Davos 2020: A Time to Get Real About a Sustainable Future

I’m energized to be part of the Marsh & McLennan team gathering with other leaders at next week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The company has been a partner of the WEF for more than 15 years, and this year’s meeting theme, Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World, will drive conversations about important topics that impact Mercer’s clients and their employees.

During the event, Marsh & McLennan will be talking about climate resiliency, cultural change in the workforce, investing for brighter futures, digital transformations and preparing for the AI revolution. I’ll be listening for, and having discussions with clients about the challenges presented by longevity, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and technology – each with specific narratives and supporting data, but all tightly interlaced. Addressed the right way, these can turn into many opportunities for a brighter future for everyone.

Mercer will be hosting two executive dialogues to address specific strategies organizations can embrace to overcome persistent problems and emerging risks. For starters, it’s time to get real about gender equality, and on January 21, we’ll discuss the accountability needed to create a more inclusive, gender-equal working world. Organizations and CEOs are focused on empowering women in the workforce, and working on diverse, inclusive teams brings out the best in us, but we need to be careful in claiming success on any progress because there’s still a long way to go. We’ll look at challenges through the lens of Mercer’s exclusive launch of next-generation When Women Thrive, Businesses Thrive research and chart a new path forward.

On January 22, Mercer’s executive dialogue on Transformational Investment will examine how organizations can partner with some of the world’s largest institutional investors to address the long-term risks we face as a global society. Mercer’s Wealth President Rich Nuzum will host a panel of leaders to discuss how new opportunities for partnerships, co-investment and co-creation are transforming capitalism, as well as challenges including low and negative interest rates; populism; changing demographics; and environmental issues. When we align business strategies with purposeful stewardship, we can build a brighter future for everyone.

I’m also excited about Mercer’s January 23 Davos-affiliated event on longevity titled, Redesigning Retirement for Longer Working Lives. It’s incredible to think that most babies born today are likely to live beyond the age of 100. Their lives will be different than many of ours, as they reinvent their careers multiple times and have a different take on what retirement means. This interactive event will involve design thinking and rapid prototyping across a diverse range of personas to examine the reality of longer working lives. Afterwards, we’ll put our findings from the session into a “Redesigning Later Life” package, with a plan for testing and developing the solutions, and calls to action to enable them.

Engaging in these important discussions at WEF gives all of us the opportunity to make a real difference now, as we face the future together. But global change will require a great deal of individual commitment to change. This means changing our mindset and behaviors to foster diversity and inclusion. It means collaborating on new answers to persistent problems. And it demands our insight and empathy for maximum impact.

It’s time to brighten the lives and futures of our people, our communities and our world.

This blog post originally appeared on LinkedIn

Martine Ferland
Martine Ferland

President and CEO, Mercer; Vice Chair, Marsh & McLennan