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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 82)
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.



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

He has been the recipient of seventeen honorary doctorates,[7] including ones from the London School of Economics,[8] the National University of Singapore,[9] the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology,[10] and over a dozen other universities, including Kaunas, Haifa, and Bangkok.[11][12][13] He is also an honorary professor of the University of Geneva, the Ben-Gurion University of Israel[14] and the China Foreign Affairs University.[15]

Professional life

Schwab was professor of business policy at the University of Geneva from 1972 to 2003, and since then, has been an Honorary Professor there.[16] 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.[17] The report is based on a methodology developed by Schwab, measuring competitiveness not only in terms of productivity but also based on sustainability criteria.[18]

He has authored and co-authored several books, including The Fourth Industrial Revolution (2016),[19] Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution (2018, with Nicholas Davis),[20] COVID-19: The Great Reset (2020, with Thierry Malleret),[21] and Stakeholder Capitalism (to appear in 2021, with Peter Vanham).[22]


In 1971, Schwab founded the European Management Forum,[23] 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[24] (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".[25] 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[26] 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.

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.[27]

Other activities and awards

  • In 1997, he received the Knight of the Légion d'Honneur of France.
  • In 2001, he received the Candlelight Award from then U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (New York, 2001).[30]
  • In 2006, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth (Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George).
  • In 2012, he received the Knight Commanders Cross of Germany.
  • In 2013, he received The Grand Cordon of the Rising Sun of Japan.[31]
  • In 2018, he received the China Reform Friendship Medal for "promoting China's international economic exchanges and cooperation".[34]

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

External links

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