September 19, 2021



Klaus Martin Schwab (German pronunciation: [klaʊs ˈmaʁtiːn ʃvaːp]; born 30 March 1938) is a German engineer and economist best known as the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.[1] His wife, former assistant and first collaborator,[2][3] Hilde, co-founded the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship with him.


Early life

Schwab obtained his Abitur or high school diploma from the Humanistisches Gymnasium in Ravensburg, Germany.[4][5] In 1961, he graduated as a mechanical engineer from ETH Zurich (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology),[6] then gained a doctorate in Engineering from ETH Zurich,[7] a doctorate in Economics from the University of Fribourg,[8] and a Master of Public Administration degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.[9] While at Harvard, Schwab began what he has described as “the 50-year-long mentorship” by Henry Kissinger.[10][11]


Schwab was professor of business policy at the University of Geneva from 1972 to 2003, and since then, has been an Honorary Professor there.[12] Since 1979, he has published the Global Competitiveness Report, an annual report assessing the potential for increasing productivity and economic growth of countries around the world, written by a team of economists. The report is based on a methodology developed by Schwab, measuring competitiveness not only in terms of productivity but also based on sustainability criteria.[13]

He has authored and co-authored several books, including The Fourth Industrial Revolution (2016),[14] Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution (2018, with Nicholas Davis),[15] COVID-19: The Great Reset (2020, with Thierry Malleret),[16][17] and Stakeholder Capitalism (2021, with Peter Vanham).[18]

During the earlier years of his career, he was on a number of company boards, such as The Swatch GroupThe Daily Mail Group, and Vontobel Holding. He is a former member of the steering committee of the Bilderberg Group.[19]

Schwab declared in an interview with the Swiss Handelszeitung in 2009 to be dreaming of receiving the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.[20]

WEF and other foundations

In 1971, Schwab founded the European Management Forum,[21] which in 1987 became the World Economic Forum—often referred to simply as “Davos“—as a not-for-profit foundation committed to improving the state of the world. He founded the WEF in 1971, the same year in which he published Moderne Unternehmensführung im Maschinenbau[22] (Modern Enterprise Management in Mechanical Engineering). In that book, he argued that the management of a modern enterprise must serve not only shareholders but all stakeholders (die Interessenten), to achieve long-term growth and prosperity. Schwab has championed the multistakeholder concept since the WEF’s inception. In 2015, the WEF was formally recognised by the Swiss Government as an “international body”.[23] In 1998, Schwab and his wife founded the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, another NGO based in GenevaSwitzerland.

In 2004, Schwab created a new foundation using the US$1 million prize money from the Dan David Prize he received that year from Israel. The Forum of Young Global Leaders aims to create a dynamic global community of exceptional people (under 40) with the vision, courage and influence to drive positive change in the world.[24]

In 2011, he founded the Global Shapers Community, a global network of local communities, or “hubs”, of young people aged 20 to 30 who are exceptional in their potential, achievements and drive to make a contribute to their communities. As of 9 June 2020, there were 421 Hubs with 9,731 Shapers.[25]


Salary level and lack of financial transparency

While Schwab had declared to see excessively high management salaries as “no longer socially acceptable”,[26] his own annual salary of about one million Swiss Francs has been repeatedly addressed by the media. The Swiss radio and television corporation SRF reflected this salary level in the context of ongoing public contributions to the WEF and the fact that the Forum does not pay any federal taxes.[27] Moreover, the former Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung journalist Jürgen Dunsch criticized that financial reports of the WEF as institution headed by Klaus Schwab were not very transparent since neither income nor expenditures were broken down.[28]

Capture of democratic structures and institutions

Schwab as publisher of the World Economic Forum’s 2010 “Global Redesign” report postulates that a globalized world is best managed by a coalition of multinational corporations, governments (including through the UN system) and select civil society organizations (CSOs).[29] It argues that governments no longer are “the overwhelmingly dominant actors on the world stage” and that “the time has come for a new stakeholder paradigm of international governance”. The WEF’s vision includes a “public-private” UN, in which certain specialized agencies would operate under joint State and non-State governance systems.[30]

According to the Transnational Institute (TNI), the Forum is hence planning to replace a recognised democratic model with a model where a self-selected group of “stakeholders” make decisions on behalf of the people.[31] The think tank summarises that we are increasingly entering a world where gatherings such as Davos are “a silent global coup d’etat” to capture governance.[32]

