Crossroads at the World Economic Forum

Since 2009, every January has seen CGV UK members link with our counterparts from Crossroads HQ, Hong Kong, to bring an x-perience of global need to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

Their focus has been on the refugee challenge as well as poverty.

The Refugee Run sees participants step ‘into the shoes’ of a refugee. In a short time, that can only be a few steps, of course, but the x-perience is nonetheless very intense for many. Refugee cast members guided us on the issues it should targe: life in a refugee camp, hunger, illness, lack of education, corruption and uncertain shelter or safety. They face verbal abuse, disorientation and disempowerment as they seek to find a way  into the future.

The Struggle for Survival simulates the complex pressures of poverty. Participants must earn their way, through simple, manual labour which reflects the life of many living in urban poverty. They must earn enough to feed their families, and keep a roof over their heads. They battle corruption in the marketplace, loan sharks, and the heartbreak of children unable to go to school or to have needed medical care.

Robert Elliott, Senior Partner at the UK law firm, Linklaters, one of the event’s premium sponsors, said of the experience, “After the shock and feeling the dehumanising effect, to hear the stories and actual experience was a testament to hope…This is a very powerful way of communicating what refugees are going through daily… There has to be action!”

Pier Luigi Sigismond (pictured), Chief Supply chain Office for the UK’s Unilever, said, “Participate! Don’t be indifferent about the problem. Let’s GO there.”

The simulations at WEF give CEOs, national leaders and other powerful changemakers an experience helps build the empathy that is essential in addressing these issues. The debrief also provides the space to think creatively about solutions.

Further quotes from WEF participants:

“A profound experience…” 
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
“Beautifully done.”
Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Management Ltd.
“Everyone should do this.” 
Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia
“A truly eye-opening session. It was a pause for deep reflection. I hope we can help in the future and will do all to make that happen.”
Peter Lacy, Managing Director for Sustainability Service Group, Accenture

Crossroads Global Village UK

Latest pictures at WEF

See photos from The Refugee Run, 2016, on our Flikr page.

Press footage from Davos

Check out our press from over the years.

Questions and answers regarding our simulations.

Read more about why and how we undertake these x-periences.