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Tue, Jan 22



World Economic Forum at Davos - Cultural Leaders Annual Meeting 2019

2019 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Jan 22, 2019 – Jan 25, 2019

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World Economic Forum at Davos - Cultural Leaders Annual Meeting 2019
World Economic Forum at Davos - Cultural Leaders Annual Meeting 2019

Time & Location

Jan 22, 2019, 7:00 AM – Jan 25, 2019, 9:30 PM

Davos, Davos, Switzerland

About the event

Cultural Leaders

Annual Meeting 2019

The 2019 Crystal Awards

The Crystal Award celebrates the achievements of leading artists and cultural figures whose leadership inspires inclusive and sustainable change. 2019 marks the 25th year of the award.

Marin Alsop, for her leadership in championing diversity in music

Marin Alsop, Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony since 2007, is one of the greatest conductors active today. Earlier this year she was the first woman to be appointed Chief Conductor of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and, in 2013, was the first woman in 118 years to conduct the BBC’s “Last Night of the Proms”. She has tirelessly endeavoured to provide opportunities for all people to access music for a world where diversity in classical music is the norm rather than the exception. In Baltimore she launched the “OrchKids” programme to serve the city’s less privileged children, and the BSO Academy and Rusty Musicians for adult amateur musicians. She is also Music Director of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra. A graduate of Yale University and a MacArthur Fellow (2005), at the Annual Meeting, she will lead the opening performance with the Taki Concordia Orchestra.

Haifaa Al-Mansour, for her leadership in cultural transformation in the Arab world

Haifaa Al-Mansour is the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia. “Wadjda”, Al-Mansour’s feature debut, was the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and the first by a female director. The breakthrough success of her 2005 documentary “Women Without Shadows” initiated a new wave of Saudi filmmakers and front-page headlines of Saudi Arabia finally opening cinemas in the kingdom. She was recently appointed to the Board of the General Authority for Culture to advise on the development of the cultural and arts sectors in Saudi Arabia. She recently released “Mary Shelley”, starring Elle Fanning, and “Nappily Ever After”, starring Sanaa Lathan. Al-Mansour is the first artist from the Arabian Gulf region to be invited to join the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science.

Sir David Attenborough, for his leadership in environmental stewardship

Sir David Attenborough’s broadcasting career spans six decades. He has played an extraordinary role in both reinventing and developing the medium of television, and in connecting people to the wonders of the natural world, bringing distant peoples, animals and habitats into living rooms across the planet. As a BBC producer and executive, he has played a crucial part in creating new forms of programming and scheduling that to this day influence global broadcasting. His work includes many iconic productions, from the ground-breaking “Zoo Quest” series to landmark programmes including “Life on Earth”, “The Living Planet”, “The Trials of Life”, “The Private Life of Plants”, “Life of Mammals” and “Planet Earth”. In Davos, Sir David will present key sequences from “Our Planet”, a new series focusing on the preservation of life on earth.

Cultural Leaders  

Basima Abdulrahman, Erbil, Global Shaper

Basima Abdulrahman is an Iraqi structural engineer who is passionate about the environment. She founded KESK, the first green design and construction initiative in Iraq where she helps government and businesses make buildings more sustainable through introducing green building strategies and solutions. Together with her fellow Global Shapers at the Erbil Hub, she runs the Social Cohesion Youth Dialogues, where they work on building trust between disenfranchised youth from the various religious and ethnic backgrounds, a vital step for the community’s efforts to combat violent extremism. She is a Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting 2019.

Caroline Baumann, New York

Caroline Baumann is the Director of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Baumann was appointed director in 2013 and led the recent transformation of America’s design museum into a dynamic, global resource for the public understanding of design, which earned the museum numerous awards and honours. Baumann served as a panellist for the 2017 US Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale and was awarded the Chevalier of France’s Order of Arts and Letters in 2018. In Davos, the Cooper Hewitt is collaborating with the Forum to present the exhibition ACCESS+ABILITY, promoting inclusive thinking and user-centred design that benefits everyone.

Carol Becker, New York

Carol Becker is the Dean of Faculty of the Columbia School of Arts in New York. In her role, she has helped to launch international programmes in screen and television writing, film production, literary translation and art practice for global leaders. Becker has written extensively on the impact of art and artists on society and works closely with the Forum’s Global Leadership Fellows programme on a unique module on leadership development through art practice.

