The World Economic Forum was established in 1971 as a non-governmental organization in Geneva, Switzerland. The Forum organizes a platform for discussion and cooperation among world leaders on the Economy, regional and global issues, and sets out common approaches and targets to address global challenges. It organizes its events as meetings, not as conferences. The key objective is to create maximum opportunities for discussion for each participant.
Founder and Executive Chairman of the organization is Professor Klaus Schwab. Control over the activities of the organization is implemented by the Board of Trustees, which includes well-known businessmen, politicians, representatives of academic circles and those of civil societies. The management body of the organization is the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors ensures the activities of the organization and represents the organization in international relations.
The activities of the organization are mainly focused on the following three strategic challenges: (i) ensuring the Fourth Industrial Revolution, (ii) solving global problems, and (iii) regulating global security issues.
The organization is more known for its annual Davos Forum held in Davos. The Davos Forum is a traditional annual meeting held at the famous Davos ski resort in late January and early February (except for the session which was held in New York City in 2002 to demonstrate solidarity with the United States after the September 11 terror attack, and the WEF session which was held for the first time in Baku, Azerbaijan on April 7-8, 2013. The topic of the Forum was ”Strategic Dialogue on the Future of the South Caucasus and Central Asia"). In accordance with traditions, this event discusses issues such as the actual issues of modern times, the prospects of Economic Development, strengthening of stability and peace in the world, regulation of the situation in “hotspots”. Within the framework of Davos meetings, about 300 plenary sessions, seminars are held, as well as short meetings with the participation of state officials are organized. Resolutions are not adopted at these meetings and decisions on other documents are not made, but the Forum participants gather together in informal atmosphere to discuss important issues for the world economy, establish new working relations, conduct face-to-face informal negotiations.
In addition to the Davos Forum, WEF is the organizer of a number of other international events as well. “A New Global Leaders` Forum”, established in recent years, unites the “High Technology Pioneers” Union (which includes the heads of leading companies operating due to scientific and technical progress), leaders who contributed to the development of the world under the age of 40, can be noted. In addition to the above-mentioned, WEF organizes measures related to regional and national strategies.
The organization is not only a tribune for discussions, but also conducts economic and political research. Since 1979, the organization has been developing the annual Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) evaluating more than 100 countries for two main indices: Growth Potential Index and Global Competitiveness Index. In recent years, the organization has been engaged in the preparation of other rankings of different regions and economic sectors. In 2005, the “Competitiveness of the Arab world” Report was published. On the 60th anniversary of the UN General Assembly, the organization prepared a report on the cooperation of states and businesses to solve the problem of Poverty in the world.
The strategic objective of the organization is to become the main international Public-Private Cooperation in the future. The main goal is to formalize new systems of cooperation on a national, regional, and global scale, in other words, to organize the “operating system” of international cooperation.
The organization publishes its annual "Global Competitiveness Report". The first report was published in 1979. Since 2004, the countries of the report are listed in the “Global Competitiveness Index". The Global Competitiveness Report assesses countries' ability to ensure a high standard of living for their citizens. This index is primarily influenced by the efficient use and management of resources owned by a country. At the same time, in order to ensure a high level of lifestyle in the conditions of a Market Economy, it is required to constantly improve Labour Productivity and the quality of goods and services. The Report uses 12 columns as the evaluation criterion.