DSP Tan Ye Peng’s visit to Davos for the World Economic Forum is an eye-opener; a call to return to values.
Leaders and influencers from all around the world, from the realm of Government, Business and Community congregated in Davos, Switzerland for the annual summit of the World Economic Forum (WEF) which ran from 28 January to 1 February 2009.
Tan Ye Peng, Deputy Senior Pastor of City Harvest Church, had the privilege to attend this prestigious Forum.
The WEF is an independent international organization created to improve the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Founded in 1971 by Swiss business professor Klaus M Schwab, the WEF has since grown into a powerful platform where key political leaders and top business people convene and launch initiatives to meet the challenges of our rapidly changing world.
WEF proved a memorable experience for Tan as he came face-to-face with leaders and personalities that most people only watch on TV or read about in the papers. Tan had an opportunity to engage with Dean of Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Kishore Mahbubani, dialogue with former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair and meet United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, amongst many other luminaries.
The sessions at the WEF were enlightening and thought-provoking. The theme of the 2009 Davos meeting was on the shaping of the post-crisis world, with many discussions surrounding the causes and consequences of the financial crisis. A common refrain emerging from the discussion was the need for a reinstatement of values and a sense of responsibility in leaders.
It was a widely-shared view at the meetings that the crisis at hand is not just a monetary one alone. As Tan notes: “we live in an inter-related world, so when a financial crisis of this magnitude occurs, there are repercussions on families and relationships. When jobs are lost and wealth destroyed, families suffer and lives can be devastated”. WEF showcased the complexities of global challenges and that many of the issues are intertwined requiring an integrated response.
The experience at WEF has provided Tan with a valuable insight to the challenges confronting the modern world. At the same time, he is also heartened by the responses of many governments and non-governmental groups in the search for innovative solutions to improve the state of the world. Tan shares that being in Davos has strengthened his resolve and spurred him further in his cause to promote social innovation, to serve the community and care for the city in which he lives.