On 29 December 22, a Georgian Facebook user posted a video of Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, speaking at the B20 Summit on 14 November 2022. According to the author of the post, Schwab stated that “We are intentionally causing chaos at the international level to achieve the global technocratic governance we want. Curse be upon the peasants.”
The quote ascribed to Klaus Schwab, as if they intentionally cause chaos at the international level is fabricated. Schwab made no such statement; the video attached does not show him saying such words. Instead, it shows Schwab discussing the political transition that is occuring which could leave our world much more politically fragmented. Therefore he emphasises the importance of the G20 summit for connecting the world.
The video is a short clip from Klaus Schwab’s summit keynote address “Harnessing the Power of Innovation for Future Economic Growth,” which was presented at the B20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia on 14 November 2022. The B20 is the official G20 engagement group representing the global business community. Its mandate is to deliver actionable policy recommendations on the priorities established by each presidency to spur economic growth and development.
In his full 12-minute speech, Schwab focuses on the systemic restructuring our world is dealing with right now, with a particular emphasis on the 4th Industrial Revolution. It is this explanation of the crises the world is facing (including economic, political, and ecological) that the video clip shown on Facebook uses. Schwab’s main point is that our world is becoming more multi-polar and that this political transformation could make our world much more fragmented. Therefore, summits such as the G20 are important to connect us and to avoid what he terms bloc-isation as opposed to globalisation.
Schwab looks to the 4th Industrial Revolution, discussing the differences this revolution has compared to previous industrial revolutions. Specifically, he discusses how much greater the scope and speed this transition will be and how it will be the first world to determine global competition at both the national and business level. In his speech, Schwab emphasises the importance of public-private cooperation to succeed.
Schwab then concludes his speech with a discussion of trust and how businesses must practise stakeholder capitalism if they are to be a force for good. According to Schwab, businesses should not only serve shareholders, but must serve the people and take care of our planet. This is the only way business can earn the trust it needs to be an innovative force that can make our society a better one.
At no point in his speech does Schwab claim to cause chaos to achieve a global technocratic government. Indeed, Schwab urges both governments and business leaders to think carefully about what the 4th Industrial Revolution and the changes it brings will look like and how they can both work together to create a better society for everyone. Schwab similarly does not curse the peasantry. With his emphasis on stakeholder capitalism, Schwab shows he wants businesses to do better for society and help everyone, not just the stakeholders in charge.
Conspiracies about the 4th Industrial Revolution and the role of Klaus Schwab in creating the Covid-19 pandemic or other technological detriments to humanity have been fact-checked by Myth Detector previously. Like this Facebook post, many of the examples link to real videos of Schwab’s speeches, but misrepresent or falsely attribute quotes to him. See:
- Does the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” Have Anything To Do With 5g and the Covid Vaccine?
- Does Schwab Write About the Ban of Religion and Private Property and Where Does the 21/30 Conspiracy Originate From?
- What Was (Not) the Confession of Klaus Schwab?
- On Facebook, a Fragment of the Text of the Committee of 300 is Attributed to Klaus Schwab
Erasmus CEERES Master’s student, Intern at Myth Detector
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