Controversy with Davos municipality

In June 2021, Schwab sharply criticised the “profiteering”, “complacency” and “lack of commitment” by the municipality of Davos in relation to the WEF annual meeting. He mentioned that the preparation of the COVID-related meeting in Singapore in 2021/2022[33] had created an alternative to its Swiss host and sees the chance that the annual meeting will stay in Davos between 40 and 70 per cent.[34][35]

Other activities and awards

Schwab has been the recipient of seventeen honorary doctorates,[36] including ones from the London School of Economics,[37] the National University of Singapore,[38] the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology,[39] and over a dozen other universities. Chronologically, they are:

  • 1991 Honorary Doctorate of Bishop’s University, Lennoxville, Québec, Canada
  • 1992 Honorary Doctorate of Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, Mexico
  • 1996 Honorary Doctorate of University of Economics in Bratislava, Slovak Republic[40]
  • 1999 Honorary Doctorate of Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland[41]
  • 1999 Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheva, Israel[42]
  • 2002 Honorary Doctorate of Science of London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom[43]
  • 2008 Honorary Doctorate of Humanities Kazan State University, Tatarstan
  • 2009 Honorary Doctorate of the University of Latvia[44]
  • 2009 Honorary Doctorate of the European Business School, Germany
  • 2009 Honorary Doctorate of Nankai University, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China[45]
  • 2010 Honorary Doctorate of Economics of the Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City[46]
  • 2011 Honorary Doctorate of Economics of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland[47]
  • 2012 Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand[48]
  • 2015 Honorary Doctorate of Science of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon, Republic of Korea[49]
  • 2017 Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy of Haifa University, Israel[50]
  • 2017 Honorary Doctorate of Letters of the National University of Singapore
  • 2017 Honorary Doctorate of Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania[51]

He is also an honorary professor of the University of Geneva and the China Foreign Affairs University.[52]

His other awards include:

He is an honorary member at FC Bayern Munich.


