How We Went #BeyondDavos

February 5, 2015


This past January, Purpose helped spearhead #BeyondDavos, a coalition of leading organizations committed to creating and increasing social impact at the World Economic Forum and beyond. #BeyondDavos’ coalition partners – The B Team, Global Citizen, Here Now, Omidyar Network, Purpose, and We Mean Business – aimed to provide a fresh take on key themes of the Annual Meeting, focusing on the social, environmental and economic issues that matter most to people everywhere.

Our coalition chose the name #BeyondDavos because we believe that what happens next is what matters most; our partners have already begun to execute on the work started in Davos. #BeyondDavos is currently exploring whether to expand this effort to other major events throughout the year, such as the UN General Assembly in New York or the COP21 in Paris.

In an effort to keep the public up-to-date on around-the-clock meetings and issues being discussed, Purpose launched its very own Daily Brief. Subscribers were able to participate and follow along as the week unfolded. Here are some of the key issues and sessions that Purpose and its fellow coalition members participated in: 

  • #BeyondDavos hosted an opening event: To kick off the week’s events, the #BeyondDavos coalition united over 200 thought leaders from a variety of industries and causes. This set the precedent to ensure that critical social, economic and environmental opportunities continue to be discussed beyond the events in Davos.

  • Saving Syria breakfast roundtable: Purpose participated in a roundtable that addressed the question: How do we aim higher in 2015 to stop the violence and address the full scale of the humanitarian crisis? The discussion brought together leading voices from the international NGO community, including Dr. Ken Roth from Human Rights Watch; Dr. Annie Sparrow; the Syrian Civil Defence (the “White Helmets”), volunteer rescue workers who have saved more than 12,500 lives from under the rubble of barrel bomb attacks; and experts in the field of public mobilization including Tim Dixon from The Syria Campaign.  You can view live footage of the conversation below: 

  • Are you new power or old power?: Purpose and MasterCard co-hosted a dinner exploring “new power,” a framework developed by Jeremy Heimans, Purpose Co-Founder & CEO, and Henry Timms, Founder of #GivingTuesday and Executive Director of 92Y. New power explains the shifting power dynamics in the world and the rise of participatory and peer-driven models. The dinner explored how new power champions can channel these changes for the benefit of the least powerful. David Aikman, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, discusses new power at Davos in a thoughtful article here.

  • Big ideas only: leaders plan transformative climate action: Some of the most influential thinkers in civil society and business pooled their brain power to come up with game-changing initiatives for the climate. They focused on ways that companies could engage their customers and on public mobilization efforts to reach new audiences in the run-up to the Paris summit. The roundtable included Jeremy Heimans, Purpose; Paul Hilder, Here Now; Steve Howard, CSO, IKEA; Jeff Seabright, CSO, Unilever; Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; and Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group and Co-Chair, The B Team.  You can watch the highlights below: 


  • Sustainable Development Goals: High-level dialogue between business and civil society: Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, and Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, co-moderated a group of business and civil society leaders discussing ways to ensure a positive outcome at the COP21 in Paris. The group – convened by The B Team, the International Civil Society Centre, Purpose and BCG – surfaced the need for businesses to play a role in climate regulation initiatives and collaborate with civil society groups to enhance public participation and understanding of climate change.  

 Links from the article:



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