I’m 36,000 feet high, in the sky over Europe, about half an hour away from touchdown in Zurich. Three months have passed since I received the invitation to the WEF and it’s been a whirlwind journey already, without even having reached the city.
Established in 1971, the World Economic Forum (WEF), is committed to improving the state of the world and is the international organisation for public-private cooperation. Every January, the WEF convenes its annual summit of global leaders at Davos, a three-hour train ride from Zurich. For four days this otherwise sleepy town nestled in the heart of the Swiss Alps sees a frantic buzz of activity as it becomes the global capital of economics. World leaders from business and industry descend on this village, joined by the heads of state of almost every single nation on earth. The agenda: to discuss the current state of the world. Through a series of informal and intimate discussions, the two thousand people in attendance arrive at a consensus on how to tackle important issues in the upcoming year.
So, that’s two thousand people, and me. ‘Why you?’, I hear you ask. Well, each year the WEF selects fifty youth leaders to represent the voice of the next generation at the table. Called ‘Global Shapers’, the role of this cohort is to ensure that the thoughts and opinions of the four billion youth on this planet are adequately heard.
A practicing doctor from London, I moved to Mumbai in 2010. Since then I have been involved in a host of advisory and operational roles for players in the healthcare and life-sciences realms, both in the private and public sector. This year, for my work and commitment to the healthcare sector, and my increasing involvement as an investment professional supporting entrepreneurs, the WEF invited me to be part of this cohort.
Months of preparation have gone into an event that is to be held in the next five-to-six days. With confirmed bilateral meetings involving the world’s biggest movers and shakers in the healthcare space, including heads of state, this is going to be a life-changing experience. My hope is that I can contribute as much as I absorb from the discussions and dialogues that are to unfold between now and the 24th of January.
This blog will keep you updated on the inner stories from the conference. I hope to share with you anecdotes and my experiences from along the way, and I aim to be as thought-provoking as I can. I invite you, the reader, to reach out to me via my Twitter handle and ask questions and pass comments on the material being presented, as I endeavour to be your voice at the table too!
The captain has just switched on the seat belt sign, oblivious to what is going to be a roller coaster of a trip ahead!
Dr. Marcus Ranney is Vice-President at RoundGlass Partners and a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum. He completed his Bachelors of Science and Medical degrees from University College Medical School in London. He has served as a medical officer in the Royal Air Force and at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for a shuttle mission to the International Space Station. Find him on Twitter at @docmranney.