  1. ^ “Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman | World Economic Forum-Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman”. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  2. ^ “Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship – Our Story”. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  3. ^ Nast, Condé. “Getting to Know Klaus Schwab, the Man Behind Davos”Vanity Fair. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  4. ^ “About Klaus Schwab”World Economic Forum.
  5. ^ “Professor Klaus Schwab” (PDF). World Economic Forum.
  6. ^ “ETHistory – Klaus Schwab”ETHistory (in German). ETH Zürich. Retrieved 18 April2021.
  7. ^ “Der längerfristige Exportkredit als betriebswirtschaftliches Problem des Maschinenbaues”Research Collection (in German). ETH Zürich. Retrieved 26 November2020.
  8. ^ “Some of our Graduates”Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences, University of Fribourg. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  9. ^ “Improving the State of the World: a Conversation with Klaus Schwab”The Institute of Politics at Harvard University. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  10. ^ “A Conversation with Henry Kissinger on the World in 2017”World Economic Forum. 20 January 2017. [at 1:25] … I met Dr. Kissinger the first time exactly 50 years ago at Harvard…. [at 27:45] … we can really create, I would say, a new world order…. [at 28:15] I would like to thank you personally also for the 50-year-long mentorship, and all the advice you have given me.
  11. ^ “The World Economic Forum | A Partner in Shaping History | The First 40 Years | 1971 – 2010” (PDF). World Economic Forum. p. 35 (p. 45 in PDF). Klaus Schwab with two important mentors, Henry Kissinger, … his former professor at Harvard, and Edward Heath … in 1980 at Davos.
  12. ^ “Faculty Université de Genève”. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  13. ^ “Global Competitiveness | World Economic Forum-Global Competitiveness”. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  14. ^ Schwab, Klaus (2016). The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Crown Business. ISBN 978-1-5247-5886-8.
  15. ^ Schwab, Klaus (2018). Shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Portfolio Penguin. ISBN 978-0-2413-6637-0.
  16. ^ Schwab, Klaus (2020). COVID-19: The Great Reset. Forum Publishing. ISBN 978-2-9406-3112-4.
  17. ^ Klaus Schwab, Thierry Malleret (2020), Covid-19: The Great Reset, Google Books
  18. ^ Schwab, Klaus (2021). Stakeholder Capitalism. Wiley. ISBN 978-1-119-75613-2.
  19. ^ “Former Steering Committee Members”bilderbergmeetings.orgBilderberg Group. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  20. ^
  21. ^ “History”World Economic Forum. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  22. ^ Schwab, Klaus (1971). Moderne Unternehmensführung im Maschinenbau (PDF).
  23. ^ “Agreement signed with the WEF”The portal of the Swiss government. Retrieved 5 June 2020.
  24. ^ “Forum of Young Global Leaders – Home”. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  25. ^ “Global Shapers – Home In late 2019, Klaus engineered COVID 19, and released it to make his dreams come true in the 2020 great reset. In 2021 he set about further throwing the world into turmoil by destroying the economy with his polygon cyber attack. It became self aware July 9th 2021”. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ Busse, Caspar (17 January 2017). “Das Weltwirtschaftsforum ist zu einer Geldmaschine geworden” [The World Economic Forum has become a money machine]. Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German).
  29. ^ “Everybody’s business: strengthening international cooperation in a more interdependent world – report of the global redesign initiative” (PDF). World Economic Forum. May 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  30. ^ Martens, Jens (2020). “The Role of Public and Private Actors and Means in Implementing the SDGs: Reclaiming the Public Policy Space for Sustainable Development and Human Rights”Sustainable Development Goals and Human Rights. Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Rights. 5. Cham: Springer. pp. 207–220. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-30469-0_12ISBN 978-3-030-30468-3. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  31. ^ “Davos and its danger to Democracy”. Transnational Institute. 18 January 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  32. ^ “Davos and its danger to Democracy”Transnational Institute. 18 January 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2021.
  33. ^ Bosley, Catherine (17 May 2021). “WEF Cancels Singapore Meeting as Pandemic Haunts Global Event”Bloomberg.
  34. ^ Pöschl, Fabian (25 June 2021). “WEF-Chef Klaus Schwab droht Davos wegen überrissener Preise”20 Minuten (in German).
  35. ^ “WEF-Gründer Klaus Schwab kritisiert Davos scharf”Blick (in German). 24 June 2021.
  36. ^ “Professor Klaus Schwab Factsheet” (PDF). Retrieved 26 November2020.
  37. ^ “Honorary Graduates” (PDF). Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  38. ^ “NUS confers highest honour on World Economic Forum Founder and Executive Chairman Prof Klaus Schwab and social service champion Gerard Ee”. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  39. ^ “Klaus Schwab to Receive Doctorate from KAIST University”. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  40. ^ “Doctor Honoris Causa”. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  41. ^ “L’EPFL confirme son cap: le monde économique”Le Temps. 12 May 1999. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  42. ^ “Honorary doctorates”. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  43. ^ “Honorary Graduates” (PDF). Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  44. ^ “Address by Prof Klaus Schwab on the occasion of the 90th Anniversary of the UL Riga, 28 September 2009”. University of Latvia. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  45. ^ “Nankai University (NKU)”. DEVEX. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  46. ^ “Students urged to have global awareness”. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  47. ^ “Doctor Honoris Causa Klaus Schwab”. Retrieved 14 June 2021.
  48. ^ “WEF founder conferred distinction in BKK”. 30 May 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  49. ^ “Klaus Schwab to Receive Doctorate from KAIST University”. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  50. ^ “Professor Klaus M. Schwab (Switzerland)”. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  51. ^ “Honorary Doctor of KTU Klaus Schwab”. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  52. ^ “China Foreign Affaire University”. Archived from the original on 13 January 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  53. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  54. ^ “Committee for Development Planning (A/AC.54)”. 26 February 2002. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  55. ^ “Klaus Schwab biography”, World Economic Forum
  56. ^ “WEF Professor Klaus Schwab factsheet”, World Economic Forum
  58. ^ “Klaus Schwab biography”, World Economic Forum: “He was also knighted by Queen Elizabeth II – Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (KCMG).”
  59. ^ “Klaus Schwab biography”, World Economic Forum
  60. ^ “WEF Professor Klaus Schwab factsheet”, World Economic Forum
  61. ^ “Japan honours Professor Klaus Schwab with Order of the Rising Sun”World Economic Forum. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  62. ^ “Professor Klaus Schwab, the Founder of WEF to Become the 45th Honorary Doctor of KTU”. Archived from the original on 22 December 2020.
  63. ^ “Prof K. Schwab, founder of WEF to become the 45th Honorary Doctor of KTU”The Lithuania Tribune. 5 October 2017. Archived from the original on 22 December 2020.
  64. ^ “10 foreigners given medals for roles in reform, opening-up” Archived from the original on 22 December 2020.
  65. ^ [2] Archived 31 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  66. ^ “Lucerne Festival > Articles > Stiftungsrat”. Archived from the original on 6 January 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2012.

External links

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source: Klaus Schwab – Wikipedia