World Economic Forum: 50 WEF delegates talk to the young people of Davos to mark the 50th anniversary

To mark the 50th anniversary of the World Economic Forum 50 delegates took time out of their busy schedules to talk to the young people of Davos. 

To see pictures of the event click here

Davos Platz Primary School

World Economic Forum: 50 WEF delegates talk to the young people of Davos to mark the 50th anniversary
Click the image to visit the ‘Smart Way To Start’ website

The primary school event took place on the 21st January and built on last year’s highly successful pilot – details here. The guests were welcomed by a wonderful musical performance by the children and then International Leader and Children’s author Dr Mara Harvey gave an inspirational speech to a packed assembly hall. She explained what the 17 Sustainable Development Goals were and had produced a rhyme for the children to help them remember the SDGs.

Mara and the other delegates then went into different classrooms and answered questions from the children about their job and career route. The children aged 9-12 had all drawn pictures of the job they wanted to do when they grew up and got the chance to ask delegates questions such as “What was your favourite subject at school? What was your first job? What’s the most difficult thing about your job? Does your job make a difference to people?” The question and answer sessions all took place in German and for the guests who didn’t speak the language parents, and in some cases, some of the older children acted as translators.

World Economic Forum: 50 WEF delegates talk to the young people of Davos to mark the 50th anniversary

The difference volunteers from the world of work can make to children’s aspirations was highlighted in a report Education and Employers published during the 2018 World Economic Forum: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/01/kids-draw-their-future-jobs-careers. The report showed that gender stereotyping starts at a young age and is a global issue. Children often base their aspirations on the jobs their parents and friends do and TV and social media. It is vital children don’t rule out options because they believe, implicitly or explicitly, that their future career choices are limited by their gender, ethnicity or socio-economic background. More info here

Davos Platz Secondary School

World Economic Forum: 50 WEF delegates talk to the young people of Davos to mark the 50th anniversary

The secondary school event took place immediately after the launch of the OECD’s Dream Jobs? report – details here . It was kindly supported by the World Economic Forum and was a part of their affiliate programme.

World Economic Forum: 50 WEF delegates talk to the young people of Davos to mark the 50th anniversary

The students aged 13 -16 had all been ask to write about their views on the future of the world, the issues that matter to them and their own career aspirations. The need to address climate change and reducing international conflict and poverty emerged as consistent concerns. Some of their letters can be seen here .

The WEF delegates then visited classrooms and discussed with students the letters they had written, shared their insights and experience in areas including science, environment, technology and equality and answered questions such as:

World Economic Forum: 50 WEF delegates talk to the young people of Davos to mark the 50th anniversary

Martin Flütsch Head teacher of the Davos Schools said“The visit was the highlight of our school year. There is no doubt that it will change the future of some of our students’ lives. It is true that “You can’t be what you can’t see” and the WEF delegates helped broaden their horizons, raise their aspirations and challenged ingrained gender stereotypes. They helped them get excited about the subjects they are studying and motivated them to study hard and try their best to achieve their potential – a very big thanks from me, my fellow heads and teachers, our students and the Davos community”.

Both events were organised by founder of the swiss charity MOD-ELLE Andrea Delannoy in partnership with Education and Employers and with the wonderful support from the staff at the school – Martin Flütsch, Marco Schneider and Michael Illi and Rahel Bättig.

World Economic Forum: 50 WEF delegates talk to the young people of Davos to mark the 50th anniversary

Research shows that volunteers from the world of work going into schools helps to:

  1. Broaden young peoples’ horizons and raise their aspirations
  2. Excite children about subjects, increasing motivation, confidence and attitude to learning
  3. Challenge gender and social stereotypes
  4. Improve academic attainment
  5. Increase young people’s earning potential
  6. Reduce the likelihood of young people becoming Not in Education, Employment or Training