For one week each year, Europe's highest city, Davos, Switzerland, hosts an avalanche of events off the slope: the World Economic Forum. This Alpine town has seen four decades of global policy and business leaders convene to discuss major global issues. Here are some of this year's newsworthy moments.
China's President Xi Jinping defends globalization.
In the first speech at WEF, China's President Xi Jinping defended globalization—in direct opposition to Trump's recent criticism on the issue. The Chinese leader even prodded the current president-elect without using his name. Jinping's major quote: "Pursuing protectionism is just like locking one's self in a dark room. Wind and rain may be kept outside, but so are light and air. No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war."
Jinping's attendance also marks the first time a serving president of China has visited.
Vice President Joe Biden speaks out against Russia.
Joe Biden's final speech as Vice President was a forceful warning about Russia's potential interference. "It's not just the United States that has been targeted; we have seen the same kinds of attacks in the past, and with many countries of Europe slated to hold elections this year, we should expect further attempts by Russia to meddle in the democratic process," he said. "It will occur again, I promise you."
Shakira, Forest Whitaker, and Anne-Sophie Mutter honored with Crystal Awards.
Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, actor Forest Whitaker and musician Shakira received the Crystal Awards for their commitment to philanthropic causes. Shakira called for more early childhood education in her speech: "If we really want peace, we need to invest in education."
Matt Damon calls for a focus on safe drinking water for all.
Matt Damon and his water.org co-founder Gary White raised awareness for the nonprofit organization committed to providing clean water and sanitation for millions. Damon, who was featured in T&C's June/July 2016 issue for his philanthropic work, told the forum, "People want to participate in their own solution. They want a hand up not a hand out."
Bill Gates speaks on a promising new avenue for vaccines.
The world's richest man spoke on outsmarting epidemics with The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). "The idea is to take a new way of building vaccines that could let us develop in less than a year a novel vaccine called DNA/RNA," said Gates.
John Kerry on the strength of President Obama's foreign policy legacy.
In addition to joking that the Trump administration will last only one or two years, Kerry also stated his belief that the Iran nuclear deal will survive (despite Trump's vocal dissent).
London Mayor Sadiq Khan condemned Brexit.
After British Prime Minister Theresa May responded to Brexit fears, noting "Britain is and will always be open for business," Mayor of London Sadiq Khan spoke on its prospective negative effect. 'The concern is some of these businesses may decide to leave London and go not to just maybe Paris, Madrid or Berlin, but leave Europe altogether, and go to Hong Kong, Singapore or New York," he said. "So a so-called hard Brexit could be a lose-lose, a lose for London and the UK, and a lose for the EU too."
Al Gore called for recognition that the threat of climate change is real.
2016 was the hottest year in recorded history and for the third year running. Climate change titan Al Gore spoke on the issue and simultaneously made a jab at president-elect Trump: "In the first question, must we change, most people in the world are now convinced; but we are reminded by some recent elections and appointments that not everyone is there."
Amal Clooney was honored at the Women of Impact dinner.
The Women of Impact Dinner, hosted by Credit Suisse Chief executive officer Tina Brown, honored Amal Clooney for her activism in human rights. In addition to the lawyer's husband George Clooney, guests included Gillian Anderson, Matt Damon and Joe Biden.
Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman spoke in favor of financial regulation.
James Gorman, the chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley, thinks that Wall Street regulation is necessary. "I'll be very clear about this, I'm not a fan of getting rid of Dodd-Frank," Gorman said, "Because the more change we make at this point, the more destructive it will be for the markets."
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.