The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2008 opened in Davos, Switzerland today, with calls from the Co-Chairs to exercise *“The Power of Collaborative Innovation”* to meet the top challenges of economic instability, climate change and equitable growth.

*“This is a moment of greater insecurity and challenge in the world today, but it makes a meeting like this all the more important. The theme of the Annual Meeting is the answer to all the big global challenges we are facing,”* said Co-Chair Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum.

* “The focus on collaboration and innovation in 2008 underscores the opportunity for the world’s leaders to use the World Economic Forum’s multistakeholder platform in Davos to collaborate and take action to tackle the world’s most pressing problems,”* said Professor Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

In total, over 240 sessions are taking place over the course of the five-day Meeting, as well as related smaller, private meetings and the Open Forum, which the general public is invited to attend. The programme is organized around five sub-themes:

• Business: Competing While Collaborating

• Economics and Finance: Addressing Economic Insecurity

• Geopolitics: Aligning Interests across Divides

• Science and Technology: Exploring Nature’s New Frontiers

• Values and Society: Understanding Future Shifts

More than 2,500 participants from 88 countries are in Davos, Switzerland, including 27 heads of state or government, 113 cabinet ministers, along with religious leaders, media leaders and heads of non-governmental organizations. Around 60% of the participants are business leaders drawn principally from the Forum’s members – 1,000 of the foremost companies from around the world and across all economic sectors.

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas. Incorporated as a foundation in 1971, and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and not-for-profit; it is tied to no political, partisan or national interests.