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An Adventist perspective on the World Economic Forum

Bern, Switzerland [R. Battista, A. Mazza, CD EUDNews]. February 2, 2015. From January 21 to 24, 300 heads of state, politicians and public figures - from John Kerry to Angela Merkel - along with 1,500 business leaders - from Bill Gates to Sheryl Sandb

An Adventist perspective on the World Economic Forum

R. Battista, A. Mazza, CD EUDNews.

Bern, Switzerland [R. Battista, CD EUDNews]. February 2, 2015.

From January 21 to 24, 300 heads of state, politicians and public figures - from John Kerry to Angela Merkel - along with 1,500 business leaders - from Bill Gates (Microsoft) to Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook) - from more than 140 countries gathered at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. They discussed trends affecting global economics and politics. It was an elite gathering; it had no formal decision making power but it attracted substantial media attention and influenced significantly the international agenda.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss nonprofit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva. It describes itself as an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas. The forum is best known for its annual winter meeting in Davos, a mountain resort in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland.

The forum was founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab, a German-born business professor at the University of Geneva. First named the "European Management Forum", it changed its name to the World Economic Forum in 1987 and sought to broaden its vision to include providing a platform for resolving international conflicts.

Here below a comment of Prof. Raffaele Battista, teaching at the Adventist College of Villa Aurora, Italy:

"The Agenda of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2015 meets our favor for intention and content. How could it be otherwise? In fact, from our perspective, which is that of a christian church that hopes in the goodwill of both peoples of political institutions, we ought to trust what it appears a crucial agenda, aiming the solution of all the problems menacing the life on Earth.

But, trust and hope do not mean blindness or naivety. Distinctions between the rich and poor has been a crucial point at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Hence, we cannot forget the still existing gap between rich and poor that, in the world, grows ever more. It deserves to be mentioned that the 80-90 richest men in the world hold a wealth equal to that of half the world population. Or in other terms: «Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population, and seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years».

The movement dubbed 'Occupy Wall Street', dramatically pointed out the abuses of capitalism that led to the crisis that still devastates the economies of many countries. Their motto was: "We are 99%" managed to put under the magnifying glass a phenomenon hitherto passed over in relative silence, that of a growing wealth gap in society.

The paradox inherent in this event is that, to organize it, are probably the very people who have done much to cause the damage that is now trying to repair. Moreover, it is now clear that, in large proportion, the destinies of nations are not determined by the political and cultural movements, which might have characterized a healthy and vital society in a certain period, but by the economic-financial potentates result of a deflected capitalism.

Democracy is an inestmable value but, it is not in the hands of spiritual people, philosophers, poets, workers, but to those elites that bypass or override the will of the people who, while expressing themselves with the democratic vote, sees almost immediately, its political will, get lost in the maze of the maneuvers of finance lobbies or persons acting behind the scenes. It is an old question, but always present. Therefore, humanity has two perspectives:

a) hope that the potentates realized that if the world disappears, they will disappear with it;

b) hope that people will gain in the democracy arena, to take up their destiny in the sense of a growing solidarity and forward-looking, respectful of life in its most high and wide perspectives. To paraphrase the well known Benjamin Franklin’s quote : «Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well… protected lamb contesting the vote».

We just see what destiny is envisioned for lambs and if wolves will be traced to more merciful."

Pictures: 1. The main Meeting Room of the World Economic Forum. 2. Klaus Schwab, Founder of the World Economic Forum (Wikipedia).