“The changes are so profound that, from the perspective of human history, there has never been a time of greater promise or potential peril.”— Klaus Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution
“The pandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world.”— Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum
“A great leader has brains, vision, soul, values and a heart.”— Klaus Schwab
“We do not want to just define issues; we want to help to create solutions.”— Klaus Schwab
“History shows that epidemics have been the great resetter of countries’ economy and social fabric. Why should it be different with COVID-19?”— Klaus Schwab
“One of the great lessons of the past five centuries in Europe and America is this: acute crises contribute to boosting the power of the state. It’s always been the case and there is no reason why it should be different with the COVID-19 pandemic.”— Klaus Schwab
“Two points are pertinent to the Great Reset in this: 1) our human actions and reactions are not rooted in statistical data but are determined instead by emotions and sentiments – narratives drive our behaviour; and 2) as our human condition improves, our standards of living increase and so do our expectations for a better and fairer life.”— Klaus Schwab
“The new technology age, if shaped in a responsive and responsible way, could catalyze a new cultural renaissance that will enable us to feel part of something much larger than ourselves – a true global civilization. The Fourth Industrial Revolution has the potential to robotize humanity, and thus compromise our traditional sources of meaning – work, community, family, identity. Or we can use the Fourth Industrial Revolution to lift humanity into a new collective and moral consciousness based on a shared sense of destiny. It is incumbent on us all to make sure that the latter is what happens.”— Klaus Schwab
I don’t know about you but these aspirations, as stated by World Economic Forum (WEF) chief executive Klaus Schwab, leave me a bit – well, un-reset. And upset. Do you know what the WEF, with its Great Reset and Fourth Industrial Revolution plans, are actually up to? I sure didn’t until I started digging into this troubling recent movement, or maybe phenomenon.
WEF has many powerful people behind and inside it, and the organization appears to be hugely funded. It is going to accomplish something big, whatever this may actually turn out to be.
Here is an overview of what I have learned so far. It is probably enough to seriously un-reset you too.
Introducing the WEF’s Great Reset
This grand visionary concept originated in 1971 when the World Economic Forum was founded by Swiss-born Klaus Schwab “… as a not-for-profit foundation and built into the foremost international institution for public-private cooperation”. Its agenda, from the WEF website:
“The Great Reset agenda would have three main components. The first would steer the market toward fairer outcomes. To this end, governments should improve coordination (for example, in tax, regulatory, and fiscal policy), upgrade trade arrangements, and create the conditions for a ‘stakeholder economy.’ At a time of diminishing tax bases and soaring public debt, governments have a powerful incentive to pursue such action.”
“Moreover, governments should implement long-overdue reforms that promote more equitable outcomes. Depending on the country, these may include changes to wealth taxes, the withdrawal of fossil-fuel subsidies, and new rules governing intellectual property, trade, and competition.”
“The second component of a Great Reset agenda would ensure that investments advance shared goals, such as equality and sustainability. Here, the large-scale spending programs that many governments are implementing represent a major opportunity for progress. The European Commission, for one, has unveiled plans for a €750 billion ($826 billion) recovery fund. The US, China, and Japan also have ambitious economic-stimulus plans.”
“Rather than using these funds, as well as investments from private entities and pension funds, to fill cracks in the old system, we should use them to create a new one that is more resilient, equitable, and sustainable in the long run. This means, for example, building “green” urban infrastructure and creating incentives for industries to improve their track record on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) metrics.”
“The third and final priority of a Great Reset agenda is to harness the innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to support the public good, especially by addressing health and social challenges. During the COVID-19 crisis, companies, universities, and others have joined forces to develop diagnostics, therapeutics, and possible vaccines; establish testing centers; create mechanisms for tracing infections; and deliver telemedicine. Imagine what could be possible if similar concerted efforts were made in every sector.”
Ambitious, even grandiose – to say the least, yes?
All about Klaus
Klaus Schwab, I think that you will agree, is one serious dude. This guy is not messing around, to put it mildly. He makes things happen. Resets things. From the WEF website:
Klaus Schwab, WEF Founder and Executive Chairman. Studied at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, University of Fribourg and Harvard University; degrees include doctorates in Mechanical Engineering and Economics (summa cum laude). 1972-2003, Professor of Business Policy, University of Geneva. 1971, founded the World Economic Forum as a not-for-profit foundation and built it into the foremost international institution for public-private cooperation; 1998, Co-Founder, with wife Hilde, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, supporting social innovation around the world; 2004, Founder, Forum of Young Global Leaders; 2011, Founder, Global Shapers Community. Numerous honorary doctorates. Several honorary professorships. Recipient of international and highest national honors for initiatives undertaken in the spirit of entrepreneurship in the global public interest and for peace and reconciliation efforts in several regions of the world. Klaus even wrote a book on “COVID-19: The Great Reset” with Thierry Malleret, co-founder and principal author of the Monthly Barometer, an analytical and predictive newsletter on macro issues for high-level decisionmakers.
