Klaus Schwab is probably not a name that you are familiar with. I can’t really blame you. He’s not a household name, by any means. But he is a name most famously associated with an annual event featuring some of the world’s wealthiest and most influential people. No, I’m not talking about Met Gala. (Side note: I actually kind of want to talk about it.) It’s the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. So how did Klaus Schwab come to be and how did he earn his net worth? You’ll find in this review.
It’s hard to write about a person who isn’t usually at the forefront of our daily lives until a certain week of the year. A week where some of the world’s leaders and the biggest names in the world of business all fly to a town in Switzerland to talk about what the year lies ahead with regards to how governance and business can join together to make a better place. That’s pretty much the whole point of this annual summit. It’s basically an exercise of public-private partnerships. And ordinary people aren’t usually involved in those talks.
Who would’ve taught a kid born in Germany in the 1930s would be the person responsible for that event? There isn’t much about Mr. Schwab’s personal life that is readily available online. His father moved to Germany to serve as director for an engineering company. Germany during that period wasn’t the best place to be in. He spent a few years in Switzerland to study in elementary school.
Years later, Mr. Schwab earned mechanical engineering diploma from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. He earned a doctorate for engineering in 1961 from the same institution. A year after, he earned a doctorate for economics from the University of Fribourg and he earned his Master’s degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Mr. Schwab is a person who knows his stuff. I’ve got to give it up to him for continuing to pursue learning.
In 1971, he founded the European Management Forum, which later turned into the World Economic Forum. For someone who doesn’t really know much about this international governing body, it’s really hard to explain what it does. This event usually gets talked about in the news because a lot of the very important figures in the world, whether in governance or business, attend this annual event. It makes sense though since they are the people who greatly affect the world we live in. Our government should always be in service of the people who elect them. And business leaders affect our lives because we use the products that they make.
There isn’t a lot that can be known about Klaus Schwab’s net worth. For one thing, the World Economic Forum is largely a not-for-profit organization. People and companies pay to be partners with the foundation. And a large part of the funding they get goes to the annual event and smaller events hosted in other countries. It is estimated that Mr. Schwab’s net worth is just around $1,000,000.
For someone who runs the organization where political and capital forces gather, a million dollar net worth seems like a paltry amount compared to the business leaders who go to the event. And that makes sense. His foundation is a non-profit one. It is amazing how much influence his organization has. One of the tenets of his organization is that businesses aren’t just accountable to their shareholders, but also to the stakeholders. The stakeholders are the ordinary people. Any decisions that the government and businesses make affect our daily lives. And the WEF is their, hopefully, to find a way for the betterment of everyone’s lives across the world.