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Behind the scenes at ‘Summer Davos’

Heerlen, NL, 28 Jun 2016 09:00 CEST

Representatives from DSM took leading role in the World Economic Forum’s ‘Summer Davos’ meeting in Tianjin, China

Earlier this week, 1,700 global leaders from business, government, academia and civil society gathered in Tianjin, China  for the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Annual Meeting of the New Champions – also known as ‘Summer Davos’. Representing DSM were CEO Feike Sijbesma – who also Co-Chaired this year’s meeting – CFO Geraldine Matchett, Member of the Managing Board Dimitri de Vreeze, President DSM China Weiming Jiang and Global Director External Affairs Herman Betten.

Vijay Vaitheeswaran, China Business Editor and Shanghai Bureau Chief of The Economist (l) & Feike Sijbesma, DSM's CEO (r)

During the event, the DSM delegation took part in high-level discussions on everything from the circular economy to implementing the Paris climate agreement and the impact of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ in China – a new term used to describe the fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.

In conversation with The Economist

In one of the most popular sessions at the event, CEO Feike Sijbesma held a public conversation on the ‘circular economy’ with Vijay Vaitheeswaran, China Business Editor and Shanghai Bureau Chief of The Economist. Highlighting the connection between the circular economy, climate change and resource scarcity, Feike said, “Nobody is stealing our resources from planet earth: we only lose a bit of helium. Everything else remains: we just put resources in different places after we’ve used them. If we’re going to tackle climate change and create a more circular economy, we therefore need to take action across the entire supply chain and consider different business models. This is the responsibility of all of us.”

Feike also met with some of our key stakeholders in the region, including the Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang and a number of senior Chinese business leaders, and hosted a Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition breakfast to further encourage action on this important subject in China. In related sessions, Dimitri de Vries spoke about the importance of the Sharing Economy and emergence of ‘blockchain’ technology to the materials industry, while Geraldine Matchett took part in a panel discussion on policy incentives for climate-centered growth. Herman Betten also took part in a panel on the challenges facing the world’s oceans and the role organizations from all sectors can play in developing a new, sustainable resource for this crucial ecosystem.

Commenting on our participation in Summer Davos, President DSM China Weiming Jiang said: “China is an important region for DSM, so it’s great that we had such a strong and visible presence at this year’s WEF meeting in China. The country is undergoing a rapid transition in its economic model and to ensure we capitalize on this important opportunity, we need to be fully up to date with the latest developments, and the people behind them. The WEF meeting gave us the opportunity to do just that.”