World_economic_forum_05_1 Professor Klaus Schwab is one of my newest heroes in this world! 

Approximately 35 years ago Professor Schwab had a vision called the World Economic Forum. The World Economic
Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world. The Forum provides a collaborative framework for the world’s leaders to address global issues, engaging particularly its corporate members in global citizenship.  Well, this year my wife, Mrs. Sheila Kennedy Bryant, and I traveled to Davos, Switzerland for the first year that I have been invited to the World Economic Forum, and as a new member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders.  And this year more than 2,500 leaders from the private sector (approximately half of all attendees, and comprising 1,000 of the world’s largest and most prestigous companies), government (including several heads of state, and former heads of state such as former U.S. President Bill Clinton), community and faith came together in Davos, Switzerland, and voted in their Town Hall session, by an overwhelming margin, to make poverty eradication the top issue which needed to be tackled in the 21st century. As the founder of Operation HOPE, I could not have been more pleased to have our mission, vision and purpose validated in this way…

Many, many people I spoke with at the World Economic Forum (WEF) commented on how very far the WEF has come, from being what they viewed as inwardly focused (which of course is more a reflection of the leaders that comprise WEF than WEF itself), to being outwardly focused — asking big and important questions, like "what can we do to help the world?"  Well, fighting poverty is but one of those things.

And while the Forum of Young Global Leaders will not meet to decide its agenda until our inaugural meeting in June, 2005, in Zermatt, Switzerland, the more than 100 Young Global Leaders (YGL) in attendance at WEF were clearly inspired by the vote by WEF to focus on fighting poverty.  YGL members were also treated to a private discussion and presentation on the environment by former U.S. President Al Gore. This was clearly a "wake up call," as to the critical steps that world leaders must take in the next century to protect our planet — from ourselves! I will be writing much more on my WEF experience in the days ahead, so stay tuned…

With HOPE.

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