In 1971, the inaugural European Management Symposium was held in Davos, a ski resort in the Swiss Alps, the event a precursor to what would later become the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos.
"I felt the future should not be based on animosity and controversy. It should be based on reconciliation," WEF founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab told The Japan Times during a 2013 interview, recalling the early years of the Davos conference. "In 1971, I published a book on multistakeholders, which means problems should always be solved through dialogues among the stakeholders, among all those people who are interested in the problems. So, I created a platform for multistakeholders to come together."
The "stakeholder" concept described by Schwab was outlined in the Davos Manifesto, a set of ethical principles for business leaders launched in 1973. "The purpose of professional management is to serve clients, shareholders, workers and employees, as well as societies, and to harmonize the different interests of the stakeholders," it said.