Our world is divided in many ways and along different fault lines. The 2020 Forum will focus on ways to bridge these divides:
Bridging economic divides
Globalization has fostered economic integration through substantial growth of international trade and the free movement of goods, services and capital. At the same time, protectionisms and trade barriers are challenging the modern global trading system. Moreover, despite the unprecedented economic growth that has occurred, the world has become more divided along economic, social and environmental lines. The degradation of social conditions for many along with the impacts of a changing climate have contributed to economic instability. Many people have lost trust in economic and political leaders when it comes to developing a positive vision for the future and creating opportunities for all. The Forum will discuss innovative solutions to foster inclusive and sustainable economic development and responsible business management.
Bridging social divides
Most people from around the world believe that their country is divided. Identity, territoriality, religion, race, economic opportunities, culture and politics have all been cited as root causes of increased divisions. Women, in particular, continue to face significant systemic barriers across sectors and the rates of sexualized and physical violence in our society are alarming. The Forum aims to create the space that enables people to connect across all boundaries. The forum will create innovative ways to get people to engage with each other, merging the old with the new, through arts and culture, music and sports as fundamental ways of thinking about things.
Bridging environmental divides
Humanity faces critical environmental problems but political, social, and ideological polarization increasingly hinders our collective ability to address these problems. According to recent studies, a 2.8˚C increase in global temperatures from pre-industrial levels would cause an average of US$520 billion in damages per year across 22 economic sectors in the US alone. The burdens of climate change are disproportionately felt by the poor, the disempowered, the marginalized and Indigenous people. The recognition of these challenges led several businesses to reconsider how they do business and the incorporation of a broader stakeholder value maximization perspective. Increasingly, leaders are recognizing that sustainability is important to the future success of their organizations, and large investors are committing to climate change action. The Victoria Forum will connect different conversations such as human security and development through the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.