Lighthouses for a perfect storm

photo of a storm over a still lake
Image : Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

For more information, contact your organization's Primary Engagement Manager at the World Economic Forum by clicking here.

More than ever, decision-makers and those in positions of influence need to react to the perfect storm of long-term issues colliding with short-term political, economic and societal pressures. Subdued growth, rising inequalities and an accelerating climate crisis offer a context for a backlash against capitalism, globalization, technology and elites.

The gridlock in the international governance system and escalating trade and geopolitical tensions, leave governments grappling with how to mitigate the unintended consequences of technological integration and how to implement complementary social policies that support populations through the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Large companies have a compelling role to play in seeking political transformation. Forward-minded leaders can often mobilize resources, innovation and action, and influence a wide network, that many in governments and civil society cannot do on their own. There is a compelling space for corporate leadership to drive political confidence and the opportunity to act.

The inspiring demonstrations of success highlighted here – “lighthouse” examples – show how innovation and investment across key areas of social, human, environmental and physical capital can be brought together to bring results for everyone. They prove how “tipping point” coalitions of stakeholders can drive positive impact quickly, cost-effectively and with the potential to expand.

These Projects do not represent a comprehensive catalogue of all the stakeholder projects with the most impact in the world, nor indeed of every activity that the World Economic Forum itself undertakes on its platforms. There are many other excellent corporate and public-private initiatives that exist. Rather, the Lighthouse Project list is simply a starting point for wider corporate stakeholder engagement of Forum member companies.

We hope you will join us in highlighting the material progress being made by stakeholder capitalism by “walking the talk” and helping to build a more cohesive and sustainable world

—Klaus Schwab, World Economic Forum and Brian Moynihan, Bank of America

The list is divided into six categories that reflect the six strategic imperatives of the Forum’s Annual Meeting 2020:

  • 1.
    Society – Equality, Inclusion and Human Potential
  • 2.
    Economy – Economic Development and Integration
  • 3.
    Ecology – Climate, Environmental Security and Sustainable Food Systems
  • 4.
    Technology – Technology Governance
  • 5.
    Geopolitics – Regional Development and Cohesion
  • 6.
    Industry – Industry Responsibility and Corporate Leadership

All within the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

In each category, there is a list of Lighthouse Projects that are multistakeholder collaborations and alliances followed by those driven by individual companies.

Every participating Industry Partner at The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020 is invited to commit to join, help scale up or replicate at least one of the Lighthouse Projects listed in this report, and/or to bring a similarly consequential, stakeholder-driven and high-impact Lighthouse Project to the Forum’s platform.

Forum Partner Engagement Managers will be in touch ahead of the Annual Meeting to help each Industry Partner with the details

Other interested stakeholders, for example governments, civil society organizations and research institutions, are invited to connect here for more information. Further submissions of Lighthouse Projects to help grow this list and affiliate with the Forum’s platform are warmly welcomed.

What is a Lighthouse Project?

(As defined for the World Economic Forum's 2019 Summer IBC Meeting)

The proposed criteria for "lighthouse projects" include that each project should – or should have a vision to – be:

  • Multistakeholder – they should consist of, engage with or provide positive impact for multiple organizations within the public and private sectors, and civil society, whether along supply chains, within sectors or geographies.
  • Transformative – they seek to correct systemic issues that can trigger a big change on a recognized challenge
  • Future oriented – they can seek to leverage Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies and science to solve globa, regional or industry challenges
  • Well-championed by industry – they have support from one or more Principals (Chief Executive Officer/Chairperson)
  • Have growth potential or are replicable – their success can be replicated in different regions or markets, or by different enterprises, and can be grown as more stakeholders join

Every participating Industry Partner at The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020 is invited to commit to join, help scale up or replicate at least one of the Lighthouse Projects listed in this report, and/or to bring a similarly consequential, stakeholder-driven and high-impact Lighthouse Project to the Forum’s platform.

Forum Partner Engagement Managers will be in touch ahead of the Annual Meeting to help each Industry Partner with the details.

Other interested stakeholders, for example, governments, civil society organizations and research institutions, are invited to connect here for more information. Further submissions of Lighthouse Projects to help grow this list and affiliate with the Forum’s platform are warmly welcomed.