Government and Policy

WEF’s ‘great narrative’ blends tech, society, economy, politics & nature into story for humankind

The great narrative to shape humanity’s future is discussed by about 40 unelected globalists in 48 hours: perspective

Klaus Schwab, WEF, Great Narrative
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The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Great Narrative Meeting combines elements of technology, society, economy, politics, and nature with the help of some 40 unelected globalists attempting to develop a story for the future of humankind.

Fewer than 50 unelected globalists came together to develop the WEF’s all-encompassing great narrative in just under 48 hours in Dubai, UAE from November 11-12, 2021.

Leading the closing plenary of the Great Narrative Meeting on Friday, WEF Founder Klaus Schwab spoke with a panel of five WEF Agenda contributors about the trends they were seeing in tech, society, the economy, politics, and the natural world.

“We are coming to the closing session of this extraordinary event designing a great narrative for the future,” Schwab began, adding, “I want to thank all of the forty-plus participants who have participated in this exercise.”

“We can influence our future, but what we have heard we can do so only if we have a long-term view, if we think first of the community and only second of ourselves, and if we think globally” — Klaus Schwab, Great Narrative Meeting, 2021

Each of the five panelists shared what they thought were the most pressing issues in their given fields, along with advice for world leaders:

  • Technology: Freeke Heijman, Founding Director of Quantum Delta Netherlands, former Special Advisor to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy
  • SocietyIlona Szabo de Carvalho, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Igarapé Institute, former Executive Coordinator of the Global Commission on Drug Policy
  • EconomyDambisa Moyo, Co-Principal at Versaca Investments
  • PoliticsNgaire Woods, Founding Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford
  • Ecology: Naoko Ishii, Professor and Director for Center for Global Commons at the University of Tokyo, former Deputy Vice-Minister of Finance of Japan, and Country Director at the World Bank

By the end of their discussion, the unelected globalists came to several conclusions:

  • Leaders who put their own countries’ interests first are self-centered and don’t help the elites’ plans
  • People generally don’t trust the elites, so building trust is a major challenge for the globalist elites
  • Leaders should focus on long-term problems, not short-term solutions
  • Governments should partner more with other governments
  • Governments should partner more with businesses
  • A great reset is needed for the entire global economic system
  • More investment is needed in human capital, social capital, and ecological capital

During the session Schwab asked the five panelists what they would say to world leaders at the United Nations if given the chance, along with what they believed was needed to bring the great narrative into fruition.

You can check out the video above for more context on the entire conversation, but here are a few very brief, selective quotes from the plenary.

Freeke Heijman

Freeke Heijman
Freeke Heijman

“I would ask you [world leaders] to put off or leave behind your personal interest, or your interest of your country for a moment and engage in a narrative to build a better future for the world” — Freeke Heijman

Heijman: “I would ask you [world leaders] to put off or leave behind your personal interest, or your interest of your country for a moment and engage in a narrative to build a better future for the world.”

“I think the problem is too much self-interest — Europe first, this first, that first — no! the world first.”


Ngaire Woods

Ngaire Woods

“The good news is the elites across the world trust each other more and more […] The bad news is that in every single country they were polling, the majority of people trusted their elites less” — Ngaire Woods

Woods: “The good news is the elites across the world trust each other more and more, so we can come together and design and do beautiful things together.

“The bad news is that in every single country they were polling, the majority of people trusted their elites less.

“So, we can lead, but if people aren’t following, we’re not going to get to where we want to go.”


Dambisa Moyo
Dambisa Moyo

Dambisa Moyo

“‘Short-termism’ is an issue that is creating this gap and creating more challenges in the economic space” — Dambisa Moyo

Moyo: “Most of the challenges we are facing are long-term, structural challenges, but we do know that policymakers by-and-large tend to be very driven — certainly in competitive democratic states.

“‘Short-termism’ is an issue that is creating this gap and creating more challenges in the economic space.”