Amazon’s book summary:
“COVID-19: The Great Reset” is a guide for anyone who wants to understand how COVID-19 disrupted our social and economic systems, and what changes will be needed to create a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable world going forward. Klaus Schwab, founder and executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, and Thierry Malleret, founder of the Monthly Barometer, explore what the root causes of these crisis were, and why they lead to a need for a Great Reset. Theirs is a worrying, yet hopeful analysis. COVID-19 has created a great disruptive reset of our global social, economic, and political systems. But the power of human beings lies in being foresighted and having the ingenuity, at least to a certain extent, to take their destiny into their hands and to plan for a better future. This is the purpose of this book: to shake up and to show the deficiencies which were manifest in our global system, even before COVID broke out. ‘Erudite, thought-provoking and plausible’ — Hans van Leeuwen, Australian Financial Review (Australia). ‘The book looks ahead to what the post-coronavirus world could look like barely four months after the outbreak was first declared a pandemic’ — Sam Meredith, CNBC (USA). ‘The message that the pandemic is not only a crisis of enormous proportions, but that it also provides an opportunity for humanity to reflect on how it can do things differently, is important and merits reflection ‘– Ricardo Avila, Portafolio (Colombia). ‘A call for political change in the post-pandemic world’– Ivonne Martinez, La Razon (Mexico). ‘History has shown, the book argues, that pandemics are a force for radical and lasting change’– Mustafa Alrawi, The National (UAE).”
World Resources Institute (WRI)
According to WRI: “WRI is a global research organization that works with governments, businesses, multilateral institutions and civil society groups to develop practical solutions that improve people’s lives and ensures nature can thrive. We organize our work around seven global challenges: Food, Forests, Water, Energy, Climate, the Ocean and Cities. We analyze these issues through the lenses of our four Centers of Excellence: Business, Economics, Finance and Equity.”
Sarah Parsons in early 2021 wrote a piece for WRI titled: “The Great Reset: 7 Environment and Sustainability Stories to Watch in 2021”:
“WRI President and CEO Andrew Steer set the stage for 2021 actions: ‘By the end of this year, we will know what kind of civilization we really are.’ Indeed, world’s ‘Great Reset’ after COVID-19 is the backdrop against which all other moments will occur this year. Signals in 2021 will show whether we’re heading toward a cleaner, fairer, stronger world, or moving in the opposite direction. Here are six indicators to watch throughout 2021 to better understand our direction of travel as the world begins to recover from COVID-19 and the economic fallout.”
The article noted that countries around the world had already allocated $13 trillion to “reboot economies” and were likely to spend trillions more. Clean energy is a primary target. Reducing the “social divide” and promoting greater equity is another target. Climate change fixes are not surprisingly among the other targets.
Davos 2022 Forum
You just had to know that there are many other players busy Great-Resetting us all. One of the most prominent is The Davos Forum, organized by the WEF, which has set its 2022 agenda as “Working together to regain trust”. In case you didn’t know it, the WEF was known as the Davos Forum for about 50 years. For 2022:
“The unique circumstances surrounding this annual meeting make having clear objectives more important than ever before. WEF is emphasizing two in particular:”
“The biggest priority is to accelerate progress and the impact of the forum to tackle global challenges – from COVID and climate change to education and global technology.”
“The second objective is to provide a platform for connection, thus fostering the generation of new ideas and innovations, involving communities, projects and individuals willing to share their contributions. Technology will allow the audience to observe and interact with the forum through the live streaming of sessions, social networks and virtual connections.”
Oddly enough, no mention of why they need to regain trust as a top priority. Probably a good plan in any case. Trust is important, even if it is generally very hard to regain once lost.
So where are we today, Great-Reset-wise?
Thousands of government and corporate leaders appear to be active in this Great Reset effort. Much talk and arm-waving are evident, plus what seems to be roughly $20 trillion so far in committed spending. That should buy a whole bunch of Great Resets and Great Resetters, yes?
Clearly, globalist goals are central. Although there are claims of an “anti-capitalist” agenda, there are certainly a lot of major corporations signed up for whatever resetting is underway. Probably capitalist corporations, no less. Follow the money, as always.
While COVID surely has created “an opportunity” for major change, it has already led to a great many major changes – as covered in several previous posts (see for example here, here, and here). None of which so far as I can see are included in the Great Reset hit list.
