Rebuilding cooperation after years of erosion requires focusing on what has proven to work. During our current period of upheaval and discord, we must reaffirm and strengthen mechanisms of cooperation, because history has shown it is the only way to address our most urgent priorities.
The issues confronting the world today — rebuilding our economies, ending the pandemic and meeting climate obligations — are too complex for one party to address on its own. We need business, government, international organizations and civil society to be part of the solutions.
Second, cooperation needs to be underpinned by a sense of common purpose that binds stakeholders together. At its most effective, it should include focus and alignment on achieving specific priorities.
The pandemic has thrown many things into stark relief, none more so than the benefit of dialogue, when health protocols allow. A lot can be achieved virtually, but for all its benefits, the digital world does not lend itself to sparking new ideas or forging deep connections.
This is why next week, the World Economic Forum will hold its first in-person annual meeting in Davos in more than two years. The meeting will bring together a diverse group of people — leaders from business, government, international organizations and civil society, along with experts, youth activists and luminaries in the arts — at the very moment when re-forging inclusive, purpose-driven partnerships is so vital.
The hope is that by reaffirming and strengthening foundations of cooperation, the next page in history can turn toward cooperation and security rather than conflict and strife.