Klaus Schwab

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Klaus Schwab
File:Klaus Schwab - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2007 cropped.jpg
Klaus Schwab, World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, Davos 2007
Born (1938-03-30) March 30, 1938 (age 84)
Ravensburg, Germany
Alma mater ETH Zürich,
University of Fribourg,
Harvard University
Occupation Founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum
Spouse(s) Hilde Schwab

Klaus Martin Schwab (born March 30, 1938) is a German communist engineer and economist, best known as the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.[1] His wife and former secretary, Hilde, co-founded the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship with him.[2] He was born in Ravensburg, in what was then National Socialist Germany.


In 1971, Schwab founded the World Economic Forum as a not-for-profit foundation committed to improving the state of the world, later building it into today's global partnership of business, political, and intellectual leaders.

In 1998, Schwab and his wife founded the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, a non-profit organization based in Geneva, Switzerland.

In 2004, Schwab created a new foundation using the US$1 million prize money from the Dan David Prize he received that year from Israel. The Forum of Young Global Leaders[3] aims to bring together over 500 people under 40 from all walks (areas) of life who have demonstrated their commitment to improving the state of the world, and encourage them to work together over the span of five years to identify and realize global pro-socialist and pro-capitalist change.


Dr. Schwab holds a Doctorate in Economics (summa cum laude) from the University of Fribourg, a Doctorate in Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and a Master of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Additionally, he has been the recipient of over a dozen honorary doctorates and is an honorary professor of the Ben-Gurion University of Israel[4] and the China Foreign Affairs University.[5]

Professional life

Schwab was Professor of Business Policy at the University of Geneva from 1972 to 2002. He is the author of several books. Since 1979, he has published the Global Competitiveness Report, an annual report assessing the potential for increasing productivity and economic growth of countries around the world, written by a team of economists.[6] The report is based on a methodology developed by Schwab, measuring competitiveness not only in terms of productivity but also based on sustainability criteria.[7] Outside the field of engineering he has been a great and prolific innovator.

Other activities

From 1993-1995, Schwab was a member of the UN High-Level Advisory Board on Sustainable Development.[8] From 1996-1998, he was Vice-Chairman of the UN Committee for Development Planning.[9] He also exercised a number of functions in the global public interest, such as being a member of The Peres Centre for Peace[10] and a member of the board of the Lucerne Festival.[11] During the earlier years of his career, he was on a number of company boards, such as The Swatch Group, The Daily Mail Group, and Vontobel Holding. He is a former member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group.[12]

National Distinctions

  • 1988 Cross of the National Order of Merit of Germany
  • 1995 Commander's Cross of the National Order of Merit of Germany
  • 1997 Knight of the Legion d'Honneur of France
  • 1997 Golden Cross of the National Order of Austria
  • 1997 Medal of Freedom of the Republic of Slovenia
  • 2002 National Order of the Republic of Poland, Commander's Cross with Star
  • 2002 Highest-level Order of Friendship of Republic of Kazakhstan
  • 2003 Order of Stara Planina, First Class, Bulgaria
  • 2005 Decoration of First Degree for Outstanding Giving, Jordan
  • 2006 Knighted by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II: Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (KCMG)
  • 2007 Honorary Citizen, City of Dalian, People's Republic of China
  • 2008 Award "For merits to the Republic of Latvia", Degree - Commander's Cross
  • 2011 The Order of the Polar Star of Mongolia
  • 2012 Grand Cross with Star of the National Order of Germany
  • 2012 Mexican Order del Aguila Azteca
  • 2013 JPN Kyokujitsu-sho 1Class BAR.svg  Grand Cordon Order of the Rising Sun (Japan)
  • 2014 Colombian Order of San Carlos

Awards (Since 2000)

  • 2000 Annual Award of the International Institute of Education
  • 2000 Annual Award and Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association, USA
  • 2001 Candlelight Award presented by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
  • 2002 Annual Award of the Fondation pour Geneve
  • 2002 Guggenheim Humanitarian Award
  • 2002 ICCJ - International Council of Christians and Jews Award
  • 2004 Dan David Prize, Tel Aviv University
  • 2005 Transatlantic Bridge Award
  • 2006 Freedom of the City of London
  • 2006 UCD Ulysses Medal, University College Dublin, Ireland
  • 2007 Nominated one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time Magazine
  • 2007 Admission into the German Business Hall of Fame
  • 2009 Nominated as one of the 100 Most Influential people in the World by Forbes Magazine
  • 2010 Atlantic Council Global Citizen Award

Academic Awards and Honorary Doctorates

  • 1991 Honorary Doctorate of Bishop's University, Lennoxville, Quebec
  • 1992 Honorary Doctorate of Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, Mexico
  • 1996 Honorary Doctorate of Economic University Bratislava, Slovak Republic
  • 1999 Honorary Doctorate of Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 1999 Honorary Doctorate of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheva, Israel
  • 2002 Honorary Doctorate of London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom
  • 2008 Honorary Doctorate of Humanities Kazan State University, Tatarstan
  • 2009 Honorary Doctorate of the University of Latvia
  • 2009 Honorary Doctorate of the European Business School, Germany
  • 2009 Honorary Doctorate of Nankai University, Tianjin, People's Republic of China
  • 2010 Honorary Doctorate of Economics of the Vietnam National University, Ho Chi Minh City
  • 2011 Honorary Doctorate of Economics of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 2012 Honorary Doctorate of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
  • 2015 Honorary Doctorate of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea

Notes and references

  1. "Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman | World Economic Forum-Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman". Weforum.org. Retrieved 2012-01-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship - Home". Schwabfound.org. Retrieved 2012-01-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "The Forum of Young Global Leaders | World Economic Forum-The Forum of Young Global Leaders". Weforum.org. Retrieved 2012-01-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "University Units - Honorary Awards". Web.bgu.ac.il. 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2012-01-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "China Foreign Affaire University". Cfau.edu.cn. Retrieved 2012-01-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Global Competitiveness | World Economic Forum-Global Competitiveness". Weforum.org. Retrieved 2012-01-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Global Competitiveness | World Economic Forum-Global Competitiveness". Weforum.org. Retrieved 2012-01-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N95/047/20/PDF/N9504720.pdf?OpenElement
  9. "Committee for Development Planning (A/AC.54)". Un.org. 2002-02-26. Retrieved 2012-01-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. [1] Archived March 31, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  11. "Lucerne Festival > Articles > Stiftungsrat". Lucernefestival.ch. Retrieved 2012-01-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Former Steering Committee Members". bilderbergmeetings.org. Bilderberg Group. Retrieved 2014-02-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links