The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters remains the foremost creative force for engaging the world’s top leaders in collaborative activities to shape the global, regional and industrial agendas for each year. For those that don’t know, WEF is attended by an elite group of international influencers and leaders from the world of business and politics. This list is topped off with a number of well-known celebrities and activists, as well as a pretty hefty price tag to secure a place in one of the biggest events of the year.
Whilst the World Economic Forum is something of huge importance to Philips, and also to the world at large, consumer understanding of the scale and impact of the event is very low – and with a complex and sometimes unsettling geopolitical climate that can be created in this day and age, the activities in Davos go under the radar for most people.
First launched in 1971, WEF has been around for 46 years, but despite this, there’s an increasing lack of interest with people feeling disillusioned from the World Economic Forum. In many cases, it’s a feeling that their opinion and voice won’t be heard; for those without six-figure salaries, access to the event is almost non-existent.
Here at Philips, we believe that access to the World Economic Forum is an opportunity that everybody should have. That’s why this year we made the decision to take a closer look at the issues being discussed at WEF through the eyes of those it will affect the most: young people. Decisions taken at this conference will have a huge and lasting impact on the world in which they grow up in and to have them engaging with the event - even a small level - is something we see as imperative to creating positive change.
Using this philosophy we created YoungWEF - a Global campaign which brings together consumer, healthcare, and B2G themes to drive awareness and engagement around this year’s annual meeting in Davos.
The YoungWEF campaign involved creating two films which give a voice to a diverse and representative group of 8-15 year olds to find out what they think about future leaders and the future of healthcare. These films were used to start a conversation with children around the world, and to get them sharing their ideas and questions on the future - in the form of drawings, paintings, and pictures. The top submissions were then given the chance to put their questions to Philips CEO, Frans van Houten, in person – which proved to a huge learning for both sides. For the young people involved, this was an opportunity to have a voice at such a crucial time in creating outcomes that will shape their futures. For Frans, it was the chance to hear the refreshing – and often, incredibly honest – thoughts of these young people.
Our mission for this project was to listen and respond to the needs of future generations and make a healthier and more sustainable world for tomorrow. Looking at the results so far; we had over 13.3M impression online, the two videos have had over 12,000 unique views and the content was used around the world - becoming one of the most successful digital campaigns Philips has ever run.
The YoungWEF campaign provides a perfect example of digital content done right. Viewers really responded to the content and subject matter, sparking conversations - both on and offline - around Philips and the World Economic Forum.
But that’s not all. From the exciting platform we have created, we plan to capitalise on this movement and push the campaign even further in to phase three, to truly amplify and give a voice to the younger generations – the ones that really matter. That’s why we want to take this beyond just a campaign and give this programme more life and more purpose. We are now looking at what we can do with all of the insights we have gathered and how we can turn them into something meaningful that truly engages with the next generation.
By thinking beyond the internal benefits, Philips will be able to integrate a generation that previously were unaware or disinterested in what is one of the biggest political and economic events of the year. Looking ahead to next year’s event, Philips will be looking to capitalize on this amazing progress and find more creative and interesting ways to push the boundaries between society’s issues and the general public.