“You will own nothing, and you will be happy.” 

Or at least, that’s what the World Economic Forum (WEF) says about “The Great Reset”, which is planned to bring sweeping changes to the world by 2030. As the World Economic Forum has its Davos Agenda meeting this week, we’re going to break down the centre of discussion, “The Great Reset”.

“The Great Reset” was launched at a similar time to George Floyd’s murder, meaning that it went fairly unnoticed up until Joe Biden’s victory, which triggered a surge in Google searches for the term. However, the proposal has existed since long before that, failing to materialise into a concrete plan before the coronavirus pandemic created a desire ‘to shake things up’. Its aims are to rebuild society sustainably after the Covid-19 pandemic. Although posed as an economic plan, the idea reaches far beyond that, with  “all aspects of our societies and economies” to be “revamped”.

“Capitalism as we know it is dead” the WEF says. And thus ‘stakeholder capitalism’ is needed. In this case, rather than pursuing profits, companies would “pursue the wellbeing of all people and the entire planet”. Essentially ‘stakeholder capitalism’, would be capitalism with a dose of Marxism, which the WEF believes is needed for capitalism to survive. This would serve to eliminate the disparities seen during the Covid-19 crisis, during which billionaires have increased their wealth by over 25%. Jeff Bezos, for example, has seen his wealth grow by 79.8% during the pandemic. In the same time, many across the globe have fallen into extreme poverty. 

“The Great Reset” would also serve as a way to tackle the ongoing climate crisis. This “fourth industrial revolution” would include accelerating efforts to reach net zero emissions, taking advantage of the “rapidly shrinking window” we have to move towards sustainability. For example, “building green urban infrastructure and creating incentives for industries to improve their track record on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics“. It would push all countries to become digital and “will lead to fusion of our physical, our digital and our biological identities” says Klaus Schwab, executive chairman of the WEF. It is also said that “America will no longer be a world superpower”, but instead “a handful of countries will dominate”, with these countries not being listed at the time. 

Some have called these ideas “Orwellian”, suggesting it paves the way for a one world government and economy, which would strip people of their individual freedoms. John Mauldin, writer of a 2011 book of the same name as the WEF initiative, is sceptical, adding that “this is another example of wealthy, powerful elites salving their consciences with faux efforts to help the masses, and in the process, make themselves even wealthier and more powerful“. 

Australia already has an “Industry 4.0 taskforce” based around the “significance of the fourth industrial revolution” and “the digital transformation that defines Industry 4.0“, suggesting that global leaders are already preparing for changes in fields like artificial intelligence and data analytics. Alongside this, the Australian government is coordinating with Germany, with “dozens of testlabs available in Germany”. This would also include an exchange of staff and students between the two nations, in order to “develop global standards”.

Ultimately, it’s clear that there are some big changes planned for the next decade, with global figures like Prince Charles, President Moon Jae-in and a host of other leaders, academics and social activists all getting involved with the Davos Agenda for 2021.

You can follow the Davos Agenda on YouTube and find out more about the initiative on the World Economic Forum website.

Illustration by Mia Clement

Molayo is a Christian and musician outside his studies and role as Senior News Editor. He likes to write on a range of topics, from Oxford news to international affairs. Having grown up in London, he has grown up amidst diversity and is a strong advocate of letting all voices be heard.