At the 2020 World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, 3,000 leaders convened to address pressing global challenges together. This year, they gathered around the theme: Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World. 

On Tuesday, February 11, Page members Adrian Monck, Managing Director of Public Engagement at the World Economic Forum, and Margery Kraus, Founder and Executive Chairman of APCO Worldwide, guided us in a discussion of their key takeaways from the event and how they expect these insights to impact your teams, your practice and the role of the CCO.


We have summarized the key topics that they covered, but if you prefer, you can also listen to the full conversation.

The future of work

One discussion point at Davos this year was the need to build mechanisms for reskilling and retraining the workforce in the wake of increased automation and global transformation. Development of data-driven systems in the public and private sectors that prepare workers to fulfill new roles is critical. These programs will prevent global unemployment and empower employees to participate in this new iteration of work. 

As CCOs begin to take more ownership over corporate culture, they must lead their teams in asking: How do we identify and hire the right people? How are we preparing people to enter the world of work? 

Stakeholder capitalism

Stakeholder capitalism is, at its core, centered on the idea that you can’t have a successful company in a failed world.

Global leaders are exploring both the societal value and societal risk that accompany this new pressure to define and advocate for issues that intersect with their organizations’ corporate purpose. Senior communicators now have to evaluate whether the organizations they represent have an authentic reason for engaging around pressing issues and lead their teams in integrating societal value into wider corporate strategy.

As the workforce transforms, organizations have to make critical changes to their decision-making processes to engage a new kind of worker. Young people entering the workforce are characterized by their expectation that potential employers keep societal value creation at the center of their business models. 

Globalization and regionalization

Margery noted that this year, conversations always came back to the dichotomy between the challenges of globalization and the potential solutions that are made possible through regionalization. 

Chief among these global challenges is climate. Adrian and Margery said that it was impossible to go anywhere at Davos without discussing the imminence of its impact on the world and the global economy. Companies and investors who are looking at future investments are not going to be investing in the same things, so organizations have to rapidly adapt their practices for the future.