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Klaus Schwab

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Klaus Schwab
Klaus Schwab WEF 2008 (cropped).jpg
Schwab in 2008
Born (1938-03-30) 30 March 1938 (age 83)
OccupationFounder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum
Notable work
COVID-19: The Great Reset (2020)
Hilde Schwab
(m. 1971)

Klaus Martin Schwab (German pronunciation: [klaʊs ˈmaʁtiːn ʃvaːp]; born 30 March 1938) is a German engineer and economist best known as the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.[1] His wife and first collaborator,[2][3] Hilde, co-founded the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship with him.

Early life

Schwab obtained his "Abitur" or high school diploma from the Humanistisches Gymnasium in Ravensburg, Germany.[citation needed] In 1961, he graduated as a mechanical engineer from ETH Zurich (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology),[4] then gained a doctorate in Engineering from ETH Zurich,[5] a doctorate in Economics from the University of Fribourg,[6] and a Master of Public Administration degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.[7]


Schwab was professor of business policy at the University of Geneva from 1972 to 2003, and since then, has been an Honorary Professor there.[8] Since 1979, he has published the Global Competitiveness Report, an annual report assessing the potential for increasing productivity and economic growth of countries around the world, written by a team of economists.[9] The report is based on a methodology developed by Schwab, measuring competitiveness not only in terms of productivity but also based on sustainability criteria.[10]

He has authored and co-authored several books, including The Fourth Industrial Revolution (2016),[11] Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution (2018, with Nicholas Davis),[12] COVID-19: The Great Reset (2020, with Thierry Malleret),[13] and Stakeholder Capitalism (to appear in 2021, with Peter Vanham).[14]

WEF and other foundations

Schwab has had a life-long gift for building successful nonprofit foundations. In 1971, Schwab founded the European Management Forum,[15] which in 1987 became the World Economic Forum, as a not-for-profit foundation committed to improving the state of the world. He founded the WEF in 1971, the same year in which he published Moderne Unternehmensführung im Maschinenbau[16] (Modern Enterprise Management in Mechanical Engineering). In that book, he argued that the management of a modern enterprise must serve not only shareholders but all stakeholders (die Interessenten), to achieve long-term growth and prosperity. Schwab has championed the multistakeholder concept since the WEF’s inception. In 2015, the WEF was formally recognised by the Swiss Government as an "international body".[17] Under Schwab's management, the WEF has been keen to promote its image as a driver for reconciliation efforts in different parts of the world, acting as a catalyst of numerous collaborations and international initiatives.

In 1998, Schwab and his wife founded the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, another NGO based in Geneva, Switzerland.

In 2004, Schwab created a new foundation using the US$1 million prize money from the Dan David Prize he received that year from Israel. The Forum of Young Global Leaders aims to create a dynamic global community of exceptional people (under 40) with the vision, courage and influence to drive positive change in the world.[18]

In 2011, he founded the Global Shapers Community, a global network of local communities, or "hubs", of young people aged 20 to 30 who are exceptional in their potential, achievements and drive to make a contribute to their communities. As of 9 June 2020, there are 421 Hubs with 9,731 Shapers.[19]


In March 2021, the Magyar Nemzet as republished by the Visegrad Post issued a scathing critique of the Schwabian Great Reset into a "new transhumanist world order" under "transnational governance". The Schwabians "want to replace democracy with complex governance, prioritize technocracy over elections and MPs, and emphasize 'expertise' that the general public doesn’t understand instead of transparency." Schwab "predicts that today’s external devices like laptops and virtual reality headsets, will eventually 'most likely be able to be implanted in our bodies and minds'." The critique writer termed all of this "Davos-era neocommunism".[20]

Other activities and awards

Schwab has been the recipient of seventeen honorary doctorates,[21] including ones from the London School of Economics,[22] the National University of Singapore,[23] the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology,[24] and over a dozen other universities, including Kaunas, Haifa, and Bangkok.[25][26][27] He is also an honorary professor of the University of Geneva, the Ben-Gurion University of Israel[28] and the China Foreign Affairs University.[29]

  • In 2001, he received the Candlelight Award from then U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (New York, 2001).[32]

During the earlier years of his career, he was on a number of company boards, such as The Swatch Group, The Daily Mail Group, and Vontobel Holding. He is a former member of the steering committee of the Bilderberg Group.[39] He is honour member at FC Bayern Munich.


  1. ^ "Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman | World Economic Forum-Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman". Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship - Our Story". Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  3. ^ Nast, Condé. "Getting to Know Klaus Schwab, the Man Behind Davos". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  4. ^ "ETHistory - Klaus Schwab". Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  5. ^ "Der längerfristige Exportkredit als betriebswirtschaftliches Problem des Maschinenbaues". Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  6. ^ "Quelques diplômés de la Faculté". Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  7. ^ "Improving the State of the World: a Conversation with Klaus Schwab". Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  8. ^ "Faculty Université de Genève". Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  9. ^ "Global Competitiveness | World Economic Forum-Global Competitiveness". Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  10. ^ "Global Competitiveness | World Economic Forum-Global Competitiveness". Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  11. ^ Schwab, Klaus (2016). The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Crown Business. ISBN 978-1-5247-5886-8.
  12. ^ Schwab, Klaus (2018). Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Portfolio Penguin. ISBN 978-0-2413-6637-0.
  13. ^ Schwab, Klaus (2020). COVID-19: The Great Reset. Forum Publishing. ISBN 978-2-9406-3112-4.
  14. ^ Schwab, Klaus (2021). Stakeholder Capitalism. Wiley. ISBN 978-1-119-75613-2.
  15. ^ "History". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  16. ^ Schwab, Klaus (1971). Moderne Unternehmensführung im Maschinenbau (PDF).
  17. ^ "Agreement signed with the WEF". The portal of the Swiss government. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Forum of Young Global Leaders – Home". Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  19. ^ "Global Shapers – Home". Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  20. ^ "Davos-era neocommunism". Visegrád Post. 1 March 2021.
  21. ^ "Professor Klaus Schwab Factsheet" (PDF). Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  22. ^ "Honorary Graduates" (PDF). Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  23. ^ "NUS confers highest honour on World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman Prof Klaus Schwab and social service champion Gerard Ee". Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  24. ^ "Klaus Schwab to Receive Doctorate from KAIST University". Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  25. ^ "Honorary Doctor of KTU Klaus Schwab". Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  26. ^ "Professor Klaus M. Schwab (Switzerland)". Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  27. ^ "WEF founder conferred distinction in BKK". Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  28. ^ "University Units - Honorary Awards". 31 May 2011. Archived from the original on 19 February 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  29. ^ "China Foreign Affaire University". Archived from the original on 13 January 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  30. ^[permanent dead link]
  31. ^ "Committee for Development Planning (A/AC.54)". 26 February 2002. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  33. ^ "Japan honours Professor Klaus Schwab with Order of the Rising Sun". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  34. ^ "Professor Klaus Schwab, the Founder of WEF to Become the 45th Honorary Doctor of KTU". Archived from the original on 22 December 2020.
  35. ^ "Prof K. Schwab, founder of WEF to become the 45th Honorary Doctor of KTU". The Lithuania Tribune. 5 October 2017. Archived from the original on 22 December 2020.
  36. ^ "10 foreigners given medals for roles in reform, opening-up". Archived from the original on 22 December 2020.
  37. ^ [1] Archived 31 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ "Lucerne Festival > Articles > Stiftungsrat". Archived from the original on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  39. ^ "Former Steering Committee Members". Bilderberg Group. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2014.

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