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Georgetown Contributes to World Economic Forum

John J. DiGioia and Mary Callahan Erdoes Georgetown University president John J. DeGioia greets Mary Callahan Erdoes (C'89), chief executive officer of J.P. Morgan's asset management line of business, during a reception for alumni.

January 28, 2011– President John J. DeGioia is representing Georgetown at the World Economic Forum (WEF) this week in Davos, Switzerland, speaking at several sessions, meeting higher education and other leaders and hosting a reception for alumni.

“It has been a pleasure to see so many Hoyas here tonight and throughout the week,” DeGioia said Jan. 26. “They really represent the global mindset and leadership traits Georgetown embodies.”

The WEF takes place Jan. 26-30.

Georgetown has been closely involved with the WEF over the years in several ways, including contributing to the forum’s Global Agenda Council on Values, through the leadership of DeGioia and Thomas Banchoff, director of the university’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs.

The council works to understand how shared values support effectiveness in dealing with interlinked global problems, particularly economic ones.

Global Collaboration

The Berkley Center collaborated with the WEF last year on a report, “Faith and the Global Agenda: Values for the Post-Crisis Economy,” and DeGioia chaired the forum’s Global Redesign Initative’s Global Agenda Council on Faith.

World Economic Forum The World Economic Forum runs Jan. 26-30 in Davos, Switzerland.

This year, in addition to participating in WEF meetings, Georgetown is presenting a sustainability report.

At the 2010 forum meeting, DeGioia and 27 other university leaders from around the world signed the International Sustainable Campus Network – WEF Global University Leaders Forum (GULF) Charter.

The charter supports universities in target setting and reporting about sustainable campus development goals and performance. The university has committed to cutting its carbon footprint in half by 2020.

“Environmental sustainability is a challenge that universities actively can help to address,” DeGioia has stated. “At Georgetown we are committed to engaging in research, teaching and operational practices that help us minimize our impact on the environment.”

Alumni Leaders

At the alumni reception in Davos, DeGioia presented the new Georgetown website and invited alumni to record video messages reflecting on their experiences after graduation and at the forum.

“Being in Davos is really about connecting with the world and understanding that as global citizens, we need to come together and help solve some of the world’s biggest problems,” said Bonnie Gwin (F’82, G’83), vice chair and the managing partner of North America for Heidrick & Struggles, a leadership advisory firm. “That’s the role Georgetown prepared me for.”

Gwin has two sons – John (F’12) and Michael (F’14) – at Georgetown.

Shared Norms

The theme of this year’s World Economic Forum is “Shared Norms for a New Reality,” a topic that addresses the need, says WEF executive chair, Klaus Schwab, for world leaders to discover a new consensus. 

“We can either continue to work as lobbyists for our narrowly defined self-interests and keep doing the same old things that got us into the crisis in the first place,” he wrote in a recent op-ed.  “Or we can act together as true global leaders, with the long term global public interest in mind and at heart.”

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