate is better societal rule by Corporation?

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mhagle's picture

Are you at Davos?

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

wendy davis's picture

@mhagle

the same as every year i've reported on the conference for a decade or so, marilyn. are you by chance? i know you travel extensively. i was also at the Rio 2012 earth sustainability indigenous side conference back in the day w/ two reports at my.firedoglake. they were glorious, as ever!

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mhagle's picture

@wendy davis

These days I don't travel at all. Not even home to the midwest. $$$$ and family commitments keep me home. I always thought I would travel the world, but at 62 that seems doubtful.

I am very thankful for your reports here!! Thank you!!!

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

wendy davis's picture

@mhagle

still, i remain envious of your wide travels. i'd always pined to see both florence and hong kong, obviously for very different reasons. by now, i can't even travel by car except as luggage in the back of our old jeep with the back seat folded down. talk about a 'rough ride'!

welcome, and the above reason is why i'm a keyboard warrior blogger.

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wendy davis's picture

would have to say about climate change at Davos, and just happened to click in early this a.m. while they were live-blogging it. this is so bleeping great and example of what it's all about:

ah, well, they've added more since, including more videos, but this is the crux of HRH's speech:

'The greatest threat'

It is the Forum's mission to improve the state of the world - and shape the next 50 years - that has inspired H.R.H. Prince Charles to return to Davos today - after nearly 30 years.
Climate change, biodiversity loss and global warming are the greatest threat humanity has ever faced, he explains.

It's not a lack of capital that's holding us back from tackling these threats, but rather the way we deploy it.

Sustainable markets

Prince Charles announces the launch of a Sustainable Markets initiative. This will put people and planet at the heart of global value creation.
10 practical actions

(the SM link)

There are 10 practical actions that will drive the sustainable markets approach forward:
- Shifting our default setting to sustainable
- Outlining responsible transition pathways to decarbonize and move to net-zero
- Re-imagining industries through the lens of sustainable markets
- Identifying gamechanges and barriers to transition
- Reversing perverse subsidies and improving incentives for sustainable alternatives
- Investing in STEM, innovation and R&D
- Investing in nature as the true engine of our economy
- Adopting common metrics and standards
- Making sustainable options the trusted and attainable option for consumers
- Connecting investments to investibles to platforms that can rapidly scale solutions.
How quickly and who will drive us forward?
Prince Charles believes that we're further ahead than you might think.
From sustainable investment, to aviation, shipping and renewables, progress is being made in almost every industry, that we can build on.

One critical lesson that we have to learn is that nature is not a separate asset class, nature is the lifeblood of our financial markets. We must rapidly realign our own economy to mimic nature's economy and work with it.

Prince Charles announces a series of roundtables - beginning here at Davos and taking place throughout the year - to identify game-changers, investments and barriers to transition.
Do we want to go down in history as the people who did nothing to bring the world back from from the brink, he asked the audience.

What good is all that extra wealth in the world gained from business-as-usual except watch it burn in catastrophic conditions?

Children and grandchildren
Everything he's done over the last 50 years has been done with our children and grandchildren in mind, explained Prince Charles.

He didn't want to be accused of doing nothing but prevaricate or deny the problem. But that's exactly what has happened.
The time for action is now, he concludes.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wendy davis

Investing in nature as the true engine of our economy

"Nature" did just fine for 3.77 billion years without investors. What makes you all think it needs you now?

and:

We must rapidly realign our own economy to mimic nature's economy and work with it.

Right now, guys, everyone works for you and you sit back and "realize" profits. You're going to work?

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"Faith in philosophy means the refusal to permit fear to stunt in any way one's capacity to think." -- Max Horkheimer

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

great comment. hard work convincing folk to monetize and profit from the nature that is the engine of our economy, yeah? poor charles and camilla! did you check out the hilarious link?

i used this rubbish to ballast some of the points of a post by ilargi at the automatic earth a fellow at the café brought. 'Go home, Greta'. some of it's beside the point, some show his confusion, etc., but a few outtakes were spot on the Money!

"Here’s what going to happen (and already has), Greta and all of you Greta fans.

You’re getting to Davos and meet with all these rich people, and they all already have their plans ready. They’re going to tell you that they agree with just about everything you have to say. But they do and they don’t at the same time.
...........................
How did the rich and the worst polluters do it? How did they solve the riddle? By promoting Greta and the entire climate movement, with the help of the media they own, and then steering their priorities to be in line with their own. Piece of cake for them. They have been among the most powerful forces in western society forever, and it wasn’t too hard for them to figure this one out.

And that’s why these days, and increasingly as Davos has started (timing is everything), climate is a well advertized topic, and why the likes of BlackRock and Microsoft -and many others- just days ago announced that they will “go green”, divest out of fossil fuels etc.

They do this because they see a profit to be made. So don’t flatter yourselves, it has nothing to do with you. Or rather, it does, but not the way you thought and wanted. Your worst adversaries are using you for their promotion and advertizing platforms.

You see, Greta, the message the rich get is not that they must listen to you, it’s that others do listen who control a lot of money, individuals, governments, and so there will be money to be made if they just promote your ideas enough. You’ve been co-opted and pre-empted, so to speak. And what are you going to do now? You’re in cahoots, whether you like it or not, with the likes of Exxon, Shell, and Mercedes.

The oil companies have long rebranded themselves as energy companies (this started when BP’s logo turned green years ago) and invested billions in solar and wind turbines. The carmakers are betting big on electric vehicles. And this is supposed to achieve your goal of carbon neutrality? Let’s get real, shall we?

