From January 23-26, the most innovative people in the world will be meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Over 3,000 leaders from all corners of the globe are coming together for the 48th annual We (World Economic) Forum. For 4 days, these greats will be putting their minds together to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. The following are 6 of the hottest topics at this year’s World Economic Forum’s annual meeting.

Environmental Costs of Throwaway Fashion

It is cheap, it is cute, and it is destroying the environment. Welcome to the world of fast fashion. Chances are you have purchased or still purchase clothes that are not of the highest quality. Clothes that you throw away soon after buying, because they fall apart.

There is nothing wrong with affordable clothing. However, most of the things you wear are only affordable because they cut environmental corners.  

How could fun colors and polyester be so bad? Let the World Economics Forum count the ways themselves. First, the dye used to color your favorite shirt contributed to the second biggest polluter of clean water. The only thing worse for the environment than textile dying is agriculture. Second, the most popular textile material for clothing is polyester.

However, microfibers from polyester leech into the water supply. This continues to cause the level of plastic in waterways to increase. So not only are the fish digesting plastic, you are as well. That’s right, microfibers are so tiny our public systems can’t filter them out.

Economics

Some of the biggest questions today are those of economy. With the rate of inequality rising to a level not seen since the depression era, what can we do? How can we increase economic growth and equality at the same time? Namely, why do so many at the top profit while so many at the bottom can barely stay alive? These are some of the most pressing economic issues of our time. Especially if the goal is to create a shared future for everyone.

Mobility and Transport

One futuristic idea about to become a reality for millions of people is the driverless car. In fact, a major US car company recently announced their self-driving car would be road ready by 2019. Although Tesla currently offers driverless cars, they are not affordable for the average Jane or John. With more cost effective technology looming, now is the time to decide on regulations.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

No matter which side you are on, you cannot deny we are in the beginning stages of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. But, is technology good or bad? Whether our increased use is making us more isolated or connected is a subject of much debate. Hopefully this is something our world leaders will discuss.

Sheryl Sandberg will be 2018 We Forum Speaker via Time Naz Smyth

Sheryl Sandberg will be 2018 We Forum Speaker via Time Naz Smyth

Gender Parity

One important gender parity question is how to close the worldwide gendered wage gap. In some parts of the world, women aren’t allowed to work. What are the barriers keeping women across from globe from equal pay and work opportunities? In addition, many countries need to improve gender parity with regards to access to education. How can places where women are persecuted guarantee an education for all sexes? The future of half the world’s population depends on finding answers to these questions.

 

The Global Environment

As warnings from scientists grow louder each year, the subject of our global environment is high on the agenda. One pressing environmental issue is a global vision on sustainable energy. With sustainable energy set to be cheaper than coal by 2020, there is no reason to continue ravaging the Earth. Additionally, countries that backed out of the Paris Climate Accord will have leaders present. This could be an opportunity to change minds and hearts.

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