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Davos 2024: Gen Z Is Watching

A recent survey of over 6,000 people across the United States and Europe revealed that a majority (54%) believe global leaders have the power to effect change at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. That number increases to 60% among Gen Z respondents, who are more optimistic than any other generation about the potential impact of the event.

Why it matters: Davos, attended by stakeholders including heads of business and government, academia, civil society and youth representatives, is a key opportunity for leaders to collaborate on urgent global issues like climate change and nature loss concerns, the future of AI, societal polarization, and economic growth. This year’s Davos theme is Rebuilding Trust, aimed at reinforcing transparency, consistency, and accountability. 

The Salesforce perspective: “It’s promising to see the next generation seek progress and solutions on today’s most pressing global issues. It’s more critical than ever for the world’s influential leaders, thinkers, and voices to exchange ideas on a global stage, and we need trusted, transparent environments to facilitate that collaboration. The World Economic Forum’s multi-stakeholder dialogues are the perfect way to bridge differences, build trust, and drive positive outcomes.” – Sabastian Niles, President and Chief Legal Officer

It’s more critical than ever for the world’s influential leaders, thinkers, and voices to exchange ideas on a global stage, and we need trusted, transparent environments to facilitate that collaboration.

Sabastian Niles, President and Chief Legal Officer

Go deeper: Gen Z, born between the mid-90s and early 2010s and characterized by social and environmental consciousness, may be more bullish on Davos because of the event’s focus on issues that impact their future.

In particular, climate change, sustainability, global health, economic development, and geopolitical issues are some of the priority topics that the public wants to see discussed at Davos. 

Survey results also showed:

  • 83% of respondents have heard of the WEF’s annual meeting in Davos.
  • People are keen to hear about global issues and tangible steps taken to address them. Only 25% of respondents believe global leaders are transparent enough about what is discussed during leadership meetups like Davos. In order, respondents would like to hear about:
    • Information and actions about issues impacting society as a whole 
    • Actions taken by political leaders
    • Impact of actions taken in the past 
    • Actions being taken by WEF
  • Gen Z is more inclined to show interest in the following topics in comparison to the overall population:
    • Actions taken by business leaders (+7%)
    • Actions taken by WEF (+6%)
    • Information and actions about issues impacting my community (+6%)
    • Information and actions about issues impacting society as a whole (+4%)

More information: 

Research methodology:

In partnership with YouGov, Salesforce conducted a double-blind survey among 6,684 people 18 and older across the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Switzerland. The data was gathered to reflect census demographic representation and fielded between December 12 and December 18, 2023.

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