What Does the World Economic Forum Know About Social Media?

The founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, though born in 1938 in Germany, understands the importance of social media.

The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. But what are the founder and Chairman’s thoughts on social media, today?

Klaus Schwab knows that the younger generation is much more global. “You are part of the global community,” he said, at the 2012 Social Good Summit in New York City. “You have grown up with the global identity”. Because of this, Schwab says that we cannot address issues on a national scale anymore.

For those that see social media as a waste of time, Schwab doesn’t. “I’m very encouraged when I see young people in their 20s engaged in social media. They are thinking globally.”

When challenged about what young people can actually do online, and if their ideas really make a difference, Schwab stated that “It’s only through idealism that you can make this world better.”

What about older people, who just aren’t well versed in Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or even blogs? Schwab reminds us that social media is a relatively new phenomenon. “The mistake the older people are making is seeing social media as means to its own purpose. Social media is much more – it’s a way of life.

Social Media is changing us – ourselves, our behavior. “That’s difficult for older people to understand. It’s a fantastic way of life,” Schwab stated.

In the next 20 years, most of the leaders who come into power will have to own up, Schwab clarifies. They will have to have a different way of looking at our world.

Although we’re all connected online, we should not assume that social media will create one global culture. “It will still remain very much a multicultural world; we still have to understand different cultures.”

Who will be the leaders of the social media revolution? For the future of leaders, Schwab explains what creates a leader: “A leader has brains – good professional, heart – passion, and soul – values.”

We have to move in a new direction, focused on creating better values. With the help of social media, Klaus Schwab knows we can.

For cool things Klaus Schwab is doing, checkout the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship and The Forum of Young Global Leaders he established (a community of inspiring and dynamic leaders from among the under-40s – to respond to the growing consensus that the challenges confronting the world demand integrated solutions).