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Five reasons ICAEW attends the World Economic Forum

21 January 2020: as bookings for private jet charter soar in the build-up to Davos, many will ask: “What was the hype all about?” Here are five reasons our CEO, Michael Izza, attends the World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) Annual Meeting each year (and not on a private jet).

1. ICAEW’s vision is a world of sustainable economies

Where better to update ICAEW’s global vision than at a forum for leaders of global society? For a week each January, Michael attends WEF and joins the heads and members of more than 100 governments, top executives of the 1,000 most global companies, leaders of international organisations, and disruptive youth and tech voices at the invite-only event. They are there to define priorities and shape global, industrial and regional agendas. ICAEW is one of the few global professional bodies that is invited to attend the annual meeting; but it isn’t all about the (jam-packed) main agenda.

2. The fringe events are where the magic happens

In 2019, Michael joined a panel of leading economists, financiers and business leaders to consider what true wealth will look like in the year 2030, and how our economies can prepare for this new reality. But this event didn’t take place on the main stage. The newly created Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Tent sought to encourage open debate around the role of business in achieving more sustainable and inclusive development. This is something ICAEW has openly committed to in its work on the Goals. Michael will be representing ICAEW on the SDG stage once more this year and we’ll be sharing Michael’s thoughts and updates from this year’s forum soon.

3. Similarly the chance encounters are often the best

The serendipitous meeting and unusual insight gained from those you weren’t expecting to meet are the reason Michael’s Davos diary is kept largely free. Whether it’s the person you are queuing up with when entering the secure zone or the person sitting next to you on the shuttle bus, these chance encounters often lead to the best discussions.

4. WEF isn’t just about Davos

The Annual Meeting is certainly the largest event that WEF organises, but it isn’t the only one. ICAEW engages in WEF events around the world – they all bring something a little different. These global cross-sector conversations help to inform our work on key business issues. What is more, WEF isn’t the only international partner that ICAEW engages with.

5. And finally… where else would you be able to get a selfie with Sir David Attenborough?

David Attenborough and Michael Izza at the World Economic Forum