Who’s speaking at Davos, from Sam Altman to Macron

Who's speaking at Davos, from Sam Altman to Macron

Who’s speaking at Davos, from Sam Altman to Macron

Combination showing Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI (L), Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission (C), and Javier Milei, President of Argentina (R).


The global elite are pulling on their snow boots and firing up their private jets for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The 2024 WEF, titled “Rebuilding Trust,” runs Jan. 14-19. Hanging over the event is the sharp escalation in geopolitical tensions and global trade concerns in the Middle East. Meanwhile, inflation and economic growth, the war in Ukraine, technological change and global fragmentation will all remain on the agenda.

Perhaps the most heavyweight political figures set to be in attendance are China’s second-in-command Li Qiang, and French President Emmanuel Macron, who will both give special addresses.

Macron is the only G7 leader heading to the Swiss mountain resort, while last year only Germany’s Olaf Scholz was there from the alliance. Some have suggested politicians are increasingly wary of attending the event amid the ongoing cost of living crisis and with issues to tackle at home.

Joe Biden has not attended since he became U.S. president; nor has the U.K.’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

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But a host of other leaders and finance ministers are set to go this year, from Spain, Belgium, Colombia, Iraq, Lebanon, Ireland, Kenya, Nigeria, Thailand, Singapore and beyond.

From the U.S., attendees include Secretary of State Antony Blinken; national security advisor Jake Sullivan; and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry.

Sullivan is likely to attend the latest meeting of the “National Security Advisers on Ukraine,” with a press conference to be held Sunday, which will cover the 10-point peace plan drawn up by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The plan has been much-discussed by international observers but dismissed by Russian leadership.

Argentinian President Javier Milei may raise eyebrows among the establishment with his planned Wednesday address. The newly-inaugurated right-wing firebrand has already sparked protests at home against a series of shock economic policies, including a sharp currency devaluation. He has also pledged to dollarize the economy and abolish the central bank.

Among the big names from the business world, many will undoubtedly be keen to hear from Sam Altman, reinstalled CEO of ChatGPT-maker OpenAI, who is scheduled to discuss safety and trust in technology alongside panelists including U.K. Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.

Top figures from the global economy will as usual make appearances, from International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, to World Bank President Ajay S. Banga, and World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Likewise, the heads from international bodies and civil society groups will be out in force, including the U.N.’s António Guterres, NATO’s Jens Stoltenberg, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organization, and Tirana Hassan of Human Rights Watch.

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