Davos, Switzerland – The year ahead could be a historic one — and in a positive way. Seventy-five years after the original “Year Zero” that followed World War II, we once again have a chance to rebuild. The process after 1945 was literal: building anew from the wreckage of war. This time, the focus is on the material world but also on so much more. We must aim for a higher degree of societal sophistication and create a sound basis for the well-being of all people and the planet.
After WWII, we developed a new economic philosophy grounded in collaboration and integration, with material well-being as its primary objective. This project gave rise to international organizations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the OECD, as well as the arrangements that would evolve into the World Trade Organization and the European Union. Neoliberalism — a staunch commitment to free markets and limited government — reigned in the West, where it delivered decades of prosperity and progress.