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Who is the real World Economic Forum?

Watch the Valueteinment video here that inspired this article.

A woman with her child walking through water holding hands - represents World Economic Forum

Who is the World Economic Forum (WEF)?

Klau Schwab founded WEF in 1971 as a nonprofit organization headquartered in Davos, Switzerland named the European Management Forum (EMF). Its focus was realizing Klaus's vision to create a platform where European CEOs could go to brainstorm ideas with governments and scholars.

The event, set in the mountains of Davos, Switzerland, were aimed at establishing an atmosphere of relaxation and open communication, while preserving a sense of common purpose and mutual respect. This ethos, known as the "Davos Spirit," continues to define all Forum gatherings today.

But, as any observant individual might know, the world has a way of changing over time. Sometimes for the bad, sometimes for the good, but all times for sure. And the same was true for the EMF which, in 1987, in part due to Cold War pressures, and in part due to a notable shift towards economics and politics, changed its name to the now-known World Economic Forum.


EMF Mission Statement:

"Engages business, political, academix, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas."

1987 - Present

WEF Mission Statement:

"Engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas."

Catch the change? Its one word "academix". By excluding academics and scholars from the participatory right to engage in global governance the decisions regarding products, funding, and societal action end up governed by those with the most wealth and power.

Neither you or I get a say in any of this anyway (at least not directly - more on that later) which then begs the question, so who would want this?

Gold color, gold bar, gold ingots - represents gold as a commodity

WEF Membership & Fees

Today, WEF membership and fees can range anywhere from $60,000, all the way up to $595,000 per year. Memberships are available only by invitation, and are offered after a thorough review of various (selective) business criteria which include ESG and CEI.


Environmental, Social, and Governance represents a set of criteria used to assess a company's behavior and operations beyond simple financial performance.


Corporate Equity Index is a measure of policies, practices, and benefits relevant to LGBTQ+ employees and remains the primary benchmarking tool in driving LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion.

Why join WEF?

Mckinsey & Company said it best when they said "WEF partners with many international organizations and corporations to run projects addressing global concerns. This year, collaboration are focused on pursuing a net-zero pathway, nurturing resilience, reimagining globalization, and supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in every part of society."

Don't be fooled by the wordsmith trickery here. What's being said is less to do with the future, and more to do with politics. By making a public statement that they are working on collaborations related to the common ESG and CEI principles they make no clear commitment at all.

The companies that want this type of action are those who have the most to lose. Both in terms of proprietary tech and government funding. When a government needs to get something done, let's say in tech, they find a native company dominating a specific sector they're interested in growing, and fund the crap out of it.

The agricultural sector in the United States receives significant government subsidies, as does oil and some energy producers, certain housing initiatives, automakers, and parts of healthcare (such as Medicare). Hopefully all the car company bailouts and lack of universal healthcare are starting to make sense now.

Photograph of Google HQ building - represents one of the big consumer brands part of World Economic Forum

66 Most Popular WEF Members

  1. Accenture

  2. AIG

  3. Alibaba Group

  4. Allianz

  5. Amazon

  6. Bain & COmpany

  7. Bank of America

  8. Barclays

  9. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  10. Black Rock

  11. Boston Consulting Group

  12. BP

  13. Bridgewater Associates

  14. Chevron

  15. Cisco

  16. Citi

  17. The Coca-Cola Company

  18. Dell Technologies

  19. Deloitte

  20. Deutsche Bank

  21. DHL Group

  22. EY (Ernst & Young)

  23. Goldman Saschs

  24. Google

  25. Hewlett Packard Enterprise

  26. HP

  27. HSBC

  28. Huawei Technologies

  29. IBM

  30. Intel

  31. Johnson & Johnson

  32. JPMorgan Chase & Co

  33. KPMG

  34. Lazard

  35. Mastercard

  36. Mckinsey & Company

  37. Meta (previously Facebook)

  38. Microsoft

  39. Mitsubishi Corporation

  40. Morgan Stanley

  41. Nestle

  42. Open Society Foundations (George Soros)

  43. Palantir Technologies

  44. Paypal

  45. Pepsi Co.

  46. Pfizer

  47. PWC

  48. Proctor & Gamble

  49. Qualcomm

  50. Royal Philips

  51. Salesforce

  52. Sequoia Capital

  53. Siemens

  54. Sony

  55. S&P Global

  56. Swiss Re

  57. Uber Technologies

  58. UBS

  59. Verizon Communications

  60. Visa

  61. Volkswagen Group

  62. Volvo Group

  63. Walmart

  64. Web 3.0 Technologies Foundation

  65. Williams-Sonoma

  66. Zurich Insurance Group

Red painted hands come together to form a heart - represents health & wellness

How is this important to health and wellness?

First, consider the following statements as general truths of life:

  • All good deeds are born from defiance.

  • All good things come to an end.

  • Change begins with action.

  • Action requires a plan.

All of these statements were true when WEF began its mission in 1971. They were true when WEF changed its focus to politics and economics in 1987. And they are still true as we look for solutions to fix the political and economic issues we struggle with today.

When large corporations self-claim the power of making the decisions for how we live ours lives, we the people are left without any say. The truth is that voting doesn't only happen in a booth, during a poll, or when a new president is being elected. Voting happens everytime a dollar is spent.

Every purchase goes towards a bigger picture, a plan, an agenda. Business know this. Everyone who participates in the WEF annual meeting in Switzerland knows this. And what they do with that information is make decisions about who and what we will be able to spend our money on in the coming months and years.

So, next time you're about to purchase something just because you want it, think first about who you are supporting. Search for the name. Look at the backers. Research the list of investors. If we all did this even some of the time, we would all be better off.

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