2015: At a crossroads of fundamentalism or solidarity

The founder of the World Economic Forum says 2015 is a "year of destiny" for the global community.

Klaus Schwab, the founder & chairman of the World Economic Forum, and his wife Hilda. Picture: World Economic Forum/swiss-image.ch

JOHANNESBURG - The executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Klaus Schwab, says 2015 is the year the world finds itself at a "crossroads".

Schwab says the global community could go in "two possible directions", choosing either "a world of of disintegration, of hate [and] of fundamentalism" or "a world of solidarity [and] cooperation".

Speaking on Wednesday, the founder of the WEF said both possibilities were evident during the recent Paris attacks.

"The first world was represented through the terrorist attack; the second world was represented by the demonstration of solidarity last Sunday [when over a million people marched through Paris].

"I feel there will be a number of events this year which really will determine in which direction we are going. So it is a year of destiny for humankind," Schwab added.

Presidents, prime ministers, cabinet ministers, captains of industry, civil society representatives, academics and others will gather in Davos next week to talk about solutions to some of the world's most pressing problems. The gathering, which has 280 sessions over three days, will also reveal insight into new technological and scientific developments.

This year's theme is The New Global Context, and will look at 10 challenges, including environment and resource scarcity, the future of the internet, global crime and anti-corruption, and social inclusion.

Schwab also says we are living in a different world than several years ago.

"The world has changed substantially. We are in a post-post-crisis world."

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