Forum: World Economic Forum should get political leaders' views for global risk survey

The World Economic Forum (WEF) will be holding its Special Annual Meeting here at the end of May. There are plenty of immediate and long-term issues that require attention and action from the global community. I do not understand why the WEF chose restoring trust to overcome Covid-19 as the main focus (World Economic Forum to focus on rebuilding trust to overcome Covid-19, Jan 20).

During the meeting, there will be task force groups discussing specific topics. Three areas have been selected to be addressed - Covid-19, climate change and cooperation.

The WEF's latest annual risk report, based on opinions gathered through its Global Risks Perception Survey, revealed that the top five most worrisome risks are climate action failure, livelihood crises, the spread of infectious diseases, biodiversity loss, and social cohesion erosion. The survey findings have tilted the focus of this year's meeting towards Covid-19 and climate change issues.

The survey was conducted with more than 650 members of the WEF's diverse leadership communities.

I suggest that in future, the WEF should concentrate on soliciting opinions from top political leaders of nations - their presidents or prime ministers. Ask them to highlight two or three of the most important issues in their countries and in the world. The WEF can conduct surveys with specific interest groups to supplement its report.

Views given by top political leaders will be more holistic and balanced compared with those given by leaders in specific areas like environmental, disease control or financial circles. Also, top political leaders are accountable to their peoples. Their opinions and actions matter most.

Political leaders will have a greater sense of "ownership" over the WEF's reports that reflect their views.

Conducting surveys with top political leaders will enhance the standing of the WEF and the trustworthiness of its recommendations. Its meetings will draw more leaders and people to attend.

Albert Ng Ya Ken

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