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World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2018

Heerlen, NL, 19 Jan 2018

Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World

The World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting is taking place in Davos on 23 - 26 January. The Annual Meeting in Davos is a global platform unmatched in engaging leaders from business, government, international organizations, academia and civil society in peer-to-peer working sessions. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”.

Vijay Vaitheeswaran, China Business Editor and Shanghai Bureau Chief of The Economist (l) & Feike Sijbesma, DSM's CEO (r) at Summer Davos 2016

DSM’s delegation to this year’s meeting are involved in a number of public and private sessions, some of which are highlighted below:

Tuesday 23 January 19:30 - 21:15

The New York Times Dinner “The new politics of business”

The New York Times hosts a high-level conversation with senior executives alongside the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting to unpack this proposition.

With leaders from Donald Trump to Xi Jinping in power, businesses are being forced to navigate an increasingly politically charged world. Leaders must increasingly state their positions, taking a stance on foreign policy and social issues that might be divisive to their customers, employees or investors.

  • What issues are businesses more likely to take a stance on?
  • How can companies state their positions without dividing their stakeholders?
  • What are the challenges to taking the same stance consistently across their entire global network of operations?

DSM CEO Feike Sijbesma will join New York Times columnist Andrew Ross-Sorkin on stage for a fireside chat.

Wednesday 24 January 07:00 - 08:30

The EY Beacon Institute breakfast

A Davos tradition, the EY Beacon Institute breakfast draws a full house of CEOs, board chairs and C-suite leaders, united by the common cause of advancing purposeful business. This year, EY joins forces with The B Team, the Business & Sustainable Development Commission, University of Oxford: Saïd Business School and Just Capital. There will be a provocative short film and fireside chat with EY Global Chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger and DSM CEO Feike Sijbesma. Global leaders will explore whether or not, in this transformative age, the business of business is still just business. Our debate will demonstrate that leaders are moving beyond paralyzing polarities and that civil, reasoned discourse will heal a fractured world.

11:00 - 12:00

New Consumption Frontiers (available via live webcast)

We throw away USD1.15 trillion in plastic, electronic and food waste, more than Mexico's GDP. From big business to small innovators, there is a major drive to reimagine the waste economy to create a new generation of consumables that can be reused, recycled and upcycled. The objective is to bring together the food, electronics and plastics economy to discuss how innovation is helping industry reuse, recycle and upcycle waste.

Panellists are Privahini Bradoo, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, BlueOak, USA; Jesper Brodin, Chief Executive Officer, IKEA Group, Netherlands; President and CEO for the IKEA Group; Liu Dashan, Chairman and Secretary of the Party Committee, China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group (CECEP), People's Republic of China; Erik Solheim, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Feike Sijbesma, DSM CEO.

See the WEF's webcast here.

14:00 - 14:30

Two Degrees of Transformation

Climate change will shape the way in which we do business for decades. Business has a vital role to play in curbing its effects by limiting carbon emissions, but success isn’t just about action from individual companies. To create change on a level large enough to halt climate change, businesses – and whole sectors and value chains - will need to consolidate efforts. In addition, new incentives are needed in our economic system.

Feike Sijbesma, DSM CEO; Joseph E. Stiglitz, professor at Columbia University; John Roome, Senior Director Climate Change at World Bank and Alexandra Brand, Chief Sustainability Officer at Syngenta are moderated by Karen Tso (CNBC Anchor) in a lively discussion.

Thursday 25 January 18:30 - 20:00

Climate Two Degrees of Separation (available via live webcast)

For the third year in a row, 2016 was the hottest year on record. A major extension of the West Antarctic ice sheet has broken off and Swiss glaciers continue to decline. Is there still time to limit warming to two degrees, and if not, how do we adapt?

Panelists are Christiana Figueres, Convenor, Mission 2020, Switzerland; Al Gore, Vice-President of the United States (1993-2001); Chairman and Co-Founder, Generation Investment Management and Feike Sijbesma, DSM CEO.

See WEF's webcast here.

Friday 26 January 07:30 - 08:45

The need for transformational dietary shifts: how to nudge consumer preference towards healthy sustainable diets

Transforming diets is not just a technical challenge, but also an emotional one. It is essential to put the consumers, and their health and wellbeing, at the center - in other words, it is time to turn the conventional 'farm to fork' approach on its head - transforming the systems from Fork to Farm. There has been a lot of work to improve the efficiency of food systems, including supply and production, but these methods still deliver poor outputs, such as obesity, malnutrition, climate change and biodiversity loss. These systems have to change, and demand for more healthy, sustainable and delicious foods needs to increase, so companies can create new and improved offerings, optimizing for taste and pleasure as well as quality, health, and sustainability factors.

The consumer often acts irrationally, so what role can business, government and civil society play to help people make better and rewarding decisions? In a world where we tend to trust peers on social media more than brands, how can we be nudged into opting for health, taste, and sustainability over short-term satisfaction?

This breakfast event will examine what business and other actors are doing and can do, to make it easier for consumers to access a healthy and rewarding diet. Panelists are Feike Sijbesma, DSM CEO (moderator); Gunhild Stordalen, Founder and President, EAT Foundation; Keith Weed, Chief Marketing Officer, Unilever; Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director, GAIN; Miki Tsusaka, Senior Partner & Managing Director, Chief Marketing Officer, The Boston Consulting Group and Zara Ingilizian, Head of Consumer Industry & System Initiative, World Economic Forum.

FReSH (a joint project of WBCSD and EAT), Royal DSM and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) will be hosting this high-level breakfast.