The World Economic Forum-What it Means for Our Local Economies

The 50th World Economic Forum took place January 21-24, 2020 in Davos, Switzerland.  This year’s meeting theme was very relevant for our community & economic development work in New Hampshire, especially our work on the Nature Economy.  How, you might ask, does a meeting in Switzerland with many of the world’s CEOs and other leaders, have relevance to New Hampshire’s communities and their economies?  Through this brief blog, I hope to answer that very question.

“Stakeholders for a Cohesive & Sustainable World” was the theme of the meeting and the program prioritized six key areas:  Ecology, Economy, Technology, Society, Geopolitics, and Industry.  Nature and sustainable economic development discussions pervaded the meeting.  In particular, there was a focus on what some called “a new deal for nature.” 

In addition to supporting natural capital, the World Economic Forum stated that “a more environmentally sustainable economy will also create jobs and secure better growth for the future.”  On January 19th, a new report called the “The New Nature Economy” report was also released in conjunction with the meeting.  In this report, an analysis of 163 Industry sectors and their supply chains found that over half of the world’s GDP is moderately or highly dependent on nature and its services. 

Back here in New Hampshire, we are working every day to help communities recognize and assess the value of their nature economy.  We know our residents, visitors, and businesses all value the high level of natural capital in NH but the benefits we receive from nature are not always easy to recognize.  Our hope is to make the view clearer in support of improved decision making.  Through our teaching, programming, and research we also share how these assets can be used sustainably to create economic vibrancy in our downtowns, village centers, and main streets.  Click here for more on our nature economy work.  We would love to hear how your community thrives because of nature.