Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, welcomed participants to the 48th Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, telling them they are here because they are part of a community, the foremost multistakeholder community in the world.
“No stakeholder group alone, however, can address the complex global agenda in a constructive way,” Schwab said.
Following his remarks, Hilde Schwab, Chairwoman and Co-Founder of the World Arts Forum, presented three outstanding cultural leaders with the 24th Annual Crystal Awards. The awards celebrate the achievements of leading artists who are bridge-builders and role models for all leaders of society.
“The awards stand for leadership, vision and compassion,” she said. “It honours personalities not just for their art, but also for their values.”
Crystal awardees are part of a community of 40 cultural leaders in Davos “creating a shared future in a fractured world”. Learn more here.
The 2018 recipients of the Crystal Awards are Cate Blanchett, Sir Elton John and Shah Rukh Khan.
Cate Blanchett, for her leadership in raising awareness of the refugee crisis
Cate Blanchett is an internationally acclaimed award-winning actor and director on both stage and screen. In 2016, she was appointed a UNHCR Global Goodwill Ambassador in recognition of her work with refugees. “I am deeply grateful for the recognition the Crystal Award gives to the scale and severity of the global refugee crisis, along with the acknowledgement that we all have a stake in identifying and enacting solutions,” she said. “I feel if I can use my position, and any platform I may have access to, to bring the spotlight back to the individual human stories of refugees, then I am duty-bound to do so.” She also asked participants to be directed by a reinvigorated moral compass.
Sir Elton John, for his leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS
Sir Elton John is one of the world’s most successful musical solo artists, whose career has spanned more than five decades. In 1992, he established the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAW), which has raised more than $400 million to date to support hundreds of HIV/AIDS prevention, service and advocacy programmes around the world. “Today, there are 20 million people the world over who are on life-saving HIV treatment. We have made such progress that ending AIDS by 2030 is now a real possibility,” he said. “The failure to treat people with equal respect is what fuelled AIDS. The moment we began to respect, the moment we chased out shame, was the moment we started the fight back.”
Shah Rukh Khan, for his leadership in championing children’s and women’s rights in India
Shah Rukh Khan is one of Bollywood’s most prominent actors who has been at the forefront of the Indian film and television industry for over 30 years. He is also the founder of the non-profit Meer Foundation, which provides support to female victims of acid attacks and major burn injuries through medical treatment and legal aid. “To disfigure a woman by throwing acid on her face is one of the crudest acts of subjugation imaginable. At the source of it lies the view that a woman does not have the right to assert her choice,” he said. “We need to open access for each and every one with a true sense of ourselves, not as more powerful or less privileged but as equals.”