“Davos has provided Drive Forward with access to a variety of companies, which then lead to fruitful relationships.” (Martha Wansbrough, CEO of Drive Forward Foundation)

For more than 30 years, the Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, has been a significant networking opportunity for leaders around the globe. With a vision of improving the state of the world, the unique ‘Spirit of Davos’ refers to mutual collaboration and collegiality amongst all participants. As an international organisation, the World Economic Forum in Davos brings together figures from government and politics, business and civil society, to shape global agendas and influence change.

After her first visit to Davos in 2014, our CEO Martha Wansbrough has made her way once again into the Swiss alps to be part of this global conversation:

“Although it has a reputation for being elitist and focused solely on profit and business deals, Davos has provided Drive Forward with access to a variety of companies, which then lead to fruitful relationships. In 2014 and 2015, for example, my attendance at the World Economic Forum enabled us to successfully connect with Accenture, Google, WPP, and DHL. This didn’t only lead to the creation of invaluable experiences and work opportunities for the young people working with us, but these initial conversations opened up networks to other top companies in London: J. Walter Thompson, Hill & Knowlton, Squire Patton Boggs amongst them.

This year, I had the opportunity to make a couple of promising connections to Nike Inc. and Dell Technologies and met with leading personalities from the business world, who were all sympathetic to Drive Forward’s mission.

One of the highlights of my stay in Davos was being introduced to the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, who has shown interest in our charity and particularly issues around housing for London care leavers.

Another fantastic experience was getting the chance to talk to Facebook COO at the ‘Leaders and Resilience’ lunch. We had a discussion about how the experience of trauma and adversity influences peoples’ lives. The COO explores this and resilience factors in her new book ‘Option B’, which obviously made her very empathetic to hear about the different challenges care leavers have to endure, particularly in early life.  We look forward to hosting her in London during her book tour.”