David Blaine, New York

David Blaine is a world-class pioneer in the field of magic and illusions. He is known for death-defying endurance stunts and innovative tricks that defy the boundaries of human capability. Blaine’s ventures in the performing arts have encompassed both live shows and TV performances, including a Live Nation tour and several ABC specials — the most acclaimed of which may be “David Blaine: Street Magic”. In Davos, Blaine will share insights on the psychology of magic and the power of mind over matter.

Bono, Dublin

Acknowledged as one of the best live acts in the world, U2 have sold over 170 million albums and won 22 Grammys. Bono is a well-known activist and the co-founder of ONE and (RED). ONE’s nearly 10 million members pressure governments to take action on fighting extreme poverty. (RED) works with businesses to raise money for the AIDS fight and has delivered over $600 million to The Global Fund. Bono is also a co-founder of The Rise Fund, a global social impact fund investing in seven sectors aligned with the UN SDGs. He is a past Crystal Award recipient.

Patrick Chappatte, Geneva

Patrick Chappatte is an editorial cartoonist for The New York Times, Der Spiegel, NZZ am Sonntag and Le Temps. He is also a comics journalist who travels worldwide and reports in cartoons. Through initiatives such as “Cartooning for Peace” and “Crossed Pens”, he collaborates regularly with cartoonists in conflict-ridden countries with the goal of promoting dialogue through cartooning. In Davos, he will present an exhibition that marries social commentary with humour, addressing topics such as gender rights, freedom of speech, technological disruption and climate change, in collaboration with the Swiss foundation Cartooning for Peace.

Rena Effendi, Istanbul

Rena Effendi is an award-winning photographer whose work portrays the socioeconomic effects of globalization on marginalized communities around the world. Through her photography, she gives a voice to the unheard and sheds light on the fragile balance between tradition and modernity in post-conflict societies. Effendi’s work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, Art Basel Miami Beach and the Istanbul Biennial. She has worked on assignment for National Geographic, The New Yorker and The Sunday Times, among others. She is the author of two monographs: Pipe Dreams and Liquid Land. In Davos, Rena Effendi will share untold stories of extraordinary everyday women.

Madeline Gannon, Pittsburgh

Madeline Gannon is a multidisciplinary designer inventing better ways to communicate with machines. In her research, Gannon seeks to blend knowledge from design, robotics and human-computer interaction to innovate at the intersection of art and technology. Her recent works taming giant industrial robots illustrate a future where the tools of automation can be reconfigured to expand, augment and enhance human capabilities, not replace them. Gannon holds a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University and leads the research studio ATONATON. In Davos, Madeline Gannon will contribute to the storytelling series at the Open Forum.

Mehdi Ghadyanloo, Tehran

Mehdi Ghadyanloo is one of Iran’s foremost public artists, known for his utopian and philosophical paintings that interrogate universal precepts such as fear, hope and loss. He has painted more than 100 large-scale murals throughout Tehran. In Davos, he will present “Finding Hope”, a monumental site-specific surrealist mural evoking the fine balance between hope for diversity and the complexity of society.

Toshiyuki Inoko, Tokyo

Toshiyuki Inoko is the Founder of teamlab, an art collective whose collaborative practice seeks to navigate the confluence of art, science, technology, design and the natural world. Comprised of a team of designers, architects and engineers, teamlab expands the definition of art by using digital technology and creating large-scale immersive experiences. teamlab’s current work focuses on the human being’s relation to borders and nature portrayed by teamlab’s exhibition “MORI Building Digital Art Museum: teamlab Borderless”, where artworks move and communicate with the visitors. In Davos, Inoko will provide insights into the future of digital creativity.

Karan Johar, Mumbai

Karan Johar is one of India’s most influential film directors, producers, TV personalities and actors. He hosts the television chat show, Koffee with Karan, and has served as a judge on the reality show India’s Got Talent. Johar is considered a leading figure in the Hindi cinema industry and, through his extensive work, has brought a fresh outlook to Indian cinema, including by addressing contemporary topics until now considered taboo. He is a past Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s India Economic Summit.

