The real concern about the WEF, however, is not the personal hypocrisy of its privileged delegates. It is rather that this unaccountable invitation-only gathering is increasingly where global decisions are being taken and moreover is becoming the default form of global governance. There is considerable evidence that past WEFs have stimulated free trade agreements such as NAFTA as well helped rein in regulation of Wall Street in the aftermath of the financial crisis.
Less well known is the fact that WEF since 2009 has been working on an ambitious project called the Global Redesign Initiative, (GRI), which effectively proposes a transition away from intergovernmental decision-making towards a system of multi-stakeholder governance. In other words, by stealth, they are replacing a recognized model where we vote in governments who then negotiate treaties which are then ratified by our elected representatives with a model where a self-selected group of ‘stakeholders’make decisions on our behalf. …
This is worth a look, not only because I helped this research.
TNI takes a close look at the World Economic Forum’s Board to see who they represent, their economic interests and political beliefs. Might this be the future of global governance?
The research showed that:
- Only 6 of its 24 Board members are women (25%)
- 16 are from North America and Europe (67%). There is not one African Board member.
- Half of the Board (12) are currently corporate executives. However if you look at their careers, 16 have a corporate background (67%)
- 22 of the 24 went to universities in US and Europe; 10 went to the same university (Harvard)
- Only one member can be said to represent civil society (Peter Maurer of Red Cross). There are no representatives of trade unions, public sector organisations, human rights groups, peasant or indigenous organisations, students and youth.