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World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019 to highlight disability inclusion

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  • The need to bolster inclusion for the 1 billion people in the world living with a disability will be a main message at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019
  • A major exhibition, ACCESS+ABILITY, will profile ingenious designs made with and by people with disabilities


The need to build a more inclusive society must include the estimated 1 billion people in the world living with a disability. This will be a key message at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019, on 22-25 January in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.

The meeting will bring together over 3,000 participants from government, international organisations, business, civil society, media, culture, as well as the foremost experts and young people from all over the world. Under the theme ‘Globalization 4.0: Creating a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,’ participants will focus on identifying new ideas and solutions to ensure that any further global integration will be more inclusive and sustainable.

To highlight that inclusion must extend to those with disabilities and that people with disabilities have much to offer society and the economy, the Annual Meeting will host a major exhibition, ACCESS+ABILITY. Developed in collaboration with Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, it will feature designs made with and by people with disabilities and demonstrate that designing for inclusion spurs innovation and benefits everyone. Items include an eye-tracking device for hands-free communication, adaptive clothing and a Braille smartwatch.

Among disability advocates participating in the Annual Meeting are: Gina Badenoch, Social Entrepreneur; Susanne Bruyère, Director, Institute on Employment and Disability, Cornell University; Sinéad Burke, Writer and Educator; Caroline Casey, Inclusivity Activist; YetnebershNigussie, Lawyer and Educator; Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever; Susannah Rodgers, Paralympian Athlete; and ThorkillSonne, Social Entrepreneur.

“With people living longer and chronic health conditions increasing, most individuals will experience disability at some point during life. Caring for people with disabilities is in everyone’s interest. Together, we must design a more inclusive world that takes care of everyone’s current and future needs,” said NicoDaswani, Head of Arts and Culture at the World Economic Forum.


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