Skye Meaker, Durban

Skye Meaker is a South African photographer specializing in wildlife photography. Growing up in a family with a passion for nature and photography, he received his first camera at age seven, marking the beginning of a journey to incredible places around the world. He was recently awarded the 2018 Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year for his photograph of a leopard at the Mashatu Game Reserve. At the Annual Meeting, Meaker will share a session with Jane Goodall, exploring close encounters with wildlife.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Karachi

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is a two-time Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her films cover topics of refugees, women’s advocacy and human rights. She is a past recipient of the Crystal Award and a member of the Young Global Leaders Alumni community. She was the first artist to be a Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. This year in Davos, she will present her film “Freedom Fighters”, portraying Pakistani women taking a stand against violence at the hands of men.

Platon, New York

Photographer Platon is the founder of The People’s Portfolio, which uses visual storytelling to celebrate human rights defenders and advocate responsible global citizenship. Platon’s iconic portraits have appeared in the world’s most influential magazines. He is a member of the World Arts Forum and a Steward of the World Economic Forum’s System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Economic Growth and Social Inclusion. In Davos, Platon will be moderating a session with Nobel Peace Laureate Denis Mukwege.

Winslow Porter, New York

Winslow Porter is an award-winning director, producer and creative technologist specializing in virtual/augmented reality and large-scale immersive installations. In 2014, he produced the Tribeca Film Festival Transmedia Award-winning interactive documentary CLOUDS. While at the New Museum Incubator, Porter formed New Reality Company with Milica Zec in 2016, creating the critically acclaimed cinematic VR experiences Giant and Tree, which have been shown at over 75 events and festivals all over the globe. A new iteration of Tree VR is presented at this year’s Annual Meeting. Porter runs the New York branch of New Reality embedded in the world-renowned design agency R/GA.

Carlo Ratti, Cambridge

Carlo Ratti is an architect and engineer teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he directs the Senseable City Laboratory, and is a Founding Partner of the international design and innovation office Carlo Ratti Associati. As a leading voice in the debate on new technologies’ impact on urban life, he explores how new technologies are changing the way we understand, design and, ultimately, live in cities. He is a Co-Chair of the Global Future Council on Cities and Urbanization of the World Economic Forum.

Chiara Tilesi, Los Angeles

Chiara Tilesi is a producer whose work focuses on creating positive social change in the world through film, media and art. She has produced films such as All the Invisible Children and directed the Social Impact Department at the blockchain-based entertainment platform TaTaTu. In 2016, she founded and launched We Do It Together (WDIT), a non-profit film production company in Los Angeles whose purpose is to produce media dedicated to the empowerment of women and minorities. At the Annual Meeting, Tilesi will reveal how today’s images quietly shape gender ideas and beliefs., Los Angeles is a tech entrepreneur, musician and member of The Black Eyed Peas and creative innovator focused on merging the worlds of technology, artificial intelligence for enterprise, and smarter consumer devices. His angel Foundation funds STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics)-centric learning programmes for disadvantaged students, including coding and robotics. has been recognized by seven Grammy Awards, an Emmy, a CLIO and the World Economic Forum Crystal Award. In 2017, he was named an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. In 2018 he joined the Forum’s Fourth Industrial Revolution Center Advisory Board, and is also a member of the Forum’s Global Artificial Intelligence Council.

Michelle Yeoh, Paris

Actress Michelle Yeoh has challenged traditional views about Asian women by portraying strong female roles, such as Burmese Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. Yeoh has been a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador since 2016, encouraging governments, business and civil society to meet the UN’s Goal for the Decade in preventing 5 million deaths by 2020 and ending poverty by 2030. Yeoh also raises awareness on road safety in Asia and across the world and is a strong advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals, supporting conservation work in Malaysia.

Andria Zafirakou, London

Andria Zafirakou is the recipient of the 2018 Global Teacher Prize in recognition of her contribution to education. She is an art and textiles teacher in Brent on the outskirts of London, one of the world’s most ethnically diverse places. She is passionate about education and changing the lives of young people and underserved communities through creativity. She recently launched the Artists in Residence charity “AIR” to redesign the profile of arts education in the school curriculum and inspire school children with various artists. At this year’s Annual Meeting, Zafirakou will lead a workshop on the art of learning creativity in today’s schools.

