Our Voices

At WEF in Davos, Kennedy calls for ‘driving toward democracy’

Urging for the conversation at this week’s World Economic Forum in Davos to stretch beyond simply winning the war in Ukraine and fighting inflation, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights President Kerry Kennedy urged top business leaders to sharpen their gazes on advancing democracy, and with that, diversity, equity, and inclusion and the social good at a critical time.

On Monacle 24’s The Globalist, Kennedy told News Editor Chris Cermak that she’d spent the week hearing “a lot about the big issues we face in the world, the technological issues, the pandemic, war in Ukraine, war in Europe, and other issues that impact all of us. All of those decisions about which way we’re going to go are either going to be made about autocratic means or democratic means.”

If the world chooses to go by autocratic means, she continued, “we’re going to lose our freedom, we’re going to lose our accountability, we’re going to lose the earth. If we go by democratic means, we’ve got a shot. What is important is bringing the world together and driving toward democracy.”

During an appearance on CNBC International, Kennedy spoke about peoples’ frustration that governments’ failures to live up to their promises.

Referencing her recent trip last month to Poland, where she met with Ukrainian refugees and said she

“It’s heartening especially to see what the Polish people have done, she said, adding that “Europe needs to give more to humanitarian aid and not forget about Ukraine when it comes time to rebuild.”

As a global society, she urged for “fewer questions about winning this war, and more questions about how do we win the peace. That’s the goal here. There needs to be more pressure put on both sides to come to the table and have serious peace talks.”

Kennedy described the current moment as a “very dangerous one” but also noted “it’s also a moment of tremendous change, and if we follow through on the promises for diversity and inclusion, for protecting the “S” in ESG, then there’s a way forward.”

She also took a bit of time to share family stories, history, and other jokes with the Female Quotient’s Shelley Zalis, before talking about the organization’s commitment to eradicating gender-based violence, establishing human rights education curriculums in schools around the world, and emphasizing the social factors to consider in sustainable investing.

“When we think of women’s empowerment, when we think about girls in school, when we think about global warming, none of that is going to change when women and people of color only have 2 percent of the investment industry,” Kennedy said.

This week’s Economic Forum, which ends Thursday, annually features more than 2,000 leaders from around the globe.