The World Economic Forum is a Swiss nonprofit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva. The Forum is best known for its meeting at the end of January in Davos. The meeting brings together some 2,500 top business leaders, international leaders, economists. Often this location alone is used to identify meetings, participation, and participants with such phrases as, a Davos panel, beside meetings, the foundation produces a series of research reports and engages its members in sector specific initiatives. The forum was founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab, a German-born business professor at the University of Geneva and he then founded the WEF as a nonprofit organization based in Geneva and drew European business leaders to Davos for the annual meetings each January. Political leaders soon began to use the meeting as a neutral platform. The Davos Declaration was signed in 1988 by Greece and Turkey, in 1992, South African President F. W. de Klerk met with Nelson Mandela and Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi at the annual meeting, their first joint appearance outside South Africa. At the 1994 annual meeting, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat reached an agreement on Gaza. In late 2015, the invitation was extended to include a North Korean delegation for the 2016 forum, in view of positive signs coming out of the country, North Korea has not been attending the WEF since 1998. In 2017, the World Economic Forum in Davos attracted considerable attention when for the first time and he sharply rebuked the current populist movements that would introduce tariffs and hinder global commerce, warning that such protectionism could foster isolation and reduced economic opportunity. Headquartered in Cologny, the forum also has offices in New York, Beijing, on October 10,2016, the Forum announced the opening of its new Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco. The World Economic Forum strives to be impartial and is not tied to any political, partisan, the foundation is committed to improving the State of the World. Until 2012, it had observer status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the foundations highest governance body is the foundation board. During its annual meeting, more than 2,500 participants from slightly fewer than 100 countries gather in Davos, approximately 1,500 are business leaders, drawn from its members,1,000 of the worlds top companies. The foundation is funded by its 1,000 member companies and these enterprises rank among the top companies within their industry and/or country and play a leading role in shaping the future of their industry and/or region. Membership is stratified by the level of engagement with forum activities, with the level of membership fees increasing as participation in meetings, projects, and initiatives rises. As of 2011, an annual membership costs $52,000 for a member, $263,000 for Industry Partner. An admission fee costs $19,000 per person, in 2014, WEF raised annual fees by 20 percent, making the cost for Strategic Partner from SFr500,000 to SFr600,000
Headquarters in Cologny
Professor Klaus Schwab opens the inaugural European Management Forum in Davos in 1971.