You’re up against people who represent decades if not centuries-old interests, as well as -aspiring- politicians in every Parliament and even city counsel who know full well their careers will be nipped in the bud if they don’t go along with those interests. And then there’s 10,000 Middle East sheiks."

cynical, if realistic, considering the theme of this year's WEF. "look how much we value greta's input! we know the house is on fire! we just mean to build more and more investment opportunities along the way to the sixth extinction a healthy ecosphere!

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wendy davis The thing about Ms. Thunberg is that she's good at telling the Powers That Be that their pseudo-solutions are crap, and not so good at pointing the way forward. Back when I wrote this paper (password: AddletonAP2009), I argued that the real question was one of what type of society could mitigate climate change, because it was plainly apparent to me that this society, with its hierarchies of wealth and power, could not mitigate climate change.

Now I'd like to add another angle: only a humanized society could mitigate climate change. Much of what counts as "climate change mitigation," which they'll no doubt promote in the wake of Ms. Thunberg, is crap because it's stuck in the fantasy of commodities and property, to be sure, but it's also crap because it's inhuman. They need all of this rhetoric about a kinder, gentler capitalism because they're sadistic. I half expect them to propose what the mad scientist in the Maddaddam trilogy did fictionally: create a pandemic to wipe out most of the human race. This will no doubt be prepped through a lot of rhetoric about the "population problem."

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"Faith in philosophy means the refusal to permit fear to stunt in any way one's capacity to think." -- Max Horkheimer

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

her speech QSM had brought; her whole speech is linked at the bottom.

from the second part:

In the days running up to the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum, I joined a group of climate activists demanding that you, the world’s most powerful and influential business and political leaders, begin to take the action needed. We demand, at this year’s World Economic Forum, participants from all companies, banks, institutions and governments immediately halt all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction, immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels. We don’t want these things done by 2050 or 2030 or even 2021; we want this done now.

...which is a meaningless (imo) solution in these days of cheap money and corporate buy-backs. before that she'd alluded to 'no time for technological solutions as yet unavailable', and so on. and of course fossil fuels and carbon numbers are only one driving force of climate chaos...

but on twitter, she or those who handle her twitter account, she'd signed on to nuclear power w/ a sigh.

this entire 2020 forum was designed to pretend that the elites and their aspirants are listening to the key issues of global wealth inequality and fears about climate change...

wow; her book sounds aces! i chose the in these times review, and was not disappointed. she's always been prescient, but a biological organism to reduce the surplus population similarity already afoot by african eugenicists 'sir' richard attenborough and bill and melinda gates (& maybe jane goodall?). because those folks always have far too many chirren, yanno, and they must be checked! not that africans' carbon footprints are a patch on those in the developed world.

i'm likely taking your meaning on 'inhuman', but one of the reasons i've loved the bolivian peoples agreement is that it gives Mother Earth the status of 'person-hood', no small matter.

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wendy davis's picture

dickens out of this? Via RT.com:

who delivered the Novichok?

ya couldn't make this stuff up if ya tried! well, a sane unbiased w/ paranoia human being couldn't, anyway...

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wendy davis's picture

that juan guaido will attend Davos 2020, so i'd hoped to click into the live blog to see if he's spoken yet. not yet, just (wtf?) rapper will.i.am.

so i bingled internally and kicked up: Juan Guaidó to Attend Annual Meeting 2020, weforum.com, jan. 20, 2020

“Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 20 January 2020 – Juan Guaidó, President of the National Assembly of Venezuela and recognized by more than 50 countries as the interim President of Venezuela, will take part in the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. The meeting is taking place from 21 to 24 January.

Guaidó, a member of the Forum’s Young Global Leaders community, has been invited in the tradition of providing emerging leaders with an international stage. For the past 50 years, the Forum has been a platform for positive dialogue. This will always be at the heart of its mission.

We hope this year’s meeting will contribute to the momentum in achieving peace and stability in the region. We are proud of the record the Annual Meeting in Davos has built up over half a century as a safe space for leaders to have important and necessary conversations.

and from Jan. 2019: What's happening in Venezuela? Davos experts explain Oh, yes they did.

zo...on the hunt, i'd bingled internally for Jeanine Añez, US/OAS puppet choice to replace evo morales...whew; nothing about her plans to attend. gawd's blood, what a squint-eyed nazi she is.

new elections are scheduled for may 3. think there might be any Russian interference?/s

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wendy davis's picture

tonight's closing song's gotta be:

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wendy davis's picture

(CIA constructed?) juan guido at Davos.

'Juan Guaidó says "stop this disaster" in Venezuela!

He defied a travel ban to leave Venezuela on Sunday and has since met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and addressed the European Parliament.

"This a real opportunity to talk to you, the world’s leaders, to bring the voice of Venezuelan people to say we stand steadfast," Guaidó said at Davos.

But he said his visit had already had consequences for his supporters at home:

"Whilst I’m here there are members of parliament who are being put in prison, who are being kidnapped because I am here."

He says he plans to return to Venezuela, but it will be risky. "We have more people who have left the country than have have left Syria, and we are not a country at war, there are no bombs, but we do feel the weeping of our people."

"On behalf of Venezuela, on behalf of those children … who perhaps have no hope today, we have to make sure we act."

Guaidó said his demand was simple: a free and fair election.

"What we want is a free Venezuela, a democratic Venezuela which respects human rights, where you can invest, where we can also make the most of our oil reserves, so that we can really unleash the potential that we have, if we can rebuild our region, consolidate a democratic system which would serve its people so that we can stop this disaster."

i'll bet the crowd went wild with applause! he's the Red Right Hand, all right.

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