"Davos" – World Economic Forum

Every year since 1971, the small town of Davos, not far from Zurich, has played host to a gathering of the world’s thought leaders. It acquired the name “World Economic Forum” in 1987—not that anyone actually calls it that: it’s known universally as “Davos”. Arguably the world’s most important international conference, it attracts the great and the good from every corner of the planet. In addition to leading businessmen and women (including Nadja Swarovski), bankers and economists, politicians and thought-leaders, there is always a sprinkling of celebrities. This year, Davos welcomed George and Amal Clooney, Shakira, Forest Whitaker, and Matt Damon.  

For 2017, the theme was responsive and responsible leadership. The agenda was broken down into five key areas: strengthening global collaboration; restoring economic growth; reforming capitalism; addressing the identity crisis that has caused the current populist revolution; and preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Each of these areas is relevant to Swarovski’s business, a fact that Nadja Swarovski discussed when being interviewed by Tania Bryer for U.S. television channel, CNBC.

“Swarovski has been part of all four industrial revolutions: water, electricity, electronics, and digital,” she said. “They have all presented challenges, but also fantastic opportunities,” adding that businesses must adapt quickly to the digital revolution. But the main focus of the 121-year-old, family-owned business, she said, remains the employees. Philanthropy has long been at the heart of the crystal company, inculcated by founder Daniel Swarovski right from its beginnings in 1895. He famously said: “A precondition of your long-term success is that you endeavor to think not only of yourselves, but also of your fellow human beings.” It’s a principle that has been carried forward by five generations of the Swarovski family.

It is this mindset that led to the establishment of the international Swarovski Foundation in 2013, whose aim is to support wellbeing, female empowerment, education, and the environment. To quote Nadja Swarovski: "Money is not the only currency; we see benevolence as another currency, and certainly the benevolence one sees with service, or with a deed, or a meaningful, positive product—that's very powerful."