Klaus Schwab

Stories by Klaus Schwab

  • Klaus Schwab On Bretton Woods

    Many articles have been written in the past few weeks about the need to reform international-governance organizations like the United Nations, Bretton Woods and the G8. The general idea has been that if such organizations had worked better, the financial crisis would have been averted. While it is obvious that 21st-century economic and political challenges cannot be adequately handled by institutions set up for a post-WWII world, the proposals put forth so far are still too stuck in traditional thinking.First, we need to realize that today's world is far more Asian and more African than the one that gave birth to these institutions. It is also a young world, with a median age of 28 years and new paradigms of virtual communication that reach across space and time. It is more complex, much more integrated, and bottom up rather than top down. And, above all, this new world is so interdependent that solutions for global problems require true global trusteeship. This means that the old...
  • The World's New Actors Need A Bigger Stage

    As we survey the challenges of the new century, it is hard to escape a dismaying conclusion. The global institutions that we have so painstakingly built over the past half century--the United Nations, the IMF and World Bank, the WTO--are inadequate to deal with the many problems we face.This fact of "systemic failure" threatens us all. It prompts the United States and other powerful nations to act unilaterally when their interests are threatened. That, in turn, can easily degenerate into national and regional protectionism. It has also sparked a powerful (and increasingly violent) backlash against globalization by those who feel frustrated or overwhelmed by the sheer complexity and pace of change. I am deeply skeptical, at this point, that the institutions responsible for promoting world peace, financial stability, socioeconomic development and the free flow of goods and services will ever again be able to address these challenges on their own.One reason is that the power of states ...