Milica Zec, New York

Milica Zec is an award-winning New York- and Los Angeles-based film and mixed- reality director. Her cinematic virtual reality projects Giant and Tree premiered at Sundance Film Festival and have been exhibited at Cannes, Tribeca, IMAX, TED and 75 other festivals and events around the world. New Reality Company, a production studio she co-founded with Winslow Porter, has won Webby, Telly and Lumiere awards, among others. Their critically acclaimed pieces have been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, and Vice for the innovative use of virtual reality to create global awareness of crucial social and environmental issues. Tree VR is presented at this year’s World 

Gina Badenoch, London

Photographer Gina Badenoch teaches photography to blind people and is a social entrepreneur and an inclusivity leader. She specializes in increasing inclusive leadership in organizations by promoting a work-inclusive environment and enabling and developing the innate talent and potential in everyone. Through her work, she is changing narratives and mindsets in a creative and experiential way and implementing a less-biased culture and HR policies. In Davos, she is co-designing the “Sensory Dinner in the Dark” experience at the Base Camp with Sight of Emotion.

Susanne Bruyere, New York

Susanne Bruyere is a Professor of Disability Studies and Director of the Yang- Tan Institute on Employment and Disability at Cornell University. She strives to bring the issues of disability in the workplace to the forefront and directs several federally sponsored research projects focused on employment and disability policy and effective workplace practices for people with disabilities. Bruyere holds a doctoral degree in Rehabilitation Counselling Psychology and is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association. She serves as an Executive Board Member of CARF International, an accreditor of health and human service organizations globally. In Davos, Bruyere will take part in a workshop on making disability inclusion work.

Sinéad Burke, Dublin

Sinéad Burke is an advocate, writer, academic and primary school teacher working to accelerate systemic change within the domains of diversity, education, inclusion, design and disability. She consults within the fashion, architecture, design and technology industries to ensure that spaces and products are accessible to all. Her TED talk “Why Design Should Include Everyone” has been viewed over 1 million times and she is a regular contributor to the Financial Times, The New York Times, British Vogue and Teen Vogue. She has been listed as one of the “25 women shaping 2018” by British Vogue. At the Annual Meeting 2019, Sinéad Burke will reveal in a Betazone session how design can benefit everyone.

Caroline Casey, Dublin

Caroline Casey is an award-winning social entrepreneur, adventurer and business woman. Committed to building a global movement on inclusive business towards an equal society for the one billion people in the world with a disability, she set up several organizations and initiatives centred on disability business inclusion. Her latest initiative, #valuable, reached 810 million people. She works with the world’s most influential CEOs, brands and platforms to put disability on the global business leadership agenda. Casey is also a TED speaker and a past adviser for the Clinton Global Initiative and is a Young Global Leader Alumni of the World Economic Forum. At this Annual Meeting, Casey will be an active voice in sessions addressing accessibility and inclusion in the workplace.

Yetnebersh Nigussie, Addis Ababa

Yetnebersh Nigussie is an Ethiopian lawyer working for women’s and girl’s rights, inclusive education and accessibility in the workplace, drawn from her own experience as a blind woman. Through her advocacy, she has changed perceptions on disability in her own society and internationally. She is the recipient of the 2017 Right Livelihood Award. Nigussie is the Senior Inclusion Advisor at Light for the World and the Co-Founder of the Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development, reuniting business and government agencies to become more inclusive employers. At the Annual Meeting, Nigussie will contribute to sessions on disability inclusion.

Susannah Rodgers, London, Young Global Leader

Susannah Rodgers MBE is a retired Paralympic swimmer who won six medals at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, including gold. She is involved in various organizations as a non-executive director and adviser on disability and inclusion, including the Olympic and Paralympic legacy charity Spirit of 2012. Her interests are education, diversity and raising awareness globally on disability and empowerment for all. She is a strong advocate for marine conservation and is an Ocean Ambassador for the Marine Conservation Society in the UK. She was awarded an MBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in 2017 for services to Paralympic sport and is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. At the Annual Meeting in Davos, she will contribute to sessions on disability inclusion and identity.

Find out more about the Cultural Leaders community here:

See our web page: Read our blogs: 509713fe506c/ Watch Annual Meeting sessions: or Access our photo archive: Become a Facebook fan: Follow us on Twitter: and (hashtag #WEF) Follow us on Weibo: Find us on WeChat: davos_wef

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