What I can see are mostly in the category of “unintended consequences”, which I’m sure you will agree are a common product of government and similar organizations’ efforts. But some of these unintended “resets”, like the explosion of remote and hybrid workers, work, and workplaces, seem to be hugely valuable.
Offsetting underlying positive (so far) outcomes are many other disruptions, such as broken supply chains, shortages, vaxx problems, and now even trucker-led mandate protests. Perhaps these are mostly unpleasant but unavoidable steps in the real Great Resetting process that is actually happening – vs. plans.
Government, as always, is doing its best to assist the disruptions.
It seems in fact that we are truly being Greatly-Reset, but not so much in the ways envisioned by the WEF gang. Our actual resets are increasingly driven by real folks who are creatively, wisely, and energetically using the current chaos to achieve truly lasting and important changes to the current new world disorder.
So, the Great Resetters appear at this point to be still in the stage of mostly talk and spending money we don’t have on things that we may not urgently need. That’s just what they do.
As for the non-Great-Reset efforts that are affecting us, the story here seems far more encouraging. There are so many positive changes either largely completed or fully underway that we should be quite grateful for the WEF and kin to be off meddling in their own realms while things that really need to get done, get done.
Scorecards right now:
- Great Resetters: Just a few points, mainly for effort, plus their trademark sound and fury.
- Us non-Great-Resetters: We are way up near top of the class for figuring out what needs most to be done, getting these efforts quickly underway, and for the much progress and many wins to date.
Might be helpful to summarize our truly good, self-resetting news
Although not in the Great-Resetters’ game plan, here is my favorites list of great leaps forward (aka resets) over the past two years. COVID lit the reset fuse.
- The office of the past is dead
- The workplace of the future is rapidly taking shape
- Workers are moving to hybrid and remote arrangements
- The freelance, self-employed, and gig economy is roaring
- Wages for employed workers are rising (slowly)
- Work-life balance for the majority is largely available at last
- “Big” is breaking down into teams and small, more-autonomous units
You probably have your own set of favorite changes that lie largely outside of what the official WEF Great Resetters have planned for us. Will they ultimately prevail in this resetting contest? Who knows, but my bets are on the unofficial resetters, aka us, who at least for the moment are way out ahead.
The Great Reset is definitely well-underway, but just not in the ways planned by the official Great Resetters. Thinking of “Great Reset” as “Great Change” instead, where we are headed is being driven by us non-Great-Resetters in directions and ways that the official Great Resetters cannot even imagine. Much of this Great Change will be greatly productive and may even be well-worth the disruptions and hassles required to get there.
This is quite a long extract but it fills in a few of the missing points from this post. These Great Resetter people should not be underestimated despite what appears to be their minimal progress to date. They are clearly smart, dedicated, and resourceful. They may well prevail in the end. This excerpt also provides a taste of the contrary non-WEF views about what’s going on.
“But the idea of the Great Reset goes back much further. It can be traced at least as far back as the inception of the WEF, originally founded as the European Management Forum, in 1971. In that same year, Schwab, an engineer and economist by training, published his first book, Modern Enterprise Management in Mechanical Engineering. It was in this book that Schwab first introduced the concept he would later call ‘stakeholder capitalism,’ arguing ‘that the management of a modern enterprise must serve not only shareholders but all stakeholders to achieve long-term growth and prosperity.’ Schwab and the WEF have promoted the idea of stakeholder capitalism ever since. They can take credit for the stakeholder and public-private partnership rhetoric and policies embraced by governments, corporations, non-governmental organizations, and international governance bodies worldwide.”
“The specific phrase ‘Great Reset’ came into general circulation over a decade ago, with the publication of a 2010 book, The Great Reset, by American urban studies scholar Richard Florida. Written in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Florida’s book argued that the 2008 economic crash was the latest in a series of Great Resets—including the Long Depression of the 1870s and the Great Depression of the 1930s—which he defined as periods of paradigm-shifting systemic innovation.”
“In 2018 and 2019, the WEF organized two events that became the primary inspiration for the current Great Reset project—and also, for obvious reasons, fresh fodder for conspiracy theorists. (Don’t blame me for the latter—all I’m doing is relating the historical facts.)”
“In May 2018, the WEF collaborated with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security to conduct ‘CLADE X,’ a simulation of a national pandemic response. Specifically, the exercise simulated the outbreak of a novel strain of a human parainfluenza virus, with genetic elements of the Nipah virus, called CLADE X. The simulation ended with a news report stating that in the face of CLADE X, without effective vaccines, ‘experts tell us that we could eventually see 30 to 40 million deaths in the U.S. and more than 900 million around the world—twelve percent of the global population.’ Clearly, preparation for a global pandemic was in order.”
