Summary of Lighthouses for a Perfect Storm

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Lighthouses for a Perfect Storm summary

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Social trends, environmental crisis and technological developments are combining with political tensions and economic instability to create what the World Economic Forum calls a perfect storm. Calling on business, governmental and civil society leaders to act – individually and in coalitions – the Forum offers a lengthy catalog of “lighthouse” initiatives to inspire, inform and spur engagement. The initiatives highlighted in the report illustrate how innovation and investment can solve societal, economic, environmental, technological and industry challenges around the world.

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The World Economic Forum is the international organization for public-private cooperation, engaging the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.


Lighthouse projects demonstrate the potential for corporate leaders and stakeholder coalitions to address formidable global challenges.

The world faces a formidable combination of interrelated challenges that will require dramatic action. These challenges include the societal and environmental effects wrought by the rapid urbanization and economic expansion of the late 20th century. Technological developments of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are creating unintended consequences, and nations need new social policies to help their populations adapt, along with new formats for governance. And poverty – once in retreat – is now on the rise, together with global inequality. Governments, members of civil society and private-sector stakeholders need to champion innovation and investment by establishing strong policies, creating new institutions, employing financial tools, and facilitating the development and deployment of helpful technologies.

“Lighthouse projects” demonstrate the potential for stakeholder coalitions and corporate leaders to address global challenges rapidly and cost-effectively. These projects also serve to build political confidence, supporting...

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