Hilde Schwab

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Hilde Schwab "helped her husband Klaus Schwab in organizing the very first World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 1971, a platform for business leader discussions based on the multistakeholder principle he published the same year. At her suggestion, environmental and social activists were given a voice at the Annual Meetings helping to promote the causes of many, including anthropologist Margaret Mead, liberation theologist Archbishop Dom Helder Camara, environmentalist Carl Sagan and Swiss animal welfare advocate Franz Weber.Having a passion for contemporary art, and believing that culture is the language that inspires and allows people to better understand one another in a diverse world, Hilde invited famous artists to participate or exhibit their works at the World Economic Forum meetings. Together with Yehudi Menuhin, she created the “Crystal Award” in 1996 to honor each year outstanding leaders in arts and culture. She was the project manager for the new World Economic Forum building, completed in 1998, ensuring that the values of the Forum such as openness and transparency were incorporated in its construction. Hilde felt that grassroots social entrepreneurs, who have innovative ideas to address social and ecological challenges such as education, health and poverty, should also interact with corporate and political leaders. So, in 1998, she and her husband Klaus created the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. The Foundation now comprises a community of more than 160 outstanding social entrepreneurs worldwide who contribute to all the activities of the World Economic Forum. She serves on the board of Global Dignity, which promotes the right of every human being to lead a dignified life." [1]

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  1. Advisors, International Bridges to Justice, accessed May 19, 2010.