Ilona Szabo de Carvalho
Ilona Szabo de Carvalho

Ilona Szabo de Carvalho

“This will require a rethink of the whole global economic system” — Ilona Szabo de Carvalho

Szabo de Carvalho: “In my view, we have to put people’s dignity, also wellbeing, and the notion of regeneration at the center of all policies.

“Of course, it’s not going to be easy.

“This will require a rethink of the whole global economic system.”


Naoko Ishii
Naoko Ishii

Naoko Ishii

“Our current economic system is on a collision course with the natural system” — Naoko Ishii

Ishii: “Our current economic system is on a collision course with the natural system.”

“We have to find a way to create a better future in harmony with natural systems.”

 


Klaus Schwab, great narrative
Klaus Schwab

Klaus Schwab

“What distinguishes us as humankind is that we can construct our future” — Klaus Schwab

When the discussion was all said and done, Schwab summarized three ways in which the great narrative could take shape:

  1. Having a long-term view
  2. Putting community first, individual second
  3. Thinking globally

“What distinguishes us as humankind is that we can construct our future,” said Schwab.

“We can influence our future, but what we have heard we can do so only if we have a long-term view, if we think first of the community and only second of ourselves, and number three, if we think globally.

“I think that summarizes to a certain extent the discussion which we had,” he added.

“Let’s use our positive energy really to create a great narrative for humankind in the next two days” — Klaus Schwab, Great Narrative Meeting, 2021

On the first day of the Great Narrative Meeting, Schwab announced his intent to develop a great narrative that public and private entities would use to shape the future of humanity.

“We are here to develop the great narrative, a story for the future,” he said on November 11, adding, “In order to shape the future, you have first to imagine the future, you have to design the future, and then you have to execute it.”

“Let’s use our positive energy really to create a great narrative for humankind in the next two days.”

“A grand narrative functions to legitimize power, authority, and social customs”

The great narrative is a continuation of the great reset — a propagandized story that attempts to legitimize a technocratic makeover of society and the global economy while claiming to work for “the benefit of mankind” with the help of technologies emerging from the so-called fourth industrial revolution.

The idea of a great narrative is something that the French philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard called a “grand narrative,” (aka “metanarrative“) which, according to Philo-Notes, “functions to legitimize power, authority, and social customs” — everything that the great reset is trying to achieve.

Authoritarians use great narratives to legitimize their own power, and they do this by claiming to have knowledge and understanding that speaks to a universal truth.

At the same time, authoritarians use these grand narratives in an “attempt to translate alternative accounts into their own language and to suppress all objections to what they themselves are saying.”

“The Great Narrative Meeting is a linchpin of the Great Narrative initiative, a collaborative effort of the world’s leading thinkers to fashion longer-term perspectives and co-create a narrative that can help guide the creation of a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable vision for our collective future” — World Economic Forum, 2021

In his 1979 book, “The Post Modern Condition: A Report on Knowledge,” Lyotard argued, “The grand narrative has lost its credibility, regardless of what mode of unification it uses, regardless of whether it is a speculative narrative or a narrative of emancipation.”

Lyotard believed, “Science has always been in conflict with narratives,” and that “Judged by the yardstick of science, the majority of them prove to be fables.”

According to the WEF, “The Great Narrative Meeting is a linchpin of the Great Narrative initiative, a collaborative effort of the world’s leading thinkers to fashion longer-term perspectives and co-create a narrative that can help guide the creation of a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable vision for our collective future.”

The Great Narrative Meeting ran for two days where the unelected globalists brainstormed ideas on how to run society from the top-down, and they will publish their findings in a book called “The Great Narrative” in early 2022.

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Tim Hinchliffe
Tim Hinchliffe is the editor of The Sociable. His passions include writing about how technology impacts society and the parallels between Artificial Intelligence and Mythology. Previously, he was a reporter for the Ghanaian Chronicle in West Africa and an editor at Colombia Reports in South America. tim@sociable.co