Pope Francis has called on world business and political leaders meeting at the 50th annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland to place humanity, and not “the mere pursuit of power or profit,” at the heart of public policy.
“The overriding consideration, never to be forgotten, is that we are all members of the one human family,” the pope said in a letter to Professor Klaus Schwab, executive chairman of the WEF.
“As a result, it is necessary to move beyond short-term technological or economic approaches and to give full consideration to the ethical dimension in seeking resolutions to present problems or proposing initiatives for the future.”
Pointing to the theme of this year’s forum — Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World— the pope drew attention to the importance of what he called “integral ecology”, which “takes into account the full implications of the complexity and interconnectedness of our common home.”
Pope Francis called on a long-term, comprehensive view to solving the world’s myriad challenges, from the economy and labor markets to digital technology and the environment.
He likewise called on present and future participants in the forum to keep in mind their “high moral responsibility to foster the development of all our brothers and sisters, including those of future generations.”
“In seeking genuine progress, let us not forget that to trample upon the dignity of another person is in fact to weaken one’s own worth,” Pope Francis said.
Established in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the WEF mission is to “engage the foremost political, business, cultural, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.”
Popularly, the 4-day annual event has become known as a meeting of the global elite who play an outsized role in shaping policy on a raft of issues affecting the entire world.