Last week, Dan Schulman, Bill Ready, Jonathan Auerbach and Franz Paasche attended the World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, which marked PayPal's third year participating in the annual event. This year's theme of "Strengthening Cooperation in a Fractured World" provided a platform for PayPal to speak about the potential for fintech to improve financial health and create greater economic opportunity globally. Throughout the week, the four leaders participated in over dozens of bilateral meetings, spoke at multiple public and private events and held interviews with various top-tier media outlets.
On Monday evening, PayPal hosted an opening night dinner discussion with over 30 global leaders and industry executives. The conversation focused on the opportunity for technology and new partnership approaches to improve financial health and connect more people and businesses to economic opportunity. The discussion was moderated by Nicholas Thompson, Editor-In-Chief of WIRED, and included a number of notable attendees across business, government, social impact and academia.
The PayPal team also secured several speaking events for the executive delegation throughout the week. Dan joined Dr. Ya-Qin Zhang, President of Baidu, and other leaders on an official WEF panel titled, "Big Tech, Big Impact," which was moderated by Matthew Murray of The Wall Street Journal and live streamed on WEF's website. He also participated in WEF's annual "Meet the Leader" session and co-chaired the WEF "Promoting Global Financial Inclusion Breakfast." Additionally, Dan joined a panel hosted by HBR and Deloitte on the future of leadership, spoke at The New York Times dinner about the changing role of business in the new political context, and participated in two roundtable discussions on financial inclusion (one hosted by HM Queen Máxima of the Netherlands and another by senior representatives of the Indian Government, who accompanied PM Modi's first trip to Davos).
Bill served as a table leader for a private WEF session, titled "Accelerating Digital Trade Opportunities and Solutions," where he facilitated a discussion on international e-commerce that included WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo. He also served as a panelist for an HSBC breakfast event focused on the future of global trade and its impact on SMBs and retailers of all sizes, as well as a Fortune breakfast event (moderated by Adam Lashinsky) on how to scale AI successfully within organizations.
Jonathan spoke at an event organized by The Economist on the topic of "The business case for openness: Implementing strategy in a draw-bridge up world." Additionally, in an event hosted by GLAAD in partnership with the Ariadne Getty Foundation, Franz spoke about best practices to advance acceptance and how companies can promote LGBTQ issues.
The PayPal delegation engaged directly with global government stakeholders, building or strengthening our partnerships with key officials on matters of global or local significance for PayPal's business. During the course of the week, PayPal leaders met with leaders or representatives of the governments of India, China, Luxembourg, the European Commission, Mexico, Brazil, the UK, Ireland, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States. In addition, PayPal participated in meetings with key international organizations including the World Trade Organization, the International Chamber of Commerce, the United Nations, the World Bank, and International Monetary Fund.
In the lead-up to the WEF Annual Meeting, Dan, Bill and Jonathan each contributed written pieces to advance our key themes of financial inclusion/financial health, strategic partnership across the financial services ecosystem, and the importance of democratizing commerce capabilities for SMBs/retailers. "Dan Schulman on Shifting From Financial Inclusion to Financial Health" ran January 17th in The Wall Street Journal's Leadership section. A special print collection of leadership perspectives was also distributed in Davos, in which Dan's contribution served as the lead article. Bill and Jonathan contributed entries to WEF’s Agenda Blog – "How Small Companies Can Compete on the World Stage" and "Why Partnership is the Business Trend to Watch".
The WEF Annual meeting in Davos was a fantastic opportunity to advance PayPal's vision of democratizing financial services to important stakeholders from around the world.