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Down among the Global Shapers


TCW Defending Freedom has heard from three newly appointed World Economic Forum Global Shapers about their recent induction weekend at WEF headquarters in Cologny, Switzerland.

My name is Dwight Dworkin. I am a social entrepreneur. My company, Graphenesense, is a leading biotech firm in the development of vaccine-ready graphene oxide nanoparticle biosensors. We have offices in London, San Francisco and Berlin. I recently accepted the offer to become one of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers. I was honoured to be asked to join the other 15,000 who have been selected for expertise in their fields.

I have just returned from an induction meeting at the WEF’s cool headquarters at Cologny on the shores of Lake Geneva. It really is an awesome building with great views. I guess it helps that they don’t have to pay any taxes.

The corridors are light and airy. On the walls there are photos of the great man himself, Klaus Schwab. He sure has many contacts. In one picture he is laughing with President Xi, in another he seems to be the best friend of Pope Francis, and there are group photos of him with just about every recent political leader, including Johnson, Ardern, Merkel, Macron, Putin and, of course, Justin Trudeau.

Above the photos are slogans such as ‘Together we are stronger’, ‘You will own nothing and you will be happy’, ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution is Now’.

The only thing about the place I was not too happy with was the meat-free burgers made from some sort of bug. You can’t beat Oscar Mayer Classic Wieners!

With my fellow new Shapers I attended some great seminars. These included: Controlling the Media, How Lockstep Works, Digital Control and Transhumanism.

I was also introduced to some amazing contacts. One of them was a guy from the UK’s Business Department. He asked me if I would be interested in a new partnership they had with the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, based in San Francisco, which among other things, is developing regulations to make it easier to develop precision medicines. It sounds like a cool opportunity for Graphenesense. He told me that Russia is part of the deal which is really, really cool. It’s great to know that the WEF is bringing together people who are making the world a better place.

My name is Sasha Patel. I am the founder of a biotechnology company, Rapidassay. We have attracted many tens of millions of pounds from investors who have faith in our competence to test the content and quality of pharmaceutical products more speedily than has ever been done before.

I was greatly honoured to be asked to become a World Economic Global Shaper. I accepted readily. It made my mother very proud of me. I was whisked to Geneva in a private jet and made to feel like a VIP.

The induction weekend was great fun. As well as the super lectures we had the chance to play table tennis and mingle with inspiring people. One such was an outstanding woman called Professor Charlotte Watts. She works for the British Foreign Office. Coincidentally, Charlotte is also a voting member on the Board of CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations which was founded by the WEF with support from Bill Gates, the Wellcome Trust and others. The UK happens to be CEPI’s biggest contributor. It is good to learn that the UK government has just donated another £160million to help CEPI coordinate the development of new vaccines in just 100 days. I am sure Rapidassay can a play a role in achieving this goal. Most assuredly, the days of elongated trial periods to assess vaccine safety are long gone.

It certainly seems that the British government is totally on board with the agenda of the World Economic Forum.

Apart from my meeting with Professor Charlotte, the highlight of the weekend was a speech from the WEF founder Professor Klaus Schwab. He told us that we were now part of the elite and he gave us advice about how we should deal with people who were not so fortunate. 

Professor Schwab reminded me of the men my mother told me to run away from when I was a child but I am sure he is a very nice man.

I am Arabella Pumpkin-Whortleberry. My pronouns are They/Them. I am the founder and Chief Executive of NoCarbonNo! My charity promotes the greening of urban spaces. I have attracted funding from my father and several prominent celebrities. I am also active in Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain. Recently I organised a glue-in on the North Circular Road. Sadly, it rained on the day and one of our activists almost drowned in a puddle.

Despite my misgivings about the role of the billion-dollar companies who fund the World Economic Forum, I accepted their offer to become a Global Shaper. I did this only after much soul-searching and meditation, and after consulting my shaman, Kevin, who invokes the spirit of the late Jim Morrison.

I travelled to Geneva using my ten-year-old fold-up bicycle and by train.

The WEF headquarters overlooks the United Nations buildings on the other side of the lake. I was pleased to see that the flat roofs are covered in vegetation. Being a vegan I ignored the bug-based meals but I took with me my usual diet of plants and nuts. I have an affinity with nuts.

The induction lectures were quite dull and, when possible, I left to practise my yoga on the lake shore.

However, my trip was not a complete waste of time. Whilst admiring a picture of Al Gore in the conference hall, I made contact with Neil Scotland, who is a Senior Adviser at the Foreign Office and a member of the Steering Committee of the Tropical Forest Alliance. I learnt that the World Economic Forum hosts the Tropical Forest Alliance. It is partly funded by the United Kingdom government. 

During our discussion, I was told about the UK’s contribution of up to £40million to establish the Global Centre on Biodiversity for Climate. The Global Centre will address critical research gaps in how the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity can deliver climate solutions and improve livelihoods in developing countries. It gave me the opportunity to explain to Neil my expertise in this area, and how I could make the Global Centre the pre-eminent player in a crowded environmental field.

I know that £40million is a drop in the ocean when considering the trillions that the UK needs to spend to prevent the climate catastrophe, but it is better than nothing and I do need a new bicycle.

The induction weekend ended with a speech from the creepy Klaus Schwab. I did not pay too much attention as I was contemplating the best way to spend £40million.

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John Ellwood
John Ellwood
John is the father of four beautiful girls. He is, thankfully, not knowingly related to Tobias Ellwood. ‘My Dear Friends . . . ’ a compilation of many of John’s contributions to TCW Defending Freedom is available in paperback and on Kindle.

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