In the 37 years of its existence, the World economic Forum (WEF) saw many events that will be etched in the memory of the people for a long time. From ‘Love’ dinner to a drink event in an “igloo”, the memories are many. Let’s take a brief look at some of the key events that have now become a part of its glorious history.
The then US House Speaker, Newt Gingrich, took the opportunity to urge for a military strike against Saddam Hussein at the 1999 WEF meeting.
The German Foreign Minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, made a speech at Davos which in 1987, that marked the beginning of the end of Cold War.
Abby Joseph Cohen, then one of the investment gurus of Wall Street journal, predicted 10 percent gain of S&P index in the WEF meet of 2000. On the contrary, the index fell by 9 percent.
After September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the WEF for the first time moved outside Davos to New York as mark of camaraderie with the city.
In the 2003 WEF meeting, a ‘Love’ dinner was organized as an attempt to incorporate some fun into the proceedings. Art of Living Founder Sri Sri Ravishakar urged the corporate leaders to embrace love and shed their fear.
A session of the 2004 WEF meet was titled as 'The conspiracy behind conspiracy theories: Have extraterrestrials made contact with Government leaders?'
In the 2007 WEF meet, the Swiss government deployed 5,000 soldiers and 4.5 million Swiss Francs were spent on the security of Davos.
Famous Hollywood actress Sharon Stone raised USD 1 million in just five minutes in 2005 meet for malaria when she interrupted Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa’s speech and said, "I'm Sharon Stone. I would like to offer you $10,000 to help you buy some mosquito nets today. Would anyone else like to be on a team with me and stand up and offer some money?"
The 2008 WEF meeting will be co-chaired by Tony Blair, the former prime minister and soon-to-be part-time advisor at JP Morgan, James Dimon, chairman and CEO of JP Morgan, K.V. Kamath, MD and CEO of India's ICICI Bank, Henry Kissinger, chairman of Kissinger Associates, Indra K. Noovi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, David J. O'Reilly, chairman and CEO of Chevron Corporation and Wang Jianzhou, CEO of China Mobile Communications Corporation.
During the 2007 meet, Belvedere Hotel, where most of the VIPs stay during the summit, held a drinks event in an igloo. This was to attract the concern of world leaders towards global warming.
The 2007 meet saw a huge attendance with nearly 2,500 people that included around 800 CEOs from 90 different countries of the world.
During the 1992 WEF meet, Nelson Mandela appeared on a stage with South African President FW de Klerk and Zulu leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi for the first time, marking the South Africa’s rejection of apartheid.