Written by: Joel Forster
Article source: evangelicalfocus.com

The World Economic Forum (WEF)’s annual conference included this year a reflection on how religion and spirituality can make a difference in finding solutions to the world’s “polycrisis”.

“For most of the world today, religion and spirituality continue to inform what a good life is and how to best think about the challenges faced by families, nations and the world”, says the insight report “Faith in action”, released by the WEF at the gathering in Davos (Switzerland).

Political and corporate leaders must not forget that 85% of the world’s population identifies with a certain belief system, and therefore “meaningful cooperation with faith actors at a time of deepening polarization and distrust in societies” must be prioritised.

WEF: “Global leaders cannot afford to ignore the impact of religion and spirituality”

Cover of the “Faith in Action” insight report published by the World Economic Forum in January 2024.

Seeking “innovative partnerships with faith actors”
The World Evangelical Alliance had a key role in preparing this report. One of the four co-authors is Chris Elisara, co-director of the WEA’s Sustainability Centre, in Bonn (Germany).

It was Elisara who drafted 5 of the 8 study cases of enterprises around the world led by “business leaders who are applying their faith fluency to explore innovative partnerships with faith actors”. In the WEF report, the complexities of such partnerships and the “applicable lessons” are analysed.

Presenting the report, Chris Elisara emphasised that “faith organizations, including many evangelical ones, are doing many innovative projects with businesses that are making a difference. We hope that the case studies chosen will provide insights and inspiration enabling business leaders and faith-based organizations to achieve greater impact”.

The report also includes “guiding questions” to help businesses interact with faith actors. The World Economic Forum says it is in touch with around 100 faith groups and religion experts to have a “community of dialogue”.

Why contributing to Davos?
The annual meetings in Davos organised by the World Economic Forum have often been surrounded by criticism of those who say politicians and large corporations gathering in the Swiss alpine region are not making a difference in the life of real people.

For some, the WEF’s messages are very much aligned with a liberal-proressive agenda. Past themes addressed in Davos such as the ‘Great Reset’ have been portrayed by critics as a way of forcing unwanted lifestyle changes on the population.

The approach of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) expressed in the past is to use such opportunities to participate in global discussions platforms hoping to provide a positive faith-based influence.

The WEA’s secretary general, the German Thomas Schirrmacher, said his hope is “to encourage and promote more partnerships between the business sector and evangelical organizations that can have an impact on global crises”. He added: “Evangelicals understand deeply that ethically driven business can, and in fact does, contribute much good to society”.

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Date published: 01/03/2024
Feature image:  Image for illustrative purposes only. Artwork from unsplash.com

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