The World Economic Forum (WEF) is missing one member of its board of trustees on its website — and it appears to be the case since at least November 23. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland’s photo used to appear right below AXA’s Thomas Buberl and on the left of Bain & Company’s Orit Gadiesh, but as of this writing, she’s nowhere to be found.
Freeland has been a member of the WEF’s board of trustees since 2019, and she’s notably the only politician in the current roster of trustees, which are mostly made up of leaders from the private sector and civil society.
The WEF, which convenes yearly at a luxury ski resort in Davos, Switzerland, is a non-govermental organization funded by the world’s top multinational corporations. It sees its mission as “improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.”
In this annual invite-only meeting, attended by members, investors, business leaders, political leaders, economists, celebrities and journalists, they discuss global issues and make pronouncements. The problem, as Small Cap Steve points out in this story about this year’s meeting, many of the decisions and potential collaborations being influenced are made without the public’s consent.
While it’s necessary for politicians to participate in these discussions, they are motivated (and paid for) by big business. Thus, as a top elected official, Freeland has continuously received criticism for moonlighting on the WEF board. Her decision to accept the position has been compared to her serving two masters, and it’s been viewed as a danger to Canadian democracy.
As of this writing, there hasn’t been any announcement or confirmation from the WEF or Freeland. It’s unclear whether her disappearance from the list was a site error — her profile on the WEF website still says she’s a member of the board of trustees — or was a still unannounced voluntary or involuntary departure.
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