What does Davos mean for global development?

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DAVOS, Switzerland — Leaders in global health, international development, and humanitarian response will be critical participants in the conversations highlighted by the World Economic Forum’s theme for its annual Davos meeting: how to create a shared future in a fractured world. This year, there were some key takeaways and practical opportunities for partnership in the development space.

“Everyone, from corporate executives to heads of state, they’re talking SDGs,” Raj Kumar, Devex president and editor-in-chief, told Devex Senior Reporter Catherine Cheney in a conversation for Executive Members. “In terms of the big picture, it’s not like development is off in its own corner somewhere. It’s a theme, I feel like, in every discussion.”

There was a lot of emphasis in Davos on systems thinking, from health systems to education systems to food systems. Depending on who you ask, Davos is either the ultimate megaphone for big partnerships, or a place where you risk getting lost in the shuffle. But it is undoubtedly among the best venues for putting partnerships together.

Take, as one example, the Maverick Collective, the philanthropic and advocacy initiative that Kate Roberts of Population Services International formed due largely to connections she made as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.

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About the author

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    Catherine Cheney

    Catherine Cheney is a Senior Reporter for Devex. She covers the West Coast of the U.S., focusing on the role of technology and innovation in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. And she frequently represents Devex as a speaker and moderator. Prior to joining Devex, Catherine earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale University, worked as a web producer for POLITICO and reporter for World Politics Review, and helped to launch NationSwell. Catherine has reported from all over the world, and freelanced for outlets including the Atlantic and the Washington Post. She is also the West Coast ambassador for the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit that trains and connects journalists to cover responses to problems.