“In October 2019, the WEF collaborated with Johns Hopkins and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on another pandemic exercise, ‘Event 201,’ which simulated an international response to the outbreak of a novel coronavirus. This was two months before the COVID outbreak in China became news and five months before the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic, and it closely resembled the future COVID scenario, including incorporating the idea of asymptomatic spread. “
“The CLADE X and Event 201 simulations anticipated almost every eventuality of the actual COVID crisis, most notably the responses by governments, health agencies, the media, tech companies, and elements of the public. The responses and their effects included worldwide lockdowns, the collapse of businesses and industries, the adoption of biometric surveillance technologies, an emphasis on social media censorship to combat ‘misinformation,’ the flooding of social and legacy media with ‘authoritative sources,’ widespread riots, and mass unemployment. “
“In addition to being promoted as a response to COVID, the Great Reset is promoted as a response to climate change. In 2017, the WEF published a paper entitled, ‘We Need to Reset the Global Operating System to Achieve the [United Nations Sustainable Development Goals].’ On June 13, 2019, the WEF signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations to form a partnership to advance the ‘UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.’ Shortly after that, the WEF published the ‘United Nations-World Economic Forum Strategic Partnership Framework for the 2030 Agenda,’ promising to help finance the UN’s climate change agenda and committing the WEF to help the UN ‘meet the needs of the Fourth Industrial Revolution,’ including providing assets and expertise for ‘digital governance.’
“In June 2020, at its 50th annual meeting, the WEF announced the Great Reset’s official launch, and a month later Schwab and Malleret published their book on COVID and the Great Reset. The book declared that COVID represents an ‘opportunity [that] can be seized’; that ‘we should take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to reimagine our world’; that ‘the moment must be seized to take advantage of this unique window of opportunity’; and that ‘[f]or those fortunate enough to find themselves in industries ‘naturally’ resilient to the pandemic’—think here of Big Tech companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon—’the crisis was not only more bearable, but even a source of profitable opportunities at a time of distress for the majority.’”
“In their recent book on the Great Reset, Schwab and Malleret pit ‘stakeholder capitalism’ against ‘neoliberalism,’ defining the latter as ‘a corpus of ideas and policies . . . favoring competition over solidarity, creative destruction over government intervention, and economic growth over social welfare.’ In other words, ‘neoliberalism’ refers to the free enterprise system. In opposing that system, stakeholder capitalism entails corporate cooperation with the state and vastly increased government intervention in the economy.”
“Proponents of the Great Reset hold ‘neoliberalism’ responsible for our economic woes. But in truth, the governmental favoring of industries and players within industries—what used to be known as corporatism or economic fascism—has been the real source of what Schwab and his allies at the WEF decry.”
“Schwab and Malleret write that if ‘the past five centuries in Europe and America’ have taught us anything, it is that ‘acute crises contribute to boosting the power of the state. It’s always been the case and there is no reason it should be different with the COVID-19 pandemic.’”
“As if the economic and governmental resets were not dramatic enough, the technological reset reads like a dystopian science fiction novel. It is based on the Fourth Industrial Revolution—or 4-IR for short. The first, second, and third industrial revolutions were the mechanical, electrical, and digital revolutions. The 4-IR marks the convergence of existing and emerging fields, including Big Data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, quantum computing, genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics. The foreseen result will be the merging of the physical, digital, and biological worlds, which presents a challenge to the ontologies by which we understand ourselves and the world, including the definition of a human being.”
“There is nothing original about this. Transhumanists and Singularitarians (prophets of technological singularity) such as Ray Kurzweil forecasted these and other revolutionary developments long ago. What’s different about the globalists’ vision of 4-IR is the attempt to harness it to the ends of the Great Reset.”
“If already existing 4-IR developments are any indication of the future, then the claim that it will contribute to human happiness is false. These developments include Internet algorithms that feed users prescribed news and advertisements and downrank or exclude banned content; algorithms that censor social media content and consign ‘dangerous’ individuals and organizations to digital gulags; ‘keyword warrants’ based on search engine inputs; apps that track and trace COVID violations and report offenders to the police; robot police with scanners to identify and round up the unvaccinated and other dissidents; and smart cities where residents are digital entities to be monitored, surveilled, and recorded, and where data on their every move is collected, collated, stored, and attached to a digital identity and a social credit score.”
“Because the goals of the Great Reset depend on the obliteration not only of free markets, but of individual liberty and free will, it is, perhaps ironically, unsustainable. Like earlier attempts at totalitarianism, the Great Reset is doomed